The terrorist who killed 22 and injured hundreds at an Ariana Grande gig in 2017 was seen making a practice run just a few days earlier, a UK court heard this week.
Surveillance footage caught Salman Abedi going to the Manchester Arena in May 2017 to scope out crowds going to see British boyband Take That, London’s Old Bailey court heard as jurors were shown the footage Monday.
After watching the crowd’s entrance points, Abedi soon bought his bomb-making equipment — setting off his deadly blast at the venue just four days later, the court heard.
The 22 killed included “men, women, teenagers and a child,” and another 63 were ‘seriously injured,” the court heard, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Some 111 were taken to hospital and 237 others were hurt, while around 670 people reported “psychological trauma” — with police saying they identified nearly 1,000 victims, the paper says.
While Abedi, 22, also died in his suicide blast, his younger brother, Hashem Abedi, is being tried for the 22 murders, accused of helping in the terror plot.
Hashem, who is now also 22, bought screws and nails to use as shrapnel and also purchased two of the three “precursor chemicals” used in the bomb, the court heard, according to the Evening News.
“The prosecution case is that this defendant is just as guilty of the murder of the 22 people killed as was his brother,” prosecutor Duncan Penny told the court, according to the report.
“He is equally guilty of the attempted murder of many others and in doing so he was guilty of agreeing with his brother to cause an explosion or explosions of a nature likely to endanger life.”
Hashem “assisted and encouraged” in the plot intended “to kill and maim and to injure as many people as possible,” Penny told the court.
Hashem Abedi was arrested on May 23, 2017, by the Special Deterrence Force in Libya, and was extradited to the UK, the Evening News says.
He denies murder and attempted murder. The trial, expected to last up to eight weeks, is being shown live at courts in Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow so victims and their families can watch.
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