The suicide bomber who killed 22 at an Ariana Grande concert last week was likely working alone, law enforcement has concluded. Although ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, it seems unlikely that Salman Abedi was part of a terrorist network in Manchester. Police have made note of a recent trip to Libya just before he purchased bomb-making materials and carried out the attack.
The Guardian reports that police have not completely ruled out the possibility that Abedi had accomplices, but they have released several young men from custody, two of whom are “believed to be Abedi’s cousins.” Eleven more men are still being detained without charges under the Terrorism Act while the investigation continues. Libyan police have arrested Abedi’s father and younger brother in the wake of the attack.
Meanwhile, law enforcement are combing through CCTV footage, as well as Abedi’s electronics and phone records in an effort to piece together Abedi’s movements in the days leading up to the attack, according to the Guardian. Of particular interest is a blue suitcase he was repeatedly seen wheeling in the Wilmslow Road area, a part of Manchester known for its Asian restaurants and curry houses.
Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson told the Guardian that “our inquiries show Abedi himself made most of the purchases of the core components 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.”
Although Abedi was born in Manchester, his parents later moved back to Tripoli, the Guardian notes. Abedi made several trips to Libya in the past several years, in addition to the one directly preceding the attack.
The Manchester police tweeted, “It will be a long investigation and it will take considerable time before we fully understand what has happened.”