Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Manchester Attacker was Part of a Jihadist Network.

As regards the Manchester Attack, the police are already putting out disclaimers that Abedi was part of a wider network and 'largely acted alone'. CCTV footage and 'his last moments' are being shown on the media as if to suggest this was a simple criminal incident in which, perhaps, vigilance could have prevented the attack

This simply does not tally with the facts as they came out at the time which made plain Abedi was 'a mule' and that the bomb making skills would have had to have come from a wider experienced network. It would appear as though the media is being groomed to change the narrative so as to refocus perceptions unwelcome to the government.

Abedi's actions and movements may have been 'carried out alone' but this looks like a cover up for security service failures with his belonging to a wider network already being somewhat downplayed. However, the facts are clear that he was part of a wider network stretching from South Manchester into Libya.

The reason for downplaying the reality could be the desire not to gibe Islamic State a propaganda coup. Another reason is clearly that the Manchester Attack was blowback from British military interventionism, not in the sense the reaction was 'deserved' in retaliation but for the obvious reason the intervention empowered jihadist militias.

The British military intervention did that partly though creating ungoverned spaces that IS could exploit in 2014. Yet even more controversially, Abedi came from a family involved in jihadi activity. His father Ramadan Abedi was a prominent member of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group, one backed as rebel militia in 2011 against the Gaddafi

This was despite the fact the LIFG was affiliated with Al Qaeda. As analysts have made plain, the creation of a failed state in Libya enabled these armed jihadists to create a common pool from which both Al Qaeda and Islamic State could draw on. Salman Abedi would not have needed much 'radicalisation'. He was cherry picked by IS.

Ironically, the fact the Manchester attack coincided with the British elections, or was timed to by IS, means that the ongoing campaign means the focus simply is not going to be on these jihadist links as much as they might otherwise have been. The sorts of searching questions that need to have been asked are therefore being ignored.

 As Jason Pack claims in an article for Al-Monitor,

 'Abedi’s radicalization and his execution of the attack was likely facilitated by others in his community, and in Libya, even if he did not completely confide his intentions to his companions.

The southern Manchester area where he resided has produced known IS operatives and recruiters, some of whom lived less than a mile from the Abedi brothers — attending the same local Didsbury Mosque, where Abedi’s father used to occasionally lead prayers.

In particular, security sources are investigating Abedi’s relationship with two IS recruiters, Amir Khalil Raoufi and Raphael Hostay, both killed in Syria in the past three years and hailing from the same neighborhood.

Since the arena bombing, another male from the neighborhood has been arrested. German intelligence revealed that Abedi passed through known hot spots of extremism, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt, twice since 2014 and may have traveled to Syria, where it is alleged that he received paramilitary training.

Proof of Abedi’s ties to an international IS network entrenched within Libya and the UK and with a history of connections to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan demonstrate that IS emerged from the seeds planted by previous waves of jihadi movements.

IS is not a new phenomenon; it merely reconnects existing jihadi networks in a new way. This is crucial to remember as despite recent military setbacks for IS in the Levant and in the Libyan city of Sirte, the movement is able to fall back upon its base — pre-existing jihadi networks'

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