The missed opportunities to catch Abedi were beginning to mount up last night. The Telegraph has spoken to a community leader who said that Abedi was reported two years ago “because he thought he was involved in extremism and terrorism”.
UK Muslims Reported Abedi
According to the Telegraph, members of Manchester’s Muslim community reported the suicide bomber Salman Abedi on multiple occasions to British authorities after he voiced support for suicide bombing and Islamic extremism. Excerpt:
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said: “People in the community expressed concerns about the way this man was behaving and reported it in the right way using the right channels.
“They did not hear anything since.”
Two friends of Abedi also became so worried they separately telephoned the police counter-terrorism hotline five years ago and again last year.
“They had been worried that ‘he was supporting terrorism’ and had expressed the view that ‘being a suicide bomber was ok’,” a source told the BBC.
Akram Ramadan, 49, part of the close-knit Libyan community in south Manchester, said Abedi had been banned from Didsbury Mosque after he had confronted the Imam who was delivering an anti-extremist sermon.
Read the whole thing. The report says that members of Abedi’s own family contacted authorities, saying that he was “dangerous.” But nothing happened.
What else would you have had these Muslims do? Sounds like they did exactly what they were supposed to do. It is not their fault that the authorities did not act on their tips.
UPDATE: Sam M. comments:
Fair question, but similarly… what more would you have authorities do? If he had not acted out… what do you do? I mentioned this in a previous thread. You’d have to deport people for the offense of traveling to the Middle East. Or jail them for visiting radical websites.
You OK with that? Do we have to be?
That’s a fair point. Did this bomber do a single illegal thing prior to his act of terror? On what legal grounds could the authorities have detained him?