Manchester attack: Bomber may have stored components in car

Police release images of Salmen Abedi’s white Nissan micra in appeal for information

White old style Nissan Micra  seized by Greater Manchester Police  and a holdall which police are appealing for anyone who regonises the holdall to come forward. Photograph: EPA/Handout

White old style Nissan Micra seized by Greater Manchester Police and a holdall which police are appealing for anyone who regonises the holdall to come forward. Photograph: EPA/Handout

 

British police have released images of a car in which the Manchester Arena bomber, Salman Abedi, may have stored his bomb-making components.

The white Nissan Micra was seized in an armed swoop last week. Counter-terrorism police have established that Abedi bought the vehicle on April 13th, two days before flying to Libya.

Just over a month later, having returned to the UK, he made repeated trips to the car. Police believe he was taking items from the car to assemble the device that would go on to kill 22 people and injure hundreds of others.

Officers began guarding the car outside a block of flats in Rusholme, Manchester, at about 7am on Friday last week. A cordon was established and hundreds of residents and workers were evacuated from their homes and businesses.

It was taken away 13 hours later in a large van after intensive examination by forensic and bomb disposal officers.

Police are appealing for information about the vehicle’s movements in the days and hours before the bombing on May 22nd. Police also released photographs of a red and black holdall found inside the car.

DCS Russ Jackson, the head of the north-west counter-terrorism unit, said: “Forensic examination has uncovered significant evidence inside. We need to know who was in the car and where the car went. You may have seen the car and not realised at the time, but it could have stopped at a newsagents or a supermarket - did you see the car and its occupants during these dates?”

He added: “We know Abedi bought some of the parts of the device after landing back in the UK and although his final acts on the night seem to have been alone, this doesn’t mean that he did not have support in planning this attack and it is vital that we exhaust all our lines of enquiry to establish how this was planned and understand how others might have been involved.”

On Tuesday morning Abedi’s older brother, Ismail, was released without charge after being held by police for two weeks.

Nine men remain in custody for questioning in connection with the attack and nine people have been released without charge. Suspects held under the Terrorism Act can be held without charge for up to 14 days.

Abedi’s father, Ramadan, and brother Hashim were arrested in Tripoli, Libya, on May 24th. Libyan security forces have said Hashim was “aware of all the details” of the attack.

Counter-terrorism police have said they believe Abedi acted largely alone as he assembled the nail bomb.

“Our inquiries show Abedi himself made most of the purchases of the core components and what is becoming apparent is that many of his movements and actions have been carried out alone during the four days from him landing in the country and committing this awful attack,” Jackson said.

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