Manchester Arena bombing: Father confronted terrorist moments before attack

Izzy Lyons
·2-min read
abedi - AFP
abedi - AFP

The Manchester Arena bomber was challenged on what was in his rucksack by a father who said it “looks bad with what you see about bombs”, an inquiry has heard. 

Christopher Wild, who was collecting his daughter from a pop concert on May 22, 2017 when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a homemade explosive, became “very wary” of the attacker as soon as he noticed him in the arena foyer. 

Mr Wild said Abedi appeared “on edge” and “nervous” while his partner, Julie Whitely, thought the 22-year-old terrorist “looked a bit dodgy” as he sat waiting in the City Room with a large rucksack. 

“It’s a kids concert,” Mr Wild told the inquiry on Tuesday, “and he was sat there with a massive rucksack out of sight of everyone, it was just very strange. 

“I started to think about things happening in the world and I just thought he could be very dangerous. I thought he might let a bomb off.”

The couple grew so suspicious of Abedi that Mr Wild confronted him on what was in his bag, saying: "It doesn’t look very good, you know, what you see with bombs and such, you with a rucksack like this in a place like this, what are you doing?" 

After initially ignoring him, Abedi eventually responded saying: "I’m waiting for somebody, mate. Have you got the time? What time is it?"

Mr Wild reported Abedi to Showsec security guard Mohammed Agha, who “did not seem interested”. 

“It was as if he had more important things to deal with,” Mr Wild added. 

Less than one hour later, Abedi detonated his shrapnel packed bomb, killing 22 people. 

Ms Whitely suffered serious physical and psychological injuries, while Mr Wild and their daughter escaped without any injuries. 

The inquiry continues.