Arrest warrant issued for Manchester bomber brothers after missing UK court hearing


An arrest warrant has been issued for the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber for failing to provide evidence in a public inquiry into the attack.

Ismail Abedi, who fled the UK last summer, did not attend a hearing at the Manchester Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Last month, the 29-year-old man was found guilty of failing to comply with a notice that compelled him to cooperate with an investigation into atrocities in May 2017.

If arrested or surrendered, he faces up to 51 weeks in prison.

Prosecutor Sophie Cartwright QC told the court that notice of Tuesday’s hearing was sent to Abedi’s last address.

An email was also sent to the address he had previously used to correspond with that attorney, and a message to his previous attorney was also sent.

District Court Judge Jack McGarva said he was satisfied Abedi was aware of the hearing, and said the proceedings were “highly publicized.”

Issued a warrant without bail, he said: “We now have to wait for him to be arrested.”

Abedi’s brother Salman, 22, detonated a suicide bomb at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people.

A judge previously convicted Ismail Abedi of failing to do what was required in a notice under Section 21 of the Act of Inquiry without good cause.

He was ordered by Chairman Sir John Sanders last October to attend a bombing investigation. He was investigating the radicalization of Salman and another of his brothers, Hashem Abedi, 25.

Ismail Abedi said he was stopped by police at Manchester airport on 28 August last year and plans to return to the UK next month.

However, he took a flight at the same airport the next day and his current whereabouts are unknown.

Survey asks IT personnel from Cholton whose docking at Heathrow Airport in 2015 was found to contain a “substantial” amount of “highly disturbing” material showing similar views to ISIS terrorist groups was also asked.

He also had potential evidence to offer regarding preparations for the Arena Bomb, given that his DNA was found in a car hammer used to store explosives.

His father, Ramadan Abedi, was linked to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a militia with ties to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, a public inquiry said.

He lives in Libya, has not cooperated with the investigation, and the police want to question him as a suspect.

The family called Ismail Abedi a “coward” for refusing to answer questions.

Lawyers for some family members said they still have “serious concerns” about why he was able to leave the country last year.

He was listed at Thursday’s hearing as his alias, Ishmale Ben Romdhan.

Abedi has denied any involvement in the arena attack.

He had previously said he did not want to attend the investigation because he was worried about the risk of self-incrimination and had already been questioned in detail by the police, and was concerned about the safety of himself and his family.

Kim Harrison of Slater & Gordon, a law firm representing 11 victims’ families, said: To answer the many questions we have about what happened that night.

“We remain deeply concerned as to why Abedi was able to leave the country before he could provide evidence to the investigation. Despite his conviction, it is unlikely he will face true justice until he is arrested.

“The family deserves to know the truth about what happened that night and how disrespectful Ismail Abedi has shown them. I look forward to doing my best.”

Kim Pilling

PA media

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