Manchester Arena bomber visited terrorist in prison, brother’s trial told

The Manchester Arena bomber visited a convicted terrorist in prison before carrying out the suicide attack, his brother’s trial has heard.

Salman Abedi met Abdalraouf Abdallah, 26, four months before he detonated a homemade bomb, killing 22 people and injuring many more as they left an Ariana Grande concert, jurors heard.

His brother Hashem Abedi is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of helping him prepare the attack, including getting chemicals to make TATP explosives.

On January 18 2017, Salman Abedi, 22, along with two other men, travelled from his home in Fallowfield, south Manchester, to visit Abdallah, who was serving nine and a half years for terrorism offences at HMP Altcourse in Liverpool.

A second visit was scheduled for March 6, but Salman Abedi did not attend, the court heard.

The jury was told Abdallah, from Manchester, left the UK to fight against the Gaddafi regime in 2011.

He was shot in the back, became paraplegic, and remains in a wheelchair, the Old Bailey was told.

On May 11 2016, Abdallah was convicted of preparation of terrorist acts by assisting others and funding terrorism by sending £2,000 to his brother.

Manchester Arena attack victims
Manchester Arena attack victims

The court was told he organised the terrorist activities of a group in Manchester, assisting two men in their attempts to enter Syria via Turkey.

It was planned they would join his brother Mohammed Abdallah and engage in fighting, according to the agreed facts read out in court.

Jurors heard one of the men succeeded in entering Syria and became an Islamic State fighter.

Abdallah was handed an extended sentence of nine and a half years, including five and a half years in jail.

Jurors also heard how Salman Abedi had been studying business management at Salford University.

He had left Burnage High School for Boys in 2011 with nine GCSEs and continued his education at Manchester College.

He passed his first year at Salford University but did not complete his second year, last attending on January 13 2017.

On January 9 2017, he received £1,002.54 from the student loan company.

A damaged Halifax student account bank card in his name was found following the bombing.

Hashem Abedi went to the same high school as his older brother from January 2009, but was removed from the register in 2011 when his mother informed the school that the family were going to Libya.

He studied electrical installation at Manchester College and expressed an interest in engineering, but stopped attending in March 2016.

The brothers’ mother received more than £2,000 in benefits, the court heard.

Hashem Abedi, now 22, has denied 22 counts of murder, attempted murder, and conspiring with his brother Salman to cause explosions.