Hashem Abedi

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Hashem Abedi in Libya 2013 and 2017

Hashem al-Abedi, aged 20, is the youngest son of Ramadan al-Abedi and was arrested in Libya shortly after his older brother, Salman al-Abedi, blew himself up, killing 22 concertgoers at the Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017.

Six months later, an extradition request was made to the Libyan authorities for Hashem Abedi to return to the UK to face trial for mass murder.[1]

Arrest warrant

On Wednesday 1 November 2017, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said that counter-terrorism officers had been granted a warrant for Hashem Abedi’s arrest and that the Libyan authorities had been asked on Wednesday to consider his extradition to the UK.

The GMP believe they have enough evidence to charge him with the murder of 22 people, the attempted murder of others who were injured and conspiracy to cause an explosion. Detectives know that the two brothers travelled together to Libya from the UK in April this year, with Hashem remaining in Libya, the country of their parents’ birth. At the end of April, 22-year-old Salman returned to Manchester to carry out the atrocity at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, buying the components in local stores and assembling his bomb in a rented city centre flat.

Both brothers were born in Manchester and went to school in the city.[2]

Held in Libya

Hashem Abedi is currently held by the Special Deterrence Force (Rada), a militia group in Libya with links to Islamic extremist Abdelhakim Belhadj.[3]

Briefing journalists in Manchester on Wednesday, GMP assistant chief constable Russ Jackson said his detectives had not had any contact with RADA but that he knew where Hashem was being detained.

The extradition request had been made to the “internationally recognised” government in Tripoli, he added.

Russ Jackson admitted he did not know of any recent successful extraditions to the UK from Libya but said he was grateful to the Libyans for considering the request to allow Hashem to return to his native Britain to stand trial.

No request has been made to extradite the Abedi brothers’ father, who was reportedly arrested shortly after Hashem. Ramadan Abedi was being interviewed by a TV crew in Tripoli when he was taken by masked gunmen, eyewitnesses said in May.

If the Libyans agree to send Hashem home to the UK, he will be taken into custody as soon as he lands on British soil and will likely be immediately charged. He will then be sent to a magistrates court and then a Crown Court to stand trial.

Jackson said that the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, had agreed to the extradition request being made. A judge at Westminster Magistrates Court granted the warrant around two weeks ago and on Wednesday it was passed to the Libyan government via “diplomatic channels”, he said.[4]

Mayor of Manchester "encouraged"

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said:

“I have consistently said it is imperative that any trial related to the Manchester Arena attack takes place in the UK. That is why I am encouraged by this news today.
“I want to thank Greater Manchester Police and the government for their hard work in getting us to this point on behalf of the people of Greater Manchester and all those affected by this appalling act of evil.
“While this is an important step, there may well be further challenges ahead. I hope all of the authorities involved will work together and seek to remove any barriers.”[5]

 

Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Manchester atrocity: UK government must come clean about its relationship with Libyan IslamistsArticle6 June 2017Mohamed El-DoufaniThe perpetrator of the Manchester atrocity, British-born Libyan Salman al-Abedi, 22, is largely the product of the policy pursued by successive British governments – Conservative and Labour – towards Libya.


References