Terror victim's brother hails 'Mancunian' response to outrage

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BRITAIN-SECURITY/VICTIMS

The grieving brother of Manchester Arena victim Martyn Hett has described being touched by the "genuinely Mancunian" response to the tragedy.

Dan Hett, 31, said he "hugged every possible subset of human in the city" in the wake of the disaster on May 22.

His brother Martyn, 29, was one of 22 people killed when suicide bomber Salman Abedi brought disaster to the city as crowds left a concert by pop star Ariana Grande.

A week on from the disaster - with millions raised for the dead, the injured and their families, and with 10 people remaining in police custody over the blast - fresh details are emerging about the bomber's movements in the run-up to the attack.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Mr Hett described the positive reaction from the city's people.

He said: "I'm not a hugging person, but I have hugged every possible subset of human in the city.

"I've hugged a biker who literally had me off my feet.

"Yesterday morning I was in Sainsbury's with my youngest son, feeding him crisps, and an old lady stopped us and gave us both a cuddle.

"I know that whenever something like this happens people get very sentimental about their cities. And again it's descending into cliche a little, but the reaction does really feel genuinely Mancunian.

"Everyone has been part of it, regardless of whether you're a dirty metalhead or a flamboyant pop fan."

He also said he was frustrated about people using the attack to force arguments about immigration.

Mr Hett, who is half-Turkish, said: "A UK-born terrorist took out, among many other people, my UK-born Turkish brother ... In an alternate timeline, the roles could have been reversed."

Of the 16 people originally held following the bombing on May 22, 10 remain in custody for questioning following a series of raids across the country.

It came as Greater Manchester Police said Abedi had bought most of the key component parts of the suicide bomb in the few days before the attack.

Many of his movements and actions in the four days after his return to the UK from Libya leading up to the atrocity were also carried out alone but detectives have not ruled out that he was part of "a wider network".

Updating the "huge progress" made in the inquiry, Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, head of the North West counter terrorism unit, said: "Our inquiries show Abedi himself made most of the purchases of the core components and what is becoming apparent is that many of his movements and actions have been carried out alone during the four days from him landing in the country and committing this awful attack.

"It is vital that we make sure that he is not part of a wider network and we cannot rule this out yet.

"There remain a number of things that concern us about his behaviour prior to the attack and those of his associates which we need to get to the bottom of."

Mr Jackson said police were "especially keen" to find out why Abedi, 22, kept going back to the Wilmslow Road area of the city as they continue to attempt to trace a blue suitcase he used during those trips.

Although detectives have no reason to believe the luggage contains anything dangerous, they are warning the public not to approach it and instead call 999 immediately.

British-born Abedi had a "relatively minor" criminal record as a teenager but was not known to police for holding extremist views.

He appeared on police logs in 2012 over offences of theft, receiving stolen goods and assault, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said.

However, Abedi had not featured in Prevent, the Government's voluntary counter-radicalisation scheme.

Mr Hopkins also said charges of conspiracy to murder could be brought as a result of the huge investigation into Abedi's suspected network.

Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay and a host of other international music stars will join Grande at a benefit concert for victims on Sunday.

More than £2 million has been raised on a Just Giving page for the victims.