New photos emerge of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi on night of arena attack

Dressed unremarkably, the 22-year-old carries a rucksack and partly obscures his face with a baseball cap

Rachel Roberts
Saturday 27 May 2017 22:19 BST
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CCTV handout photo issued by Greater Manchester Police of Salman Abedi on the night he carried out the Manchester Arena terror attack
CCTV handout photo issued by Greater Manchester Police of Salman Abedi on the night he carried out the Manchester Arena terror attack

New images of the Manchester bomber in the hours before he committed mass murder have been released by police.

Terrorist Salman Abedi cuts an unremarkable figure in jeans and a dark, padded jacket in his final moments before he slaughtered 22 concert-goers and seriously injured dozens more on Monday night.

He also appears to be wearing a backpack with black straps. It is believed he may have used a rucksack to carry the shrapnel bomb that tore through crowds exiting the Manchester Arena after the Ariana Grande concert.

Abedi's features are partly obscured from the CCTV camera by a baseball cap and glasses.

The images are the first to show what the 22-year-old looked like when he carried out the deadliest terror attack Britain has seen since the 7/7 bombs of 2007, in which 52 people were slaughtered.

Greater Manchester Police has not revealed where the footage was taken or at what time.

Abedi is believed to have put the final touches to his bomb in a city centre flat before he travelled to the concert which had an audience of 21,000 mainly young people and children.

(PA

Police, who have 11 people in custody in connection with the atrocity, said they had built up a "detailed picture" of Abedi’s movements since he returned to British shores on 18 May, reportedly from his family's native Libya where it is believed he may have received training from jihadists.

They made a further appeal to the public for information about Abedi's activity between the arrival in the UK and his suicide attack.

The latest image of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi

The force said in a statement: "We immediately established full command and control of the incident and within an hour of the attack taking place a specialist counter terrorism control room had been established with a first priority of identifying the attacker.

"Specialist counter terrorist forensic teams were sent to try and identify the attacker and within two hours his identity was known."

The investigation has so far involved around 1,000 officers, as a huge operation was launched to suppress any further terror threats posed by Abedi's potential network.

The UK was put on “critical alert” following the attack but the threat has now been downgraded to “severe” following the arrests.

Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “The change in the national threat level from critical to severe does not alter our response to Monday’s horrific attack, which claimed so many innocent lives.

“We have made significant progress in this fast moving and complex investigation, working with the national counter terrorism policing network and UK intelligence partners and securing the arrests of 11 people who remain in custody.

“The level of resources we have available to us remains the same as we continue to take positive action so you will notice additional officers, including armed officers, on patrol especially at a number of events this weekend to ensure the security and safety of everyone but it’s important that people remain alert and vigilant."

Eleven men between the ages of 18 and 44 remain in custody on suspicion of terrorist-related offences. A woman and a boy aged 16 who were arrested in connection with the attack have been released without charge.

The latest statement from the force said: “The investigation is making good progress and we know one of the last places Abedi went to was a city centre flat and from there he left to make his way to the Manchester Arena. The flat is highly relevant as a location which we believe may be the final assembly place for the device.”

14 locations are still being searched and a total of 17 warrants have been carried out mainly across Greater Manchester. 15 separate actions are being pursued, the statement said.

Around 1000 people are involved in the investigation in addition to hundreds of officers and other staff involved in security around Greater Manchester.

“In the past five days we have gathered significant information about Abedi, his associates, his finances, the places he has been, how the device was built and the wider conspiracy," the statement said.

Anyone with information should call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline anonymously on 0800 789321.

The Press Association contributed to this report

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