Manchester Arena bomber's brother Hashem Abedi extradited from Libya

Martin Evans
Hashem Abedi, the younger brother of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, will be tried in Libya over his suspected role in the attack  - Libya Interior Ministry

The brother of the suicide bomber who blew himself up at the Manchester Arena in May 2017 killing 22 people has been extradited from Libya to Britain, it has been confirmed.

Hashem Abedi, 22, was arrested in the North African country the day after his older brother Salman, detonated a device at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Last year Greater Manchester Police applied to extradite Hashem on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion.

A spokesman for the Interior Minister in Tripoli confirmed that Mr Abedi had been placed on board a flight that left Libya at 10.30am UK time. The flight has now landed.

"I confirm with you that Hashem (Abedi) is now in the air on his way to the UK ... he is extradited in accordance to a court verdict," said a spokesman for the Tripoli-based counter-terrorism group Special Deterrence Force (Rada).

The Abedi brothers at home in Manchester  Credit: Josie Ensor for The Telegraph

Sadek al-Sour, Libya's prosecutor, told Bloomberg the decision to extradite Abedi was made after he had a chance to argue his case in Libya's court of appeal.

The case had been held up by Libya's complicated political situation, with fighting breaking out between forces in the west of the country and militias in the east.

It is understood Mr Abedi was accompanied by British police officers on board a UK Government jet.

The Abedi family, originally from Libya, had fled to the UK during the Gaddafi dictatorship, but the brothers returned to the country along with their father, who volunteered to fight with opposition forces when the uprising began in 2011.

Nobody has yet been charged over the Manchester Arena attack, despite 23 people being arrested in the wake of the bombing.

Mr Abedi is now expected to be questioned by counter terrorism detectives and is likely to appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

In a statement Ian Hopkins, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, said: "Following application by the Crown Prosecution Service for the extradition of Hashem Abedi from Libya, he has today been successfully extradited, for offences relating to the Manchester Arena attack.

"He was handed over by Libyan authorities to British police officers this morning.  They escorted him on the flight back and he landed in the UK a short while ago.

"Greater Manchester Police officers have arrested Hashem Abedi for murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.

"He will be transferred to a police custody facility in London. After processing at the police station, he will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in relation to these charges."

Hashem's parents Samia Tabbal, and Ramadan Abedi, were both born in Libya but moved to London in the 1990s before settling in the Fallowfield area of south Manchester where there is a triving Libyan community. They also have a 20-year-old daughter, Jomana.

Security minister Ben Wallace said: "I am pleased that the extradition of Hashem Abedi to the UK has been completed.

"It has been a huge effort by the police, Foreign Office and Home Office to ensure that the law can take its course. My thanks to the Libyan authorities for their support.

"Today my thoughts are with the victims of the Manchester Arena attacks and I can assure them that we will not rest until justice is done."

Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: "Hashem Abedi has now landed on UK soil. His successful extradition from Libya is an important step forward in the investigation into his brother's evil terror attack at Manchester Arena.

"I pay tribute to all those who have worked tirelessly on this case. My thoughts remain with the victims and their families who have endured so much. Wherever they are, whoever they are, I will always do all I can to bring suspected terrorists to justice."

Welcoming news of the extradition, Theresa May said: "This is clearly an important moment in the  investigation. I hope it is a welcome step for the loved ones of all the  victims." 

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said: "The first people to be told about the successful extradition were the victims and survivors."

Mr Hopkins said: "Since the Manchester Arena attack on 22 May 2017, our thoughts have been with the families of those who lost loved ones and the hundreds who are struggling with serious physical injuries and deep psychological effects.

"They have always been central to our investigation and will continue to be so at all times."