Manchester attacker Salman Abedi was flagged to UK authorities five times about his extremist views before committing the atrocity that killed 22 people on Monday, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The newspaper noted the times Abedi had been reported. Citing information also reported by the BBC, it said:
- He told friends "being a suicide bomber was okay," something that led them to contact an anti-terrorism hotline run by the British government.
- A community worker who knew Abedi had been worried he was "supporting terrorism" and had expressed the view that "being a suicide bomber was ok," the BBC reported late on Wednesday.
- Didsbury Mosque — attended by Abedi in the past — contacted the Home Office's Prevent programme about Abedi. Prevent is an anti-radicalisation programme.
- Two people who knew Abedi at college made calls about him to the authorities, the BBC added.
On Wednesday, representatives of the Didsbury Mosque distanced the centre from Abedi and condemned his actions in the strongest possible terms.
It is also believed that British authorities were aware that Abedi's father, Ramadan Abedi, had potential links to terror-related groups. Former Libyan official Abdel-Basit Haroun told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the elder Abedi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting group in the 1990s, which had links to al-Qaeda.
Haroun said he belongs to the Salafi Jihadi movement, an extreme sect of Islam from which al-Qaeda and the Islamic State hail.
Ramadan Abedi, alongside his other son Hashem Abedi, Salman's younger brother were both arrested separately in the Libyan capital Tripoli by counter-terrorism forces on Wednesday.
Abedi killed 22 and injured at least 64 when he detonated an improvised bomb in the foyer of Manchester Arena in central Manchester on Monday night, where pop star Ariana Grande was performing.
The 22-year-old suicide bomber was radicalised during trips to Syria and was known to British intelligence services, it has emerged.
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