Ismail Abedi, the brother of Manchester bombing suspect Salman Abedi, was identified as the 23-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the Manchester terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert.
It’s not yet clear what connection, if any, Ismail Abedi had to the attack.
The brother’s arrest came several hours after the terror attack, which left 22 dead, including children, and 59 people injured from the ball bearings that exploded right as the Grande concert let out. The father of Salman and Ismail Abedi has now been detained in the Libyan capital. Furthermore, yet another brother, Hashem Abedi, 20, was detained in Libya under suspicions of having links to ISIS, reports BBC.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ismail’s House Was Searched Before the Arrest & He’s an IT Manager
Shortly after the terrorist attack, police swarmed and searched the home of Abedi’s brother. It’s not yet clear whether they found anything or why they placed him under arrest. It’s also not clear whether they think he had anything to do with the attack, which killed Salman Abedi at the scene.
According to the UK Daily Mail, “Police raided a house where Abedi’s brother, Ismail, lived.”
The report that a 23-year-old man was arrested after the attack circulated early on, but it was not immediately clear that the man arrested was the brother of Salman Abedi.
Politico added that Manchester’s chief constable had confirmed that “police had arrested a 23-year-old man in south Manchester in connection with the attack and had carried out searches at two properties in Whalley Range and Fallowfield, both south of the city center.”
According to UK Daily Mail, Ismail is an “IT manager, who is married to a maths teacher” and “worked for Park Cake Bakeries in Oldham until January. It is believed that Ismail, who worked as a teaching assistant giving Arabic classes and IT support at Didsbury mosque Quran school, was once reported to a counter- terrorism unit after concerns were raised by members of the Muslim community.”
2. The Abedi Brothers Are From a Libyan Family That Settled in Manchester
The Abedi parents are from Libya and emigrated to England more than 10 years ago.
According to ITV, Salman Abedi was “registered as having lived with his mother Samia Tabbal, father Ramadan Abedi and a brother, Ismail Abedi, who was born in Westminster in 1993.”
Salman Abedi was born in Manchester in 1994, after the parents came to the UK to escape the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. The Abedi parents “were both born in Libya but appear to have emigrated to London before moving to the Fallowfield area of south Manchester where they have lived for at least ten years,” reports the UK Telegraph.
The other siblings in the family are another brother, Hashim Abedi, and a sister Jomana, reports ITV.
According to UK Telegraph, it’s believed the parents returned to Libya after the dictator was overthrown.
The Telegraph reported that the Abedis lived near “a group of Gaddafi dissidents, who were members of the outlawed Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).” Authorities are investigating Salman Abedi’s ties to Abd al-Baset Azzouz, “a father-of-four from Manchester, who left Britain to run a terrorist network in Libya overseen by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor,” reported the Telegraph.
You can read more about the suicide bomber, Abedi, here:
3. Ismail Was Remembered as the More Outgoing Brother & Some Friends Said Salman Had Changed Recently
One friend who knew the Abedi family told the Guardian: “His brother Ismail is outgoing, but Salman was very quiet. He is such an unlikely person to have done this.” However, the Mirror reported that others thought Salman was acting odd and that he hung an Iraqi flag outside his house.
Salman and his brother Ismail both “worshipped at Didsbury mosque, where their father, who is known as Abu Ismail within the community, is a well-known figure,” reported The Guardian, which added of the father: “He used to do the five and call the adhan. He has an absolutely beautiful voice. And his boys learned the Qur’an by heart.” The father was opposed to extremism and ISIS, friends said.
However, the mosque’s imam has said that, when he preached against terrorism and extremism in 2015, Salman regarded him with hate on his face after that point, according to The Guardian.
4. Reports Alleged Both Brothers Were Known to Security Services
It quickly emerged that Salman Abedi was already on the radar of British security services before the Manchester attack, but he was not considered a major figure under watch. Politico is reporting through an unnamed source that Ismail Abedi also was on the radar of the security services.
“The source also said the two brothers were known to U.K. security services as having been radicalized but neither had a criminal record,” reported Politico.
According to the Mirror, the explosive device was “around 10kg” and contained “bolts and nails.”
5. The Attack, Which Was Claimed by ISIS, Killed an 8-Year-Old Girl, a College Student Who Was a ‘Super Fan’ of Grande & Many Others
The blast killed 22 people and left at least 59 injured. Among the dead was Saffie Rose Roussos, who was remembered as a beautiful child who was creative.
Georgina Callandar, 19, was the first identified. A college student studying health, she was a super fan of Grande who’d posed for pictures with the singer before. John Atkinson was 26, and was remembered by friends as a “true gentleman.”
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, but that angle is still under investigation.