Former Liverpool student may have played part in radicalising Manchester Arena attacker
Scousers turned out for a vigil in Williamson Square last night
Police are currently looking into the possible link between Manchester attacker Salman Abedi, who attended the University of Salford and Raphael Hostey, a former LJMU student who recruited hundreds of British citizens to Syria with the aim of growing ISIS numbers.
The Echo has reported that Abedi may have been radicalised by Hostey, who is believed to have travelled to Syria more than four years ago. A judge overseeing a recent terror trial named Hostey as being an “inspiration figure” for other jihadis. Hostey is thought to have been killed last year, aged 24, in a drone strike in Syria.
Abedi carried out the suicide attack at the Manchester Arena that killed 22 people, including children, on Monday at around 10:33pm, as concert goers were leaving an Ariana Grande concert. Police have since arrested a 23 year old man in connection to the attack, as well as carrying out a raid in Fallowfield in Manchester, a popular student area.
Liverpool University send out an email today in regards to the attack saying that “The University’s thoughts are with everyone involved in the incident that took place in Manchester on Monday.” They advised anyone involved or who knows anyone who was, to make use of the uni’s Student Services, including counselling.
A vigil was held in Liverpool city centre last night, in solidarity with the city’s so-called ‘Sister City’. People gathered in memory of the 22 victims of the attack, and the 59 injured. A large number of people paid their respects at the vigil, lighting candles and laying flowers. City MP Louise Ellman and City Region Mayor Steve Rotherham, made speeches.
A homemade banner was also raised yesterday on the steps of St George’s Hall, which read “Liverpool Supports Manchester”.
Theresa May stated yesterday that it is highly possible that a wider group of individuals were linked to the attack. The UK government raised the terrorism threat level to “critical” – the highest possible rating – this morning amid fears another attack is imminent. Troops have been deployed in London to guard vunerable buildings, and to free up police resources.