Bereaved families angry as Manchester bomber's brother evades inquiry

FILE PHOTO: Flowers and tributes to the victims of the attack on Manchester Arena fill St Ann's Square in Manchester, Britain, May 29, 2017. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - The brother of a suicide bomber who killed 22 people in Manchester in May 2017 failed to appear on Thursday at a public inquiry investigating the attack, angering bereaved families seeking answers about the killer's motivations.

Salman Abedi blew himself up at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena venue, as parents arrived to collect their children. Among those killed were seven children, the youngest aged eight, while 237 people were injured.

Ismail Abedi, the bomber's older brother, had been summoned to give evidence at the public inquiry, which has been running for more than a year to examine issues raised by the bombing.

Paul Greaney, counsel to the inquiry, told Thursday's public hearing that Abedi was stopped at Manchester airport on Aug. 28 while trying to leave the country. But he boarded a flight at the same airport on Aug. 29 and has not returned to Britain.

Duncan Atkinson, a lawyer representing bereaved families, said they had "the very gravest of concerns and the most extreme sense of frustration that this has occurred" and accused Abedi of "profound disrespect" towards them.

The inquiry chairman, retired judge John Saunders, said the circumstances of his departure, and whether the police, the courts or the inquiry itself could have done more to prevent it, were matters that were not yet fully understood.

"The means of enforcing someone's attendance at an inquiry are not straightforward," he said, urging people not to jump to conclusions about who or what was to blame.

The inquiry was due to hear evidence later on Thursday from a friend of Salman Abedi, Ahmed Taghdi. He was arrested on Monday as he tried to leave the country and is in custody.

Another brother of Salman Abedi, Hashem Abedi, was found guilty of murder and jailed for at least 55 years in August 2020 for helping Salman plan the attack.

The brothers were born to Libyan parents who emigrated to Britain during the rule of Muammar Gaddafi. The parents and their younger children are in Libya and are also refusing to cooperate with the inquiry.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

Burkina Faso president fires PM amid security crisis
Australia deputy PM tests positive for COVID-19 in Washington
Canada's Omicron travel ban disrupts residents heading home
Finland's PM apologises for not isolating after night club photo surfaces
U.N. suspends food distribution in two towns in Ethiopia after looting
Johnson imposes COVID-19 'Plan B' in England to contain Omicron
Act now to curb Omicron's spread, WHO's Tedros tells world
Saudi crown prince on first visit to Qatar since Gulf row resolved
Britain starts recruiting for real-world COVID antiviral trial
Czech government agrees to send troops to Poland-Belarus border

Others Also Read