Manchester Arena attack: 24-year-old man arrested at airport

Detectives investigating the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017, which killed 22 people including Sheffield woman Kelly Brewster, have arrested a 24-year-old man at an airport.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 6:26 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd October 2021, 6:26 pm

Greater Manchester Police said the man, who is from the Fallowfield area of Manchester, was arrested at Manchester Airport on Friday (October 22) shortly after arriving back in the UK.

He was detained on suspicion of engaging in the preparation of acts of terrorism/assisting others in acts of preparation under section 5 of the Terrorism Act (2006).

The terror attack on the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017, killed 22 people and injured hundreds more.

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Stock police crime image. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The senior investigating officer for the investigation, Simon Barraclough, said: "Greater Manchester Police remains firmly committed to establishing the truth surrounding the circumstances of the terror attack at the Manchester Arena - whether that is by supporting the ongoing public inquiry or by continuing to pursue leads with regards to the criminal investigation.

"Over four years have passed since the atrocity took place but we are unwavering in our dedication to follow each line of enquiry available so that we can provide all those affected by the events at the arena with the answers they rightly deserve."

Earlier this week, a public inquest into the attack heard that the brother of Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi has left the country ahead of a public inquest.

Ismail Abedi has left the UK and the bomber’s childhood friend was arrested on Monday trying to leave the country.

Both Ismail and Ahmed Taghdi had been given court orders warning them to attend the inquiry this week to answer questions about the radicalisation of the bomber who carried out the attack.

What happened in the Manchester Arena attack?

Twenty-two people were killed and hundreds more injured when Salman Abedi detonated a bomb at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017.

Among them was Sheffield woman Kelly Brewster, aged 32, who went to the concert with her sister when the tragic incident happened.

Ismail’s younger brother Hashem Abedi was jailed last year after being convicted of murdering all those who died.

Ismail was arrested the morning after the bombing and interviewed extensively by counter-terrorism police for nearly a fortnight but was later released without charge.

He denied any involvement in or knowledge of the bombing and stated he had played no part in the radicalisation of his younger brother.

While he initially answered police questions, he subsequently gave ‘no comment’ answers during the majority of his 25 interviews.

The inquiry was also told he was stopped by police after arriving at Heathrow Airport in 2015 and his mobile phone had contained recruitment videos and literature produced by the Islamic State group.

Families speak of ‘horror’ that Ismail was allowed to leave the country

In a statement from 11 of the bereaved families, read outside court by Shane Smith from law firm Slater & Gordon, they said: "We are appalled to learn that Ismail Abedi left the country in August, having been stopped at the airport once before.

"We want to put on record our horror that Ismail Abedi could be allowed to leave the country in the face of an upcoming appearance at a statutory inquiry which he had been ordered to attend.

"We are shocked that this can have been allowed to happen and we note the inquiry are seeking urgent clarification on this."