“The revelation that the British government likely had contacts with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and the 17 February Martyrs Brigade during the 2011 war in Libya – groups for which the 2017 Manchester bomber and his father reportedly fought at that time – raises fundamental questions about the UK’s links to terrorism. Indeed, a strong case can be made for a devastating conclusion: that the UK is itself a de facto part of the terrorist infrastructure that poses a threat to the British public.”
Mark Curtis — Historian and analyst of UK foreign policy
“The Libyan Fighting Group (…) has been recruiting Libyan and Muslim youth in the UK and Europe and sending them to Libya and other countries to deliver terrorism and death. The previous British government has been pressuring in every way possible the prevalence of these groups and their control of Libya.”
General Khalifa Haftar –Tobruk-led Libyan Government
Astonishingly, despite suspicions that he was a high-level al-Qaeda operative, al-Liby was given political asylum in Britain and lived in Manchester until May of 2000 when he eluded a police raid on his house and fled abroad. The raid discovered a 180-page al-Qaeda ‘manual for jihad’ containing instructions for terrorist attacks.”
The Guardian (November 2002)
“To the civilians suffering the blowback of covert operations, the effect typically manifests itself as “random” acts of political violence without a discernible, direct cause; because the public—in whose name the intelligence agency acted—are unaware of the effected secret attacks that provoked revenge (counter-attack) against them.”
Chalmers Johnson — The Nation (September 2001)
Is Ramadan Abedi — the father of Salman Abedi aka the Manchester Arena bomber — a MI6 asset? Specifically, is he the Libyan person known to MI6 as ‘Tunworth’ to whom they once paid large amounts of money to assassinate Gaddafi in 1996? Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
RELATED POST: LIBYA: What is going on?
In 1996, MI6 paid one of their assets — codename “Tunworth” — close to £100,000 to assassinate Gaddafi. Despite several D-notices, these facts became public following the revelations of MI5 whistleblower David Shayler. The story is also known as the PT16b Affair.
(NOTE: It did not escape my attention that the key — and highly controversial — piece of evidence against Libya in the 1988 Lockerbie Affair is labelled PT35b.)
Although the assassination attempt failed and innocent civilians were killed, the British government gave Abedi, his family and other members of the LIFG — which was allied to Al Qaeda at the time — asylum in the UK.
On June 22 2017, former MI5 David Shayler said — on the Ritchie Allen radio show — that he is 90% sure that Ramadan Abedi is “Tunworth”. And Shayler may indeed very well be right.
Flashback — Ramadan Abedi –the father of Salman Abedi aka the Manchester Arena Bomber — was a founding member of the Libyan Islamic fighting group (LIFG), also known as Muqtalla group.
In the mid-90s, the LIFG — a terrorist organization affiliated with al-Qaeda — was fighting Gaddafi in the Eastern side of Libya.
Ramadan Abedi, like Anas al-Libi (another founding member of LIFG and a close aide to Bin Laden), is believed to have secured residency in the UK because of his opposition to Gaddafi’s regime.
In March 1998, Libya issued the first Interpol arrest warrant for Bin Laden in connection with the murder in March 1994 of two German anti-terrorism agents, Silvan and Vera Becker.
The US and the UK dismissed the importance of the Interpol warrant. According to journalist Guillaume Dasquié and Jean-Charles Brisard — an adviser to French President Jacques Chirac — the British and US intelligence agencies played down the threat because the arrest warrant had come from Libya.
Five months after the warrant was issued, al-Qaeda killed more than 200 people in the truck bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The resistance of MI6 and the CIA to the Libyan concerns regarding Bin Laden and al Qaeda is probably best explained by MI6’s involvement with the 1996 LIFG/al-Qaeda coup plot against Gaddafi.
In January 2016, Belhaj Abdel-Hakim surprisingly won the right to sue Jack Straw, the former home secretary, over MI6 involvement in his and his pregnant wife’s rendition to Libya in 2004.
In May 2018, Theresa May issued an unprecedented apology for Britain’s role in the “appalling” treatment of a Libyan dissident and his wife, who were victims of a MI6 rendition operation.
In her letter, which was handed to Belhaj in person by the British ambassador in Istanbul, May said:
“It is clear that you were both subjected to appalling treatment and that you suffered greatly, not least the affront to the dignity of Mrs Boudchar who was pregnant at the time.
“The UK government believes your accounts. Neither of you should have been treated in this way. The UK government’s actions contributed to your detention, rendition and suffering.
“… On behalf of Her Majesty’s government I apologise unreservedly. We are profoundly sorry for the ordeal that you both suffered and our role in it. The UK government has learned many lessons from this period.”
I may become a bit cynical in my old age, but I am not buying the official story of Theresa May’s unprecedented apology and generous £500,000 compensation.
Could it be that this apology was the price to pay for securing Belhaj’s silence over the role that the MI6 collaboration with the LIFG played in the Manchester bombing?
After all, this kind of thing do happen once in a while. The CIA even coined a word to describe such unintended consequence of a covert operation. They call it a ‘blowback’.
1965 — Ramadan Abedi is born in Tripoli, Libya
Early 90s — Abedi fled the country where he was working as an officer in Muammar Gaddafi’s internal security service
1992 — Ramadan Abedi and his wife, Samia, arrived in Manchester. Ramadan Abedi was given a job at the mosque — Manchester Islamic centre also known as the Didsbury mosque — as a muezzin, to call out prayer five times a day.
1994 — Salman Abedi is born on New Year’s Eve
1995 — Anas al-Libi — a close aide of Osama bin Laden — settles in Manchester and lives in a flat in Didsbury. He is an ally and close friend of Ramadan Abedi. Their wives had been friends since their college days in Tripoli
1995 — The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group is founded to pursue the violent overthrow of Gaddafi
1996 — MI6 paid large sums of money to LIFG (an al-Qaeda cell in Libya) in a doomed attempt to assassinate Colonel Gadaffi
1998 March — Libya issues the first Interpol arrest warrant for bin Laden in connection with the murder in March 1994 of two German anti-terrorism agents, Silvan and Vera Becker, who were in charge of missions in Africa.
1998 — MI6 thwarted early attempts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice
2004 — The US state department designates LIFG a foreign terrorist organisation. It says that elements of LIFG are aligned with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida
2004 — The United Kingdom launched a crackdown on the group after Tony Blair and Gaddafi struck the controversial “deal in the desert”. The deal led to the rendition of several of the group’s leaders to Libya.
2004 — Abdel-Hakim Belhaj and his wife are seized in Thailand before being hooded, shackled and flown to one of Gaddafi’s prisons, where Belhaj was tortured and sentenced to death. He was released six years later. Boudchar was four and a half months pregnant when she was abducted. She was released shortly before giving birth.
2008 — Ramadan Abedi returned to Libya after a reconciliation deal with the Gadaffi government
2011 — Ramadan Abedi fights against the Gaddafi regime during the Libyan revolution with the Libyan Islamic fighting group (LIFG).
2011 — Abedi is joined by other members of his family after the Gaddafi is overthrown
October 2013 — al-Libi is captured by US commandos in Tripoli. He was one of the FBI Most Wanted. Within hours of his arrest, Ramadan Abedi posted an image of al-Libi on his Facebook page with the words: “The Prophet knows how many have a picture of this lion in their (Facebook) profiles. The weak are forbidden to share it.”
2017 April — Hashem Abedi travelled from the UK to Libya with his brother Salman. Hashem did not return.
2017 May 22 — Manchester Arena – The bombing killed 22 and injured up to 800.
2017 May — Hashem Abedi is arrested in Libya shortly after the attack. A year on he remains in the custody of a militia group in Tripoli.
2018 January — Mr Belhaj wins the right to sue Jack Straw, the former home secretary, over MI6 involvement in his and his pregnant wife’s rendition to Libya in 2004.
2018 May — Theresa May issues an unprecedented apology for Britain’s role in the “appalling” treatment of Belhaj and his wife –
Father of Manchester Bomber: “I didn’t expect that to happen”
Published on May 25, 2017 — Ramadan Abedi, the father of Salman who is accused of killing 22 concert-goers at Manchester Arena, told Reuters in Libya that ‘everything was normal’ when he last spoke to his son.Ramadan was detained by Tripoli counter-terrorism force during the interview.
MI6 ‘halted bid to arrest bin Laden’ — The Guardian
UK — Is the Father of the Manchester Bomber a MI6 Asset?