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UK to train Libyan forces in exchange for suspect of Manchester terror attack

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LONDON – Britain’s National Crime Agency has agreed to train Libyan security forces in exchange for the extradition of the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber, British newspaper the Daily Mail reported.

According to the Daily Mail, National Crime Agency officials will head to Libya under a deal signed off last week by British ambassador to Libya, Frank Baker, and Interior Ministry of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

British police believes that Hashem Abedi, 20, conspired with his brother, Salman, 22, to obtain equipment for the suicide bomb which killed 22 and injured 112 others at the Manchester Arena in May 2017.

A Foreign Office spokesman told the Daily Mail there was ‘not likely’ to be a connection between the training offer and extradition. However, the newspaper reported that Libyan sources said plans to extradite Abedi had been deadlocked for 18 months until the NCA deal was signed.

A spokesman for Rada’a, the militia group holding Hashem Abedi, said: “The Attorney-General says we must hand him over. We are no longer against that idea. We do not know when he will leave Libya.”

Last week, Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee heard how MI5 admitted it had ‘moved too slowly’ to establish how dangerous Salman Abedi was and to monitor him in the days leading up to the bombing.

The brothers, who were born in Manchester, had spent time in Libya before the blast, with Salman returning alone. Hashem was arrested at his parents’ home in Tripoli a day after the attack.

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