Gun-toting Manchester Arena bomber pictured smoking and posing with firearms before attack – Daily Express

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A SERIES of disturbing images show the Manchester bomber and his brothers posing while smoking and holding large firearms before the attack.

Manchester bombing: Hashem Abedi receives life sentence in 2020

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22 people were murdered when Salman Abedi detonated a homemade bomb at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in May 2017. The public inquiry into the attack has been shown images of the Abedi brothers during a visit to Libya, wearing military fatigues and holding various weapons.

In one image, Salman poses while smoking a bearing a high-calibre machine gun.

In another, his elder brother, Ismail, holds a rocket-propelled grenade.

Ismail left the country in October ahead of an appearance at the public inquiry.

Another image shows Ismail pointing to an ‘ISIS’ book in a bookshop.

Salman Abedi

Salman Abedi. (Image: Arena Inquiry)

Hashem Abedi

Hashem Abedi. (Image: Arena Inquiry)

Hashem, the youngest of the three bothers, was shown in one image holding a missile system used for shooting down aircraft, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Hashem admitted to the public inquiry that he “played a full part” in planning and preparing for the Manchester bombing.

He was handed 24 life sentences in August.

He cannot be considered for parole until he has served a minimum term of 55 years in prison.

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Ismail Abedi

Ismail Abedi. (Image: Arena Inquiry)

Ismail and Ramadan Abedi

Ismail and Ramadan Abedi. (Image: Arena Inquiry)

Abedi’s victims included an eight-year-old girl and nine other people under the age of 20.

Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Barraclough, who led the police investigation into the 2017 bombing, said: “The images would indicate that Salman and Hashem did receive some level of military training.”

He suggested that the brothers may have fought in the Libyan uprising in 2011.

The inquiry was also shown images of the brothers’ father, Ramadan Abedi.

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Ismail Abedi

Ismail Abedi. (Image: Arena Inquiry)

In one, he poses alongside Ismail. Both hold their own AK-47 assault rifle.

Mr Barraclough said that the role of the father – who also refused to assist the inquiry – in the children’s radicalisation was “likely to have been of some significance”.

As well as having experience with firearms, Abedi was a known user of the mind-altering drug cannabis.

Some friends say he was “partying loads” and would smoke cannabis daily.

Salman Abedi

Salman Abedi. (Image: Arena Inquiry)

The ongoing public inquiry is looking into whether more could have been done to prevent the Manchester bombing from having taken place and to respond to the attack after the fact.

Giving evidence to the inquiry, a senior MI5 officer recently admitted that the decision not to question Abedi after he returned to the UK from a trip to Libya – just four days before the attack – was a mistake.

Referred to as Witness J, the officer said Abedi was assessed in the months before the bombing, but that “no intelligence” was found indicating a threat to national security.

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