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Manchester suicide bomber attended anti-Netanyahu protest 2 years earlier

Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017, was already on MI5’s radar when he joined demo by Corbyn-backed group against London visit by Israeli PM

Manchester bomber Salman Abedi (far right, red shirt) attends protest outside the UAE embassy in London, hours after he demonstrated against visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015 (Screen grab/Daily Mail)
Manchester bomber Salman Abedi (far right, red shirt) attends protest outside the UAE embassy in London, hours after he demonstrated against visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015 (Screen grab/Daily Mail)

The terrorist who killed 22 people in a suicide bombing in the British city of Manchester in 2017 had attended a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to London two years prior to the attack, the Daily Mail reported Friday.

Salman Abedi attended the September 2015 protest organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, an organization backed by former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

There was no suggestion that Abedi was formally linked to either the PSC or Corbyn.

According to the report, Abedi was among a group who traveled from Manchester to attend the Downing Street rally before moving to a second protest outside the United Arab Emirates embassy. The newspaper said the second protest was organized by a British group that supported a Libyan militia with ties to Al-Qaeda’s Ansar al-Sharia.

This undated photo issued on July 17, 2019, by Force for Deterrence in Libya, shows Hashem Abedi, the brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi. (Force for Deterrence in Libya via AP, File)

Two years later, inspired by Islamic State, Abedi detonated explosives among crowds of mostly young people leaving an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

The youngest victim was aged just eight. Others included parents who had come to pick up their children.

A public inquiry heard last month that Abedi was associated with six MI5 “subjects of interest” and visited an incarcerated terrorist twice prior to the attack.

According to the Guardian, Abedi had himself been made a “subject of interest,” but his file was closed in July 2014 — a year before the anti-Netanyahu protest and three years before the Manchester attack.

Armed police patrol near Manchester Arena following a deadly terror attack in Manchester, northwest England on May 23, 2017. (AFP/Oli SCARFF)

In August, Abedi’s brother Hashem, 23, was jailed for life for playing an “integral part” in the attack. He was convicted of murder, attempted murder, and conspiring to cause explosions at a trial that ended in March.

The court heard he was in Libya when the attack took place on May 22, 2017, but helped his brother plan it for several weeks, including by obtaining chemicals for the homemade bomb.

AFP contributed to this report.

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