Despite initial claims by the British government, it is now clear that Salman Abedi, the man responsible for the bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, was not a “lone wolf” but a member of terrorist network living in the United Kingdom under the protection of the government.
The UK has hosted a group of Libyan exiles with links to Al Qaeda in Manchester for decades. The exiles were part of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) opposed to the Gaddafi government.
Among that group was Abedi and his family. Abedi’s father, Ramadan Abedi, was a prominent member of LIFG.
Also, Abd al-Baset Azzouz, who left the UK to run a terrorist network in Libya overseen by Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, was part of the group.
LIFG was listed as a terrorist organization connected to Al Qaeda by the United Nations and banned from the UK under anti-terrorism laws.
In the aftermath of 9/11, LIFG seemingly lost all government support and became somewhat of a liability in the rapprochement between the UK and the Gaddafi-led Libyan government that occurred throughout the 2000s.
But in 2011, the LIFG was back in the UK government’s good graces and LIFG exiles were allowed to go back to Libya to participate in the overthrow of Gaddafi. Some reports even claim the UK government actually encouraged the Libyan exiles to go back and that many of the foreign fighters in the Libyan civil war came from Manchester.
The Manchester bombing has all the hallmarks of blowback from the UK government pushing Islamic terrorists to attack another country. One of the same militants the UK government unleashed on Libya came back as an agent of the Islamic State to attack the country and city that fostered him.
This rather obvious point on the connections between foreign policy and terrorism at home was recently articulated in a speech by British Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, with predictable consequences. Corbyn was immediately smeared as blaming the victims and excusing the terrorism.
Despite the smear campaign, a recent poll showed 66% of voters agree with Corbyn on the issue of foreign policy and terrorism.