Over 3,000 suspected Islamic extremists living in the UK are under surveillance by their M15 intelligence service – but the man who carried out the bombing in Manchester two nights ago was not one of them.
There’s no excuse for that – especially in light of the fact that the suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was on the radar of British authorities. The Evening Standard reported the bomber “was known to security services but they did not believe he posed an immediate threat. It is not thought that the bomber was being actively monitored.”
There would’ve been reason enough to do so. According to France’s interior minister Gerard Collomb, Abedi has “proven” links with ISIS, and that both British and French intelligence services had information that Abedi had been in Syria.” He had also been in Libya for three weeks not long before the attack. It’s unfortunate they didn’t have a Trump-style travel ban in place.
Today, the Independent reports the explosive used in Abedi’s bomb, also known as Mother of Satan, was the same material used in the deadly attacks in Paris in November 2015 and the March 2016 attack in Brussels, both carried out by ISIS extremists. Oh, AND a “bomb-making workshop” was found in his house.
British intelligence didn’t stop Abedi – but they may have prevented future attacks from his devout family, and associates. According to The Telegraph, A woman was arrested in Manchester following an armed raid on a block of flats late on Wednesday evening in connection with Monday’s suicide attack.
Another suspect, believed to be carrying a package, was arrested in Wigan earlier today as detectives probe a “network” linked to the Manchester suicide bomber. Six people have now been arrested.
Meanwhile, the terrorist’s father and brother were detained in Libya while police have confirmed that an off-duty female police officer was among the 22 people killed in the attack.
Libyan security forces said the brother “was aware of all the details” of attack plans.
Abedi’s father Ramadan has reportedly been detained by Libyan counter terrorism police while recording television interviews, according to ITV News.
Abedi’s younger brother Hashim has also reportedly been arrested in Tripoli, Libya, on suspicion of having links to the Islamic State group that claimed responsibility for the attack.
So let’s go through a checklist…
> Abedi was on the radar of intelligence authorities
> Abedi was established to have had ties to ISIS
> Abedi’s father is a terrorist sympathizer whose been under investigation many times prior
> Abedi’s younger brother has been under suspicion for links to ISIS
So why wasn’t Abedi himself under surveillance? Who knows?
As for the proceeding arrests and detainment, it’s not a bad start.
Just 3,000 more to go.