British authorities have identified 22-year-old Salman Ramadan Abedi as the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and left 59 injured in a Manchester arena explosion Monday.
“I can confirm that the man suspected of carrying out last night’s atrocity is 22-year-old Salman Abedi,” Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins told reporters, adding that he would not make any more statements about Abedi in this stage of the investigation.
Abedi was killed at the scene of the attack, though authorities have yet to confirm whether he was part of a larger network. Abedi likely used an improvised explosive device, according to police.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Abedi may have been part of a bigger network.
While ISIS referred to Abedi in a statement as a “caliphate soldier” that “managed to place a number of devices among a gathering of crusaders in Manchester, and detonated them,” the group’s involvement in the attack is still unconfirmed.
May said he was born and raised in England. The BBC and Politico report that Abedi, born in 1994, was of Libyan ethnicity. Politico went on to report that one of those arrested at this point in the investigation was Abedi’s brother. His parents emigrated to London from Libya before moving to the Fallowfield area of south Manchester, where they have remained for over 10 years.
On Wednesday, Abedi’s father denied that his son was linked to ISIS or the Manchester Arena attack in any way.
Ramadan Abedi says he spoke to his 22-year-old son, Salman Abedi, five days ago and he was getting ready to visit Saudi Arabia and sounded “normal.”
He said that his son visited Libya a month-and-a -half ago.
The elder Abedi told The Associated Press by telephone from Tripoli: “We don’t believe in killing innocents. This is not us.”
He said his other son, Ismail, was arrested in England on Tuesday morning.
He said Salman was planning to head from Saudi Arabia to Libya to spend the holy month of Ramadan with family.
Earlier, nearly two dozen heavily-armed officers surrounded a residence listed as Abedi’s address, using a controlled explosion to enter the home.
Alan Kinsey, 52, who lives across the street, told the Associated Press police did not bring anyone out of the house after the raid. Later, forensic officers in white coveralls went in and out of the property.
In Chorlton, police arrested a 23-year-old man in a supermarket then searched an apartment in a nearby area.
— With files from the Associated Press