Father of suspected Manchester bomber says son is innocent
- Author: Leroy Wright May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 7:50
The new images include what could be part of a detonator as well as a 12-volt battery and torn scraps of blue fabric said to be from suspect Salman Abedi's rucksack. Armed police patrolled outside St. Paul's Cathedral in London, another popular tourist spot. London Police Commander Jane Connors said the goal is to "make our city as hostile an environment as possible for terrorists to plan and operate".
The Special Deterrent force said in a statement on its Facebook page that Hashim Abedi had told investigators after his arrest that both he and his brother belonged to the Islamic State group.
Another official said, "We knew he was going a little insane and left, but he went quiet and returned a few days ago, and we had no information about him in between". The elder Abedis later moved back to Libya, where Ramadan Abedi, the father, is now the administrative manager of the Tripoli's Central Security force. Azhar Mahmoud, who prays at the mosque in southern Manchester, said it was "horrible" that Abedi was associated with it.
After less than a year in Saudi Arabia, Ramadan Abedi said he fled to the United Kingdom, where he sought political asylum and lived for 25 years. In all, six men and one woman have been arrested. He said Salman, who was in his second year of studying economics, was planning to return to Libya to spend the holy month of Ramadan with the family.
"The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise", Rudd told BBC Radio 4's "Today" program. He denied ties to any militant groups or suggestions of extremism. The British newspaper reports that in 2001 he returned briefly to the country, where he fought Gadhafi's soldiers as part of the al-Qaida-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting group.
"That is the price, in a way, of dealing with world's most capable national security operation", he said, adding that the U.S. is "by far and away" the most significant intelligence partner for Britain. "In the last 15 years, I haven't seen him in trouble at all".
In 2015, ISIS set up a stronghold in Libya's port town of Sirte, which Libyan fighters seized back from the group in December 2016, thanks in part to USA airstrikes. Britain's terror threat level was raised to "critical" - the highest level - on Tuesday over concern another attack could be imminent.
"Wherever he got that, he didn't get it from this mosque", he said, adding that the imam regularly preached against radicalization. "I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again".
Jon Rouse of the agency said 64 people were still hospitalized.
Officials said all of the bombing victims had been identified, but names were being withheld until autopsies were completed.