Manchester bomb attack: Libyan warlords’ demand $1MILLION to hand over man behind atrocity | UK | News


The UK government wants to extradite him but there are now fears he could escape justice and be sold to Islamic State terrorists where he will be hailed a hero for his role in the atrocity. 

Hashem Abedi, 21, was detained by a semi-official Libyan militia last year and is being held at Mitiga airport near the capital Tripoli. 

But two groups of fighters, who have control over him, want to sell him for a $1million cash bonanza. 

Last night sources in Libya revealed that Islamic State, which does not support these groups, is negotiating through a third party to “pay for his release”. 

Britain has been trying to extradite him since November, seven months after his older brother – he was 22 – was responsible for the atrocity at Manchester Arena. 

Investigators believe Hashem Abedi helped to gather the materials used for the bomb, which was detonated in the venue’s foyer at the US singer’s concert.

Both brothers were born in Manchester to Libyan parents.

Last night a Government source said: “We learned Hashem Abedi is in the process of being sold, for around $1million by two militia groups who are holding him. 

“One, our sources tell us, is the Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade and the other, elements of the Libyan Government’s security force, OCA. 

“Britain will not deal directly with these groups and will never pay for his extradition. Sources have informed us negotiations are in play to offer Mr Abedi to a Daesh [IS] affiliated group which operates outside of Libya. We are concerned by the prospect of this suspect falling into the hands of extremists to be used by them in a publicity coup. It would be an intolerable slight to the memories of those who were killed and injured and their loved ones.” 

Foreign and Commonwealth Office sources said they were “closely monitoring” the situation and were still hopeful the extradition request would be honoured. 

An FCO spokesman said: “Mr Abedi’s extradition is with the Libyan authorities to approve.” 

Greater Manchester Police believe they have enough evidence to charge him with the murder of 22 people, the attempted murder of others who were injured and conspiracy to cause an explosion. 

However, it is now a race against time for the Government to bring the terror suspect to justice. 

Hashem Abedi was in Libya when his brother committed his terror act last year, having travelled there in April. 

He was held by the now defunct Special Deterrence Force (SDF) – a semi-official militia tasked with tackling kidnappings and killings. 

SDF said at the time: “Hashem said he bought all the things for Salman for the attack from the UK. Hashem confessed he is part of IS along with his brother Salman, who bombed Manchester Arena.” 

SDF claimed he had stayed in Libya to mount a terror attack in Tripoli. 

In May the UN-Backed Government of National Accord disbanded the SDF after it was accused of kidnappings. 

SDF replacement, OCA, operates with Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade and has control of the area around Mitiga airport. 

Sources said the Tripoli brigade, working with security forces elements, “offered Hashem for sale”. 

Insiders added the brigade had networks to stage the sale through a third party abroad. 

A group representing IS has expressed an interest in meeting the $1million price tag. 

It is likely those involved will use the money to flee Libya.



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