Libya remains an ungoverned space on Europe’s doorstep because of choices made, primarily, by British and French political leadersby Arthur Snell / May 26, 2017 / Leave a comment
As soon as the identity of the suicide bomber that murdered 22 concert goers in Manchester on Monday night was released, people began trying to understand the significance of Salman Abedi’s connections to Libya.
Although Manchester born and bred, members of Abedi’s family, including his father and brother, are based in Libya, their country of origin. Abedi was known to have travelled to and from Libya regularly, including returning from there, via Turkey, only days before the attack.
Much about Abedi fits the classic profile of the modern urban terrorist: a young male born in Europe of immigrant parents, he had dropped out of educational institutions and flirted with gang culture.
But there are significant differences: his attack employed a sophisticated and devastating bomb that would likely have been made by a trained expert. The target selection was cynically and horrifically made to cause maximum impact and damage.
As has now been made clear, this was the work of a terrorist network, some of whom may still be at large, rather than a low-tech, poorly planned “lone wolf” expedition, such as the Westminster Bridge attack of 22 March.
But the biggest novelty is the Libya connection: this is the first major terror attack carried out in Europe by someone based in, or in regular contact with,…