The 22-year-old who carried out the horrific Manchester suicide bombing on Monday was a British man of Libyan ancestry who had recently traveled to Syria and Libya, the New York Times reports.
A friend of Salman's told the Times: “He went to Libya three weeks ago and came back recently, like days ago.”
Salman Abedi, who was known to police authorities, is believed to have been given aid in carrying out the attack that killed 22 people and injured 60 more. Police authorities believe that Abedi carried out the role of a “mule,” transporting a bomb manufactured by terrorist accomplices.
The attack was particularly heinous due to Abedi's deliberate targeting of children. One of the victims of the carnage was 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, who was with her mother and a 15-year-old celebrating a friend's birthday at the concert.
The Manchester Police on Wednesday announced three more arrests in connection to the bombing, in addition to the prior detention of a 23-year-old suspect. Although it has not been confirmed that ISIS carried out the deadly attack, the group's supporters have been celebrating the atrocity.
Born in 1994 to Libyan parents, Abedi's father was a security officer who had resisted Colonel Gaddafi. His mother was from Tripoli. Salman dropped out of business school in 2014.
According to The Telegraph, Abedi's parents are being scrutinized for links to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group terrorist organization. The British publication reports that LIFG members lived in close proximity to Abedi, including an “expert bomb-maker” and al-Qaeda linked terrorist named Abd al-Baset Azzouz.
Abedi has been described alternately as both a “quiet man” and full of hate by members of his Libyan community in Manchester. The Guardian reports that a senior Islamic religious leader witnessed Abedi respond with hate after ISIS was reportedly condemned at a mosque.
“Salman showed me a face of hate after that sermon,” Mohammed Saeed said. “He was showing me hatred.”
Neighbors in Abedi's community report the entire family was acting differently before the attack.
“They are a Libyan family and they have been acting strangely,” a 21-year-old woman named Lina Ahmed told The Telegraph. “A couple of months ago he [Salman] was chanting the first kalma [Islamic prayer] really loudly in the street. He was chanting in Arabic.”
“He was saying ‘There is only one God and the prophet Mohammed is his messenger,'” she said.
Britain is in a heightened state of alert following the Manchester attack. Prime Minister Theresa May has raised the threat level to “critical” after the deadliest terror attack since the 7/7 suicide bombings of 2015. Nearly 1,000 British troops have been deployed onto the streets to support police.