Police claim Manchester suicide bomber was a “lone wolf” after all
By Robert Stevens
World Socialist Website
1 June 2017
The latest claim by Greater Manchester Police that suicide bomber Salman Abedi acted alone is part of a cover-up launched by the Conservative government and the intelligence agencies to conceal their responsibility for the May 22 atrocity that claimed 22 lives.
On Tuesday evening, Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson of the north-west counter-terrorism unit issued a statement claiming, “Our enquiries show Abedi himself made most of the purchases of the core components [of the bomb] and what is becoming apparent is that many of his movements and actions have been carried out alone during the four days from him landing in the country and committing this awful attack.”
The portrayal of Abedi as a “lone wolf” flatly contradicts numerous previous statements by Prime Minister Theresa May, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, the police and media that he was part of a sophisticated terror cell that required mobilising the army onto Britain’s streets to prevent a second attack.
So far, police have made 16 arrests—with 11 still in custody—under the Terrorism Act. In Libya, Abedi’s father and brother were also arrested, with allegations that his brother was planning his own attack on behalf of ISIS. But according to Britain’s anti-terror police, Abedi simply acted alone.
Jackson’s statement followed one by Ian Hopkins, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police. He told BBC Radio Manchester, “There’s been a lot of reporting and people commenting that he was reported to us on a number of occasions.”
Hopkins dismissed such reports, stating that Abedi was known to police only over “relatively minor matters,” including receiving stolen goods, theft and a minor assault.
He made no attempt to refute numerous reports that two people who knew Abedi at college had called the government’s anti-terror hotline five years ago reporting their concerns. They told the hotline of Abedi’s statements that “being a suicide bomber was okay,” and two community leaders also reported Abedi for his extremist views. According to the Daily Telegraph, Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, reported Abedi two years ago “because he thought he was involved in extremism and terrorism.”
Even if Hopkins’s ludicrous statement was true, it would mean only that information in the possession of MI5 was not passed to the police. According to the Mail on Sunday, “[T]he FBI told MI5 that Abedi was part of a North African Islamic State cell plotting to strike a political target in the UK.”
The FBI reportedly passed these warnings to MI5 in January, after placing Abedi on a terrorist watch list in 2016. An unnamed security source told the Mail, “Following this US tip-off, Abedi and other members of the gang were scrutinised by MI5. It was thought at the time that Abedi was planning to assassinate a political figure.”
The Mail claimed then, without a shred of credibility, “Nothing came of this investigation and, tragically, he slipped down the pecking order of targets.” Now the official story is that no alarm was even raised with the police authorities in Manchester!
Regardless of whether Abedi was alone in the days leading up to his attack, it is beyond dispute that he operated as part of a larger terrorist network and was able, with the assistance of the British government and intelligence agency, to move freely in and out of two of the world’s war zones, Libya and Syria.
The only explanation for why he was allowed to “slip through the net” is that, like other Islamists that are useful tools of Britain’s foreign policy intrigues and regime change operations, he was a protected asset.
Rather than a “lone wolf”, he was one among many such political creatures of the British state apparatus. For years, members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), including Abedi’s father, were active in Manchester. They were allowed to recruit in return for their role in opposing the Gaddafi regime in Libya. Many were then allowed to travel to Libya in 2011—and had control orders lifted and their confiscated passports handed back to them—so they could fight in the US/UK regime-change operation.
The local leader of the LIFG in Manchester, Abd al-Baset Azzouz—a bomb making expert—lived on the same street as Abedi. The Daily Mail reported in September 2014 that Azzouz, with a reported 200 to 300 militants under his control in eastern Libya, was named as an “al Qaeda operative and trainer skilled in bomb-making” by the US State Department.
Salman Abedi emerged from this milieu and ended up, like others of his generation, supporting ISIS in Syria. His deadly attack is most likely blowback from the temporary shift by Britain towards targeting ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria.
UK intelligence have stated that Abedi was not on a list of 3,000 suspected jihadi supporters they claim to be monitoring closely, but only among 20,000 that are generally “known to them.” Again, this is not credible.
None of the covert operations of the secret services involving Islamist terrorists can have proceeded without the direct knowledge and involvement of the government.
In 2014, then-Home Secretary Theresa May said that new laws would be enacted to deny citizenship to Britons fighting in Syria and Iraq. She told the Daily Telegraph, “New banning orders for extremist groups” would be introduced “that fall short of the legal threshold for terrorist proscription, as well as for new civil powers to target extremists who seek to radicalise others. People who insist on travelling to fight in Syria and Iraq will be investigated by the police and security services. For those who have dual nationality, I have the power to strip them of their citizenship and exclude them from the country.”
May warned, “[A]ny British national who returns from Syria and Iraq faces prosecution here for participating in terrorist activities abroad.”
Just three years later, after travelling freely to Libya and Syria, Abedi was allowed back into the country, no questions asked, to carry out his bombing.
The newspaper and broadcast media have joined in this cover-up by faithfully repeating the GMP’s claims. Yet a Guardian article published Tuesday morning stated, “On the day after the Manchester attack, investigators had concluded that Abedi was no lone actor. They believed he required considerable support in carrying out the attack. …”
It continued, “The first clue was the device itself. Forensic scientific analysts told how it had been crafted with cunning. The shrapnel was evenly spaced to inflict maximum damage and it had a back-up detonation system. … The second clue emerged less than 24 hours after the attack. Intelligence from the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre at MI5 headquarters confirmed there was a risk of a follow-up attack.”
The article included a statement from the brother of Zuhair Nassrat, one of those arrested in the police investigation. Speaking about Abedi, whose university tutor has confirmed had severe learning difficulties, Nassrat said, “The Libyan community in Manchester don’t believe in any way that he was by himself—he had not got the capability. He [Abedi] does not have it in him, he is not smart enough.”
Greater Manchester Police are putting out one false account after another. The reason? The dirty hand of the state has again been revealed. The lies and obstructions will not cease.
A brief look at events in Ireland – North and South – is suffice to see it in action more than forty years ago.
Keith and Kenneth Littlejohn carried out robberies in Dublin. Prior to their activities Kenneth had met with Lady Pamela Onslow and Conservative cabinet member, Geoffrey Johnson Smith.
On 17th May, 1974 three bombs exploded in Dublin, all without warning. 33 were killed, including women and children, and nearly three hundred injured. Right from the start claims of British intelligence being involved came to the surface. Another bomb was detonated just south of the border that same day, killing and injuring still more. The reason being, according to agents of the state, was to sink the Sunningdale Agreement. Forensic evidence reveal the bombs to be highly sophisticated, acheiving a perfect burn, and designed to maximise injuries.
Relatives of the casualties, along with the Irish government, are still trying to get the British authorities to release relevant documents. The British state continues to block every attempt.
The reversal of the official version in the Manchester terrorist attack, is due to the intention to deflect attention to the clear fact that the UK, was and still is, involved in support of Freedom Fighters or “Moderate Opposition” in the Middle East and elsewhere, as a vital partner of the US.
On their own admission, they declare to know of the existence of 3k terrorists suspects under surveillance, and 20k on a watch list for related activities. The only rational explanation for this anomaly, is that they are/were part of groups supported to overthrow Gaddafi, Assad and others as part of the Middle East’s agenda of the US, UK and Israel.
Otherwise is inconceivable their presence in the country, putting the population in mortal risk. Also this event is being used by May,as political leverage against Corbyn who is perilously close in the race to a general election. Ever so slowly, the English population is waking up to the sinister participation of their government in dirty wars of intervention.
There are two forms of deceit by Western states that have addled the consciousness of the people. One is the Big Lies of historical fame, such as the current US one that Trump is a Russian dupe. But in addition, there is also the repression of Big Truths that is kept secret or distorted to prevent the people from understanding what is happening. That is the one in this case, repressing the truth that the killer was an agent of governmental power, and part of a group of such agents.
It is disturbing to consider the notion that Britain is going down the same path of orwellian deceit as the USA, since previously its people were somewhat more politically sophisticated that Americans (not a difficult state to attain.) But since Britain has been the US poodle in foreign affairs, this may be inevitable.
Britain has been a poodle of the USA since the First World War, when it relied on American loans and military equipment to fight the War, a process accelerated one hundred fold by the Second World War, which completed the eclipse of Britain as a truly “world power.”
The Tories are intent on turning Britain into the 51st State, without a NHS, with privatised schools, and no holds-barred on the accumulation of wealth by capitalists and the rich.
British and US spy agencies and cops are central players in a day-to-day conspiracy against the peoples of their own countries, and the entire world. They act as faithful catspaws of capitalists and their interests.
Hence the deaf-dumb-and-blind act of both the British and US regimes to the central role of Saudi Arabian arms and money in ISIS and Al-Qaeda terrorism. Multi-billion pounds/dollars arms and oil deals take priority over Saudi complicity in world terrorism, and mass slaughter in Yemen.
As Marx sagely pointed out over 150 years ago, the Executive of the modern State is but a Committee for managing the common affairs of the capitalist class.
It cannot be trusted with protecting people from terrorism, any more than it can be trusted to protect them from wage slavery and poverty.
It’s worse than that, Jason. US power actually recruits, finances, trains and weaponizes the Terrorists that it publicly Proclaims that it is fighting. The whole War on Terror is a gigantic historical fraud that, in orwellian fashion, produces the terrorism that is Proclaimed as the enemy. The greatest source of violence and terrorism in the world is produced by the US power system under the guise of fighting it.
True. And the central mechanism is psychological projection i.e. from at least as far back as the days of the Soviet Union, the US has claimed that “they”
were planning this and that and so the US had to respond likewise. Whenever the
US government protest about an alleged crime carried out by the communists /terrorists /whatever, they are telling you what they themselves are planning next.
As an example, the US ceaselessly claimed that “the evil empire” i.e. Soviet Russia was hellbent on global domination and so to “prevent” this, the US set up bases to “protect” other countries. And – look at the result: it is the US that has spread its military might everywhere.