Libya armed group will not grant Manchester extradition request


A Libyan armed group holding the brother of a suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a pop concert in Manchester will not grant a British extradition request, its spokesman said.

Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old Briton born to Libyan parents, blew himself up at the end of a show by US singer Ariana Grande in the deadliest militant attack in Britain for 12 years. His victims included seven children with more than 500 people injured.

On Wednesday, British police said they issued an arrest warrant for his brother Hashem Abedi and prosecutors asked Libya to extradite him.
“We will not extradite Hashem Abedi to UK authorities,” said Ahmad Ben Salim, spokesman of the Deterrence Force (Rada), a counter-terrorism group allied to the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

He said there was no legal agreement between Britain and his group to allow extradition.

Various armed factions in Tripoli have aligned with government, some with semi-official status for law enforcement.

On Wednesday, British police said they had applied for and been granted an arrest warrant for Hashem Abedi for murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion.

Islamic State said it was responsible in the immediate aftermath of the bombing but security services have treated the claim with scepticism.

Days after the attack Libyan counter-terrorism investigators arrested Hashem Abedi and the brothers’ father Ramadan.

In June, the Special Deterrence Force said Hashem Abedi told them his brother was radicalised in Britain in 2015.

They both flew from Britain to Libya in April and Hashem said he helped buy the equipment necessary for the attack although he had not known Salman was planning a bombing, Rada said.

British police say Salman Abedi returned to Manchester on May 18, four days before the attack.

The family emigrated to Britain during the rule of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The brothers’ parents returned to Libya during the country’s 2011 revolution.

Police previously said they believed Salman Abedi built the bomb himself and CCTV showed him buying nuts from a hardware store used as shrapnel as well as the tin believed to contain explosives.