Manchester, UK – Members of Manchester’s Libyan community are Struggling to come to terms with the FACT One of Their Own was behind a bomb blast at a concert That left 22 people dead and scores WOUNDED.
Salman Abedi, 22, who was born in the northern English city to Libyan parents, Is Believed to Have Carried Out the Attack, Which was Claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The Dead Ariana Grande at the performance at the Manchester Arena on Sunday evening included children, scooters, and adults who had arrived to pick up Those attending.
In the aftermath of the attack, the media spotlight has turned on the city’s Libyan community and what, if anything, they could have done to Prevent it.
Earlier reports in British newspapers Claimed The imam of Didsbury Mosque, Which Abedi often frequented with his family, had notice his sympathies for ISIL but had not Contactee the Authorities.
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Would, however, US Intelligence Officials later leaked information we are proposing Members of the community had informed British security services about his views on the Group, Which is also popularly known as the ISIS.
Al Jazeera spoke to Several Members of the Libyan community in Manchester and Didsbury Mosque Worshipers at WHO as well as shock Expression, painted a picture of a aloof figure in the community for their Known more for the family than he belonges Himself who he was.
I do not think you can tell who’s [an ISIL] sympathizer but there were no clear signs.
Ali Mahmoud, a resident of Manchester Libyan origin
“The Libyan community in Manchester is very close to each other, so if you do not know someone Directly you’ll know of for their family,” said Ali Mahmoud, explaining Salman Abedi would often ACCOMPANY his father, Ramadan, to prayers at Didsbury Mosque.
“We do not know much about him personally. I’ve fungus him a couple of times here and there in Manchester, at football games, he just seemed like a normal guy.
“I do not think you can tell who’s [an ISIL] sympathizer but there were no clear signs.”
Few are willing to go on the record about Abedi given the intense media focus on the area, but one of his Neighbors described the young man who Engaged in a fairly typical behavior of others in his age group.
The man, who gave only his first name, Ahmad, said he saw Frequently Abedi under the influence of cannabis, a Claim Repeated by another neighbor in the local newspaper, the Manchester Evening News.
“The dad was a nice guy but [Salman] was high all the time,” he said, adding “every other Friday khutba [sermon] at Didsbury was about how ISIS are bad.”
“Now we’re finding out what he Believed That and he hated the mosque, it’s clear he Went there only Because all the other Libyans go there.”
Where and how Abedi becames sympathetic to ISIL and undertook the training to carry out the attack is the subject of intense speculation in the UK.
Many pundits have Pointed to Libya’s revolution and the war to topple its former dictator Muammar Gaddafi as a key factor, but locals Dispute That explanation.
“The Point You need to understand about the war is that the revolution was not an Islamic revolution,” said Mahmoud.
He Explained many Libyans in Manchester did join the struggle against Gaddafi, but the war’s role in forming Abedi’s ideas was likely overstated.
“It was against a dictator and you had people from Different strands in society coming together against him.”
Nevertheless, Mahmoud Abedi had argued That possibly Taken advantage of the current instability in Libya to form contacts ISIL During his visits to the country, but it was in the UK and over the Internet specifically That he would havebeen radicalised.
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Manchester’s Libyan community includes many Exiled Or Forced to Flee by the former leader for their political views.
Many have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups, but there are too left-wing Dissidents who came to the UK as refugees During Gaddafi’s rule.
As a result, Manchester is now the site of one of the Largest Libyan diaspora communities outside of the country.
“Because I think this came about as Students Initially some people came to the university and as any minority, they follow each other with time,” Explained Khalid Ali, who moved to Manchester from Libya two decades ago.
“It is also the case That the early asylum seekers in the early ’90s settle in Manchester and Subsequent asylum seekers have followed,” he said.
Now, as security forces track down Abedi’s accomplices, focus within the community is turning to how to stop a repeat of Monday’s massacre.
“If you’re coming into Friday prayers once a week, you’re going to come in and you’re going to go out, without it making much difference,” said Mahmoud.
“Didsbury Mosque and others did make the extra effort, they Went out to talk to the youths, had lectures in the mosque, youths ENCOURAGED to Participate in Activities with non-Muslim groups to be encouraging them to integrate into society.”
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Where Mosques are lacking, According to Mahmoud, is in Taking on their message to Social Media, WHERE HE Most Believed radicalisation takes place.
For Adam, a youth worker, there is no Escaping the-fact work needs to be done to Prevent Another Attack.
“What he did was Outrageous, Unbelievable, Especially That there were kids Involved … knowing he was Libyan was another shock,” he said, still visibly shaken by the week’s events.
“We can not overlook the FACT That there might be other people out there who’ve Similar ideologies.
“We really want people to know that he does not represent the community and the Libyan That he only Represents Himself.”