Manchester Arena bombing: Man arrested over 2017 terror attack

·2 min read
The 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack
The 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack

Police investigating the Manchester Arena attack have arrested a man suspected of helping to buy bomb-making chemicals for the brothers behind the plot.

Greater Manchester Police said the 24-year-old was detained on suspicion of preparing an act of terror shortly after arriving back in the UK at Manchester Airport on Friday afternoon.

The suspect left the UK in April 2017 and is understood not to be Ismail Abedi, the older brother of Salman, the bomber, and Hashem, who helped plan the May 2017 attack.

Ismail Abedi left the UK in August, despite being due to appear at the public inquiry into the atrocity this week. His failure to do so has prompted fury among the bereaved families.

It is believed the suspect arrested on Friday is being sought by police because he is suspected of ordering the sulphuric acid in March 2017 for Hashem Abedi, to be used in the suicide bomb.

Suspect travelled to Libya

The man, from the Fallowfield area of the city, travelled to Libya in April 2017 - the month before the bombing, which killed 22 people outside an Ariana Grande concert - and had not returned to the UK.

Police uncovered phone records showing the man had been in touch hundreds of times with Hashem Abedi over a period of three months in 2017, the public inquiry has previously heard.

He was said to be the only purchaser of material linked to the device whom investigators are yet to interview.

Simon Barraclough, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: "Greater Manchester Police remains firmly committed to establishing the truth surrounding the circumstances of the terror attack at the Manchester Arena - whether that is by supporting the on-going public inquiry or by continuing to pursue leads with regards to the criminal investigation.

"Over four years have passed since the atrocity took place but we are unwavering in our dedication to follow each line of enquiry available so that we can provide all those affected by the events at the arena with the answers they rightly deserve."

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