Father of Manchester bomb suspect 'was in militant group'

2017-05-25 20:17
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - The father of suspected Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi was once part of a Libyan militant group with alleged ties to Al-Qaeda, a Libyan security source said on Thursday.

Abedi's father Ramadan "was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)," said Ahmed bin Salem, spokesperson for Libya's Deterrence Force, which acts as the police for Libya's unity government.

The Tripoli-based force arrested Abedi's father and brother after Monday's attack at a pop concert which killed 22 people and was claimed by the Islamic State group.

Ramadan Abedi was hunted by the regime of Moammar Gaddafi for his ties to the group, finding refuge in Britain before returning to Libya in 2011 to join the NATO-backed uprising that finally overthrew the dictator, British media have reported.

The now-disbanded LIFG was founded in 1995 by Libyans who had fought Soviet forces in Afghanistan and stayed on after their withdrawal. The group's sole aim was to topple Gaddafi.

After thwarting an attempt to assassinate the Libyan strongman, Gaddafi's security services launched a merciless pursuit of the group's members, most of whom had fled the country.

After the dictator's ouster and death, Abedi served in the Tripoli police department, Bin Salem said, without providing further information.

"The investigation is ongoing and he is still being questioned by the relevant services. I cannot give more details," Bin Salem said.

LIFG members have allegedly maintained murky links with Al-Qaeda.

Some of its members joined the international jihadist network.

They allegedly include Abu Anas al-Libi, who died in US custody in early 2015, days before facing trial for bombing US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

Al-Qaeda in 2007 announced that the LIFG had joined its ranks - something the Libyan group later denied, saying it had no ties to international organisations.

LIFG leader Abdelhakim Belhaj was handed over to Gaddafi in 2004 by American intelligence agencies.

Files unearthed from Gaddafi's archives after his fall suggest he was captured due to a British tip-off.

Freed a few months before the 2011 uprising, Belhaj fought with rebel forces alongside other LIFG fighters, and became Tripoli's military commander after Gaddafi was ousted.

He later formed a political party, Al-Watan.

A British court in January ruled that he could sue former foreign minister Jack Straw and an ex-MI6 officer over his rendition, in a landmark case that could pave the way for more lawsuits.

Critics accuse Belhaj and other members of the group of maintaining secretive links with Islamist groups.

Read more on:    al qaeda  |  moammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.