Hashem Abedi trial: Benefits claimed by Manchester bomber’s family were used in terror plot, jury hears

Jury shown payments made from account of Salman Abedi’s mother

Peter Stubley
Monday 10 February 2020 18:26 GMT
Hashem Abedi is on trial accused of helping his brother Salman to plan the Manchester Arena bombing
Hashem Abedi is on trial accused of helping his brother Salman to plan the Manchester Arena bombing

Benefits claimed by the family of Manchester Arena terrorist Salman Abedi were used for his suicide bomb plot, a court heard.

His mother Samia Abedi, who is in her 50s, received more than £2,000 each month in welfare payments, jurors were told.

The benefits continued even after she left the UK and took her three youngest children to Libya in October 2016.

And in the run-up to the attack her bank account was accessed to buy a large £300 industrial-sized battery and tools to construct the explosive device, the Old Bailey heard.

Ms Abedi’s bank statements were shown to the jury at the trial of her son Hashem Abedi, who denies helping his brother Salman to plan the bombing which killed 22 people.

The statements revealed monthly payments of £692.32 housing benefit from Manchester City Council along with weekly payments of £302.76 working and child tax credit and £61.80 child benefit, giving a monthly income of £2,147.

These payments continued up to 19 May, 2017, just three days before the attack on the Manchester Arena, with a further housing benefit payment on 26 May.

Each month a series of large cash withdrawals of amounts usually of £50, £250 and £300, came out of Mrs Abedi’s account, the court heard.

An amount of £300 was also paid from the account to buy a 200-amp battery from Shield Batteries in Salford and to B&Q for tools, allegedly to construct the improvised explosive device.

Also in early January a £1,002.54 payment was made into Salman Abedi’s bank account from the Student Loans Company.

On 23 January, 2017 there were four cash withdrawals of £790, £710, £800 and £700 from Salman Abedi’s own RBS account.

The next day Salman Abedi reported his card had been lost and there had been a fraud on his account.

The jury heard there was a further Student Loan payment at the end of January 2017 of £2,258 to Salman Abedi’s bank account.

Hashem Abedi, 22, denies knowing anything about his brother’s plans to attack the arena and has pleaded not guilty to all charges. The trial continues.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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