A sister of the man who killed 22 people following an Ariana Grande concert in England has described her brother a “kind and loving.” In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, 18-year-old Jomana Abedi attempted to describe some of her brother’s motives for the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena on May 22.
Like her brother, Jomana was born in Manchester, the daughter of Sunni Muslim refugees from Libya. The family lived in the Whalley Range neighborhood of the city.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jomana Says Her Brother ‘Wanted Revenge’ for U.S. Airstrikes in Syria
In her interview with the Wall Street Journal, Jomana said that her brother “saw children – Muslim children – dying everywhere, and wanted revenge. He saw the explosives America drops on children in Syria, and he wanted revenge. Whether he got that is between him and God.”
The United States launched a high-profile offensive in Syria in April 2017 with the firing of 59 missiles. The rockets came from the USS Porter and USS Ross in the Mediterranean Sea. The target was the al-Shayran base close to Homs in the western part of the country. It’s estimated that 15 nine people, four of whom were children, died as a result.
2. Outlets Are Using Photos of Instagram Models to Falsely Identify Jomana
Instagram models have been incorrectly identified as being Jomana both online and in print, according to Milleunadonna. Two Italian newspapers, La Repubblica and La Stampa, both published images of models Janice Joostema and Maya Ahmad before realizing neither was Jomana Abedi. Both of the model’s photos are features on Jomana’s Facebook page.
While another fashion blogger, Dalal Al-Doub, was incorrectly named as a missing person in the aftermath of the attack.
3. Jomana Says She Works at the Mosque in Didsbury; Her Brother Was Asked Had Been Asked to Leave the Congregation
According to her Facebook page Jomana Abedi lives in Manchester and attended Whalley Range High School. On her profile, Abedi says that she began working at Didsbury Mosque in August 2013. Reuters reports that the family lived in the area around the mosque for the past 10 years.
A spokesman for the Didsbury Mosque, Abdalla Yousef, told Reuters:
I have managed to track down somebody who knows the family. He confirmed his father and sister and the rest of the family had moved to Libya and had moved there straight after the revolution after Gadaffi was killed.
The Guardian reported on May 25 that the Didsbury Mosque was “distancing” itself from Salman Abedi.
4. Jomana’s Father & Brothers Have Been Arrested
Jomana’s father, Ramadan, is in police custody in Libya. He has been accused of being a member of the al-Qaeda affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Ramadan Abedi has denied that allegation. While her brother, Hashim, was also arrested in Libya. The Daily Telegraph reports that Hashim is accused of knowing about his brother’s plans to attack Manchester. While Jomana’s older brother, Ismail, was arrested in Chorlton in the southern Manchester.
5. Jomana’s ‘Justification’ for Her Brother’s Actions Have Been Condemned on Twitter
Jomana’s attempted “justification” of her brother’s actions have not gone down well in many quarters. One Manchester resident, Mark Session, told the Daily Mirror that:
There is no justification for the taking of child’s life. Any kid losing their life is heartbreaking, but to my knowledge, no children in the allied air strikes [were] targeted purposely unlike in Manchester.
It is sick to justify the arena bombing in such a way. It is abhorrent in fact.
While on Twitter, Jomona’s interview has been condemned by many: