Manchester Arena bomber's brother ‘left the UK’ ahead of public inquiry

The brother of Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi, whose victims included Sheffield woman Kelly Brewster, has left the country ahead of a public inquest.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 3:00 pm

Ismail Abedi has left the UK and the bomber’s childhood friend was arrested on Monday trying to leave the country, the public inquiry into the terror attack has heard.

Both Ismail Abedi 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 May 22, 2017 attack.

Paul Greaney QC, addressing chairman of the inquiry Sir John Saunders, said Ismail Abedi had refused to co-operate with the inquiry but was ordered to attend on Thursday.

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Kelly Brewster, from Sheffield, was among those killed in a bomb attack at the Manchester Arena in 2017

However, he is no longer in the country and there is “no indication” when he will return.

Mr Greaney said: “As he surely must understand, if he does not do so, the public may infer that he has something to hide and, so Sir, may you.”

Ahmed Taghdi was told on Friday if he did not attend the inquiry this week he would be arrested. He attempted to leave the country on Monday and, as a result, was arrested.

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 22 May 2017.

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

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

Ismail Abedi 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.

The public inquiry, sitting in Manchester, continues.