Salman Abedi claimed 22 lives when he detonated a bomb at Manchester Arena in 2017. But he didn’t act alone.
His brother Hashem, who lived in Fallowfield, helped him plan the attack and assemble the explosive.
Yesterday the 23-year-old was locked up for his role in the mass murder at the Ariana Grande concert.
Abedi, who refused to leave his cell for sentencing at the Old Bailey, was given a minimum of 55 years – with the court previously hearing he was “just as guilty” as his sibling.
He may never be released.
The city of Manchester, shaken to the core by that horrific night more than three years ago, has now responded to the verdict.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, called the attack an act of “pure evil”.
“We said at the time that we would do whatever we could to ensure those responsible were brought to justice and it is a relief that it has finally happened,” the Mayor commented.
“Today we think first of the families who lost loved-ones and everyone whose lives were changed forever by this appalling crime.”
He added: “This attack on our city and everything it represents caused untold misery. But ultimately it failed. It was meant to divide us but it only brought us closer together. And now one of those responsible is behind bars.”
Manchester City Council leader, Sir Richard Leese, also spoke out following Abedi’s sentencing.
He said that “no sentence can ever truly reflect the magnitude of the crime, but I hope that Hasehm Abedi being locked up for life will provide some measure of comfort for those who lost loved ones and everyone else affected.”
Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins, said the sentence will “not bring closure” for families of the victims, but “it may ease the pain” to know that Abedi will spent the a large part of his life in his prison cell.
The police chief also commended the support from the British Government and CPS for their work in extraditing Abedi from Libya, where he was at the time of the attacks, to face trial and prosecution.
Fans of the space queued down the street for its final few days in Bethnal Green, before its eventual closure on Wednesday 1 February.
Their statement said: “Sad news. We’ve received notice to vacate our premises at Bethnal Green by the end of this week. As a property guardianship, we’ve always been aware that we may be asked to leave with very short notice. We’re disappointed that it has come so soon.
“@Enter_theVenue the creative hub with whom we share our space, have also been asked to leave. The Vagina Museum will continue to operate in the digital world as we search for a new home.”
The message continued: “We’re sad about this development, but incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in the ten months we’ve been at our Bethnal Green premises. We’ve welcomed more than 40,000 visitors through our doors, and received so much love and positive feedback.
“In our time at Bethnal Green, we’ve once again demonstrated just how much the world needs and wants a Vagina Museum.
“Times are, once again, uncertain for us, but we’ve been through this before and risen stronger than ever. With a community like you supporting us, we know we can get through this too.
“We’re actively searching for a new home, and if you know of any vacant spaces (or have one yourself!) please don’t hesitate to reach out. In our home in Bethnal Green, we and ENTER demonstrated that we can transform an empty, unused building into a thriving heart of a community.
“If you don’t have a building, you can still help! Please consider making a donation; a donation of any size makes a huge difference and will help us to weather this storm, just as we’ve weathered storms before.”
The Vagina Museum concluded its thread with: “We’ve made it through a pandemic and a period of temporary homelessness before. With you, together, we can make it through this too.”
Gary Neville addresses ‘clumsy like’ on Tweet about Mason Greenwood ￼
Gary Neville has said that his liking of a tweet about Mason Greenwood has been ‘misinterpreted’.
The former Manchester United legend and football pundit set off a Twitter storm last night after he ‘liked’ two tweets by Nazir Afzal, and briefly retweeted one.
The tweets in question said that Greenwood was an ‘innocent man’ and added that ‘you are innocent until PROVEN guilty’.
Mason Greenwood had all criminal charges against him dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
He had faced allegations of rape, controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault, all against the same woman.
The CPS said that Greenwood case had been stopped because of ‘the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light’, adding that there was no longer a ‘realistic prospect of conviction’.
Several people noticed that Neville had liked a tweet about Greenwood’s ‘innocence’ and quickly challenged him on it.
One person shared a screenshot and wrote: “You have a massive platform and you’re liking bulls**t like this just because the monster plays for a team you support. you’re disgusting @GNev2.”
He posted: “I liked a tweet relating to the Mason Greenwood news this afternoon from Nazir Afzal. ( the former director of public prosecutions ).
“This like is being misinterpreted. It was a clumsy like as I obviously condemn any violence against women.”
Greenwood issued a short statement yesterday, writing: “I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.”
Featured image: Instagram, @garyneville2 / publicity picture