The younger brother of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi has been arrested by a counter-terrorism force in Libya on suspicions of suspected ties to ISIS.
The Rada counter-terrorism force detained 20-year-old Hashem Abedi Tuesday evening in Tripoli, spokesman Ahmed Bin Salem told Reuters.
Hashem Abedi had been in contact with the attacker, Bin Salem said.
“We have evidence that he is involved in Daesh (Islamic State) with his brother. We have been following him for more than one month and a half,” Bin Salem said.
“He was in contact with his brother and he knew about the attack.”
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) May 24, 2017
Salman Abedi, 22, a Manchester native of Libyan descent, blew himself up at an Ariana Grande concert Monday evening, taking the lives of at least 22 people and wounding more than 100.
The attacker’s older brother, Ismail Abedi, 23, was also arrested by police Tuesday morning in Manchester following a raid at his home.
The father of the suicide bomber, Ramadan Abedi, was also detained by security personnel in the Libyan capital Wednesday, according to eyewitnesses, Bloomberg reported.
The arrest came just hours after Ramadan Abedi claimed his son was innocent.
“We don’t believe in killing innocents. This is not us,” he told the Daily Mail by phone.
Ramadan said his son visited him in Libya last week and had discussed plans to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca.
“Until now my son is a suspect, and the authorities haven’t come up with a final conclusion,” the father said. “Every father knows his son and his thoughts. My son does not have extremist thoughts.”
Authorities believe the Manchester suicide bomber had support from a larger network of individuals.
British Prime Minister Theresa May raised the terror threat level in the country to “critical” Tuesday, the highest possible designation.
“It is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack,” May said, adding that experts believe another attack is possibly “imminent.”
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