Timeline Shows Manchester Bomber’s Family’s Deep Ties to Libya

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Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people and wounded 116 more when he blew himself up outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday, was born in Britain to a family with deep ties to Libya.

His father, Ramadan, had fled Libya in 1991 after supporting Islamists seeking to overthrow Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, and the family sought asylum in Britain. When the fight to unseat Colonel Qaddafi began in 2011, the father returned to North Africa to help the cause, and his teenage sons would join him there on school holidays.

Almost certainly, the events there helped set Salman Abedi on his path from a quiet boy in a strict Islamic household to a troubled young man to, eventually, a suicide bomber.

Here is a timeline that highlights the family’s connections to both countries.

December 1965: Salman Abedi’s father, Ramadan Belgasem al-Obaidi (or Abedi), is born in Libya.

1991: Ramadan, an employee of Colonel Qaddafi’s security forces, flees Libya for Saudi Arabia after supporting Islamists seeking to overthrow the brutal leader.

1992-93: The family moves to Britain.

1993: Ismail Abedi, Salman’s older brother, is born in London.

1994: Salman is born in Manchester.

1997: Hashem Abedi, Salman’s younger brother, is born in Britain.

2009-11: Salman attends Burnage Academy for Boys.

February 2011: The armed revolt against Colonel Qaddafi starts.

2011: Ramadan travels to Tunisia to participate in the revolution to overthrow Colonel Qaddafi in Libya. His teenage sons join him there during their school holidays.

Oct. 20, 2011: Colonel Qaddafi is killed in Libya.

2011-13: Salman attends Manchester College. While Salman was studying there, at least two of his associates called an antiterrorism hotline to report their worries that he had been radicalized, according to the BBC.

September 2012: Ramadan posts a photo on Facebook of his son Hashem, then 15, holding a machine gun. The caption reads: “Hashem the lion… training.”

2013: Salman’s friend Raphael Hostey, a recruiter for the Islamic State, leaves for Syria. Mr. Hostey is believed to have been killed in a drone strike there in May last year.

2013: Ramadan writes a Facebook post sympathizing with Abu Anas al-Libi, a Qaeda operative seized by American commandos in Tripoli, Libya.

2014: Salman, who had been in Libya, returns to Britain, according to a family friend who spoke to The Wall Street Journal.

Fall 2015: Salman begins a business and management course at Salford University but drops out by the end of the academic year.

April 2016: Ramadan instructs Salman and Hashem to return to Libya.

May 11, 2016: Salman’s friend Abdal Raouf Abdallah, 23, of Manchester, is convicted in Britain of a terrorism-related charge.

May 12, 2016: Abdul Wahab Hafidah — a friend of Salman and a close friend of his younger brother — is run over and then stabbed to death in Manchester, in what the police called a gang-involved killing.

May 2016: Salman opens a bank account that lies dormant until shortly before the Manchester attack, when it is used to pay for hardware supplies that went into the bomb.

April 16, 2017: Hashem travels from Britain to Libya, according to the Special Deterrence Forces, a Libyan militia group.

Late April/Early May 2017: Salman goes on a trip to Libya, where his parents briefly seize his passport.

May 17: Salman leaves Tripoli to return to Britain.

May 19: He is recorded on a closed-circuit television camera buying the backpack used in the Manchester bombing.

May 22: He detonates a bomb at the Manchester Arena, killing 22 people.

May 23: Ismail, Salman’s older brother, is arrested in South Manchester.

May 23: Hashem is detained by the Special Deterrence Force in Tripoli and held at an airport.

May 24: “I don’t believe it was him,” Salman’s father, Ramadan, tells The New York Times by phone, referring to the identification of his son as the bomber. An hour later, Ramadan is detained by the Special Deterrence Force.