The brother of the Manchester Arena bomber has been found guilty of murdering 22 people and injuring hundreds more after plotting the “cruel and cowardly” 2017 attack.
Hashem Abedi was today convicted of 22 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder (encompassing all of those injured), as well as conspiring with his brother Salman Abedi to cause explosions.
Hashem was in Libya when Salman detonated the bomb after an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 2017, but prosecutor Duncan Penny QC had said the 22-year-old, was “just as guilty” for the attack.
The defendant was not present at the conclusion of his seven-week trial, which culminated in a jury deliberation lasting less than five hours.
Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Barraclough also said Hashem was “every bit as responsible”, adding that he may have even been the senior figure in the plan, with intentions for further bloodshed around the world.
The senior investigating officer said: “If you look at these two brothers, they are not kids caught in the headlights of something they don't understand.
“These two men are the real deal, these are proper jihadis - you do not walk into a space like the Manchester Arena and kill yourself with an enormous bomb like that, taking 22 innocent lives with you, if you are not a proper jihadist.
“He was with his brother throughout the entire process of making this explosive and building this bomb, I believe he provided encouragement right up to the end.
“This was all about the sick ideology of Islamic State and this desire for martyrdom.”
The victims of the attack were aged between eight and 51 - some of their families were present at the Old Bailey and wept as the guilty verdict was delivered.
A public inquiry into the bombing is due to begin in June.
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