'Yet another link between the British state and the Manchester Arena suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was revealed on Tuesday, after it was reported that he was rescued from war-torn Libya by the Royal Navy in 2014.
The rescue was another example of the links between the British state and Abedi. The connections illustrate the complicated UK-Libyan relationship and how over-extended security services were fatally unable to monitor emerging homegrown terrorist threats.
Missed opportunities and unwise diplomatic wrangling would ultimately contribute to the deaths of 22 people at the Manchester Arena in May last year.
The father and jihadists
Salman's father, Ramadan Abedi, settled in the UK after fleeing Libya where he was a prominent member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). The militant Islamist group found itself an unusual bedfellow for the British state, as both shared an enemy in the form of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. At this point, the UK had severed diplomatic relations with him over his role in the Lockerbie bombing.
In 2002, whistleblower and former MI6 agent David Shayler accused the British intelligence services of sponsoring the LIFG to assassinate Gaddafi. The LIFG were allegedly given $160,000 for a failed assassination attempt in February 1996, a claim the UK government has denied.
Many LIFG members, seeking sanctuary from Gaddafi, were given refuge by Britain with a significant number settling in Manchester, where Salman was born.
Welcome back, Muammar
As Britain, under the guidance of Tony Blair, sought rapprochement with Gaddafi, ostensibly in order to garner his assistance in the 'War on Terror,' the LIFG found themselves shunned by the country that had once welcomed them.
In 2004, their leader Abdel Hakim Belhaj was, with the assistance of MI6, 'rendered' to Tripoli where Gaddafi's forces tortured him. The following year, the UK put the group to which it had once provided refuge on its list of terrorist organizations, its usefulness apparently at an end.'
Read more: Spies and terrorists – how deep are links between British state and Manchester bomber?
Flashback Davidicke.com 29th May 2018: The Manchester Bomber Was Enabled by the British Government
'The military intervention succeeded and by the end of the year Gaddafi was dead. Real power in Libya passed to Islamist militias, including those with which the Abedi family were already associated. Pictures show Salman’s brothers posing with guns in their hands. Libya was plunged into an endless civil war and Benghazi, whose people Cameron and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy were so keen to save, is today a sea of ruins. Inevitably, Isis took advantage of the anarchy in Libya to spread its murderous influence.
This is the Libyan reality which was created by Cameron and Sarkozy, with sceptical support from Barack Obama, the then US president, who famously referred to the Libyan debacle as a “shit show”.
Libya became a place where the Abedi family, returning from their long exile in Manchester, were able put their militant Islamist beliefs into practice. They absorbed the toxic variant of Islam espoused by the al-Qaeda clones, taking advantage of their military experience honed in the Iraq war, such as how to construct a bomb studded with pieces of metal designed to tear holes in human flesh. The bomb materials were easily available in countries like Britain.
Salman Abedi was responsible for what he did, but he could not have killed 22 people and maimed another 139 others, half of them children, if the British government had not acted as it did in Libya in 2011. And its responsibility goes well beyond its disastrous policy of joining the Libyan civil war, overthrowing Gaddafi and replacing him with warring tribes and militias.'
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