Manchester bomber met with operates of ISIS unit in Libya: report
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The bomber responsible for last week's terrorist attack in Manchester, England, that killed 22 and injured more than 100 had met with an Islamic State unit in Libya, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The attacker, 22-year-old Salman Abedi, reportedly met with members of the Katibat al-Battar al-Libi, during trips to Tripoli and Sabratha, Libya. The Islamic State unit is linked to the November 2015 terrorist attack in Paris that left 130 victims dead and hundreds more wounded.

Abedi, who was born in Britain, also remained in touch with the Battar group when he was in the United Kingdom, sometimes communicating with operatives via disposable phones. Other communications were sent to Abedi through an intermediary living in either Germany or Belgium, according to the Times.


That Abedi was in contact with the terrorist cell brings up the possibility that Islamic State operatives in Libya have now twice directed attacks in Europe.

The Battar group was previously based in Syria, but was disbanded in 2014 after Islamic State leaders announced that they would establish a caliphate and did not want contingents based on nationality or ethnicity, the Times reported.

After that, some Battar members fled to Libya, even as the group attracted a number of Europeans.

The May 22 attack at the Manchester Arena was the deadliest terrorist attack in the United Kingdom since the 2005 London train bombings, which claimed the lives of 52 victims and injured hundreds.