The chairman of a mosque where accused Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi once prayed is speaking out about his past experiences with the alleged bomber.
“I am very unhappy knowing that he has come here and prayed here and seeing him reading the Koran and so on and the next minute you hear he blew up and 22 people are killed,” Abdullah Muhsin Norris of the Salaam Community center told Sky News. “It is very hard to believe someone could do that, but he has done it.”
According to Sky News, the chairman has a standing policy barring political discussions in his mosque and contacts authorities when he grows concerned about potential radicalization.
“We urge all brothers NOT to engage in any kind of conversations or preaching regarding politics in the masjid,” reads a sign at the Salaam Community center.
Abdullah explained that his mosque goes to great lengths to avoid behavior that can lead to radicalization:
“We do talk to [young people] about it. I put a notice up on my door — that door there, there's a notice on it, right? I'm telling people that I don't want anyone to be staying in the mosque after we have prayed because I don't know what conversation they [may] be having, so I don't want to entertain them. And I said no one [is] to come to preach politics, likewise.”
“If anyone is going to have that type of that conversation then I will squash it,” the chairman said. “I don't think you can ever do enough, you have to keep trying.”
Two months ago, Abdullah was forced to kick Abedi out of the center after discovering him attempting to hide overnight in the mosque's library, reportedly pouring over religious texts.
“I was very annoyed with him. He said don't treat me like a child,” explained Abdullah. “He is very easy to be upset.”
Abdullah didn't contact authorities about Abedi's behavior that night, explaining that it was an isolated incident and he had seen nothing else from Abedi that concerned him.