British police have been granted a warrant for the arrest of the brother of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber for murder and are now trying to bring him back to the UK from Libya, anti-terror police said tonight.
Police were granted an arrest warrant for 20-year-old Hashem Abedi on 22 counts of murder over the May terror attack, which also left over 500 people injured or traumatised.
An extradition request has been handed to the authorities in Libya where Hashem Abedi, brother of the bomber Salman Abedi, is currently in custody.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd agreed to request his extradition from Libya.
An extradition request has on Wednesday been handed to the authorities in Libya where Hashem Abedi, brother of the Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, is currently in custody
Hashem Abedi is understood to be currently held by a militia group in Libya. British Police were granted an arrest warrant for the 20-year-old on 22 counts of murder
Hashem is also suspected of the attempted murder of those left injured as well as conspiracy to cause an explosion.
But the prospects of him ever standing trial in this country for helping his older brother plan the attack depend on sensitive dealings with a Libyan militia which is currently holding him.
Hashem is currently being held in a prison in the capital Tripoli by the Special Deterrence Force (SDF), a unit that tackles terrorism and crime which is aiming to prosecute him there.
While the Government insists an extradition treaty with Libya is in place, there are doubts over whether it will be honoured following the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011 and the country’s current division.
However, in a potentially significant move it has now emerged that a Home Office official responsible for extradition requests met with the acting Libyan Attorney General in Rome last month to discuss judicial cooperation on the case.
Hashem and Salman Abedi ravelled to Libya in April, before Salman returned alone before carrying out the attack on May 22, which left 22 dead and hundreds injured.
Both brothers travelled to Libya in April, before Salman (pictured) returned alone before carrying out the attack on May 22, which left 22 dead and hundreds injured after an Ariana Grande concert
Hashem Abedi is understood to be currently held by a militia group in Libya.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, of Greater Manchester Police and head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit (NWCTU) said: "I can now say that following a review of the evidence by the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service), we have applied for and been granted a warrant for the arrest of Hashem Abedi.
"The arrest warrant relates to the murder of 22 people, the attempted murder of others who were injured and conspiracy to cause an explosion.
"Hashem Abedi is currently detained in Libya and the CPS has now requested that Libyan authorities consider his extradition back to the United Kingdom.
"We are grateful for the Libyan authorities considering this request.
"You will appreciate that we must not do or say anything that might prejudice a fair trial and that this remains an ongoing investigation."
Mr Jackson said the warrant was issued by a judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court in the last fortnight, approved by the Home Secretary and the extradition request handed over to the authorities in Libya today.
Salman (left and right) killed 22 people – seven of them children - and injured or traumatised 512 more when he detonated a home-made device as crowds left an Ariana Grande concert on May 22. Police revealed last night that two of the most seriously injured survivors remain in hospital almost six months on
The Abedi family,