55 Years Sentence for Manchester Arena Bomb Plotter Hashem Abedi

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On Thursday, Hashem Abedi was sentenced to a minimum of 55 years in jail for the murder of 22 people in the Manchester Arena bombing.

Manchester-born Abedi, 23 years old, was accused of showing “contempt” to the families of those he and his suicide-bomber brother, Salman Abedi, killed more than three years earlier by not coming into the dock.

“Although Salman Abedi was directly responsible, it was clear the defendant took an integral part in the planning,” Judge Justice Jeremy Baker said in the courtroom. Judge Baker handed him 24 life sentences for organising the Manchester Arena bomb plot, adding he “may never be released.”

It was Abedi’s older brother, 22-year-old Salman, who detonated his suicide vest on May 22, 2017, killing men, women, and children aged between 8 and 51.

“The motivation for them was to advance the ideology of Islamism, a matter distinct to and abhorrent to the vast majority of those following the Islamic faith,” the Judge clarified. “The defendant and his brother were equally culpable for the deaths and injuries caused,” he added.

He said: “The stark reality is that these were atrocious crimes, large in their scale, deadly in their intent, and appalling in their consequences.”

The judge praised the “tremendous dignity and courage” demonstrated by the families of the victims who attended court. He indicated that the 1,024 days Abedi spent remanded in custody will count towards the overall sentence.

The Abedi brothers joined their parents in Libya the month before the terror attack. However, Salman returned to the UK on May 18, as he bought the components needed for the bomb, rented a flat in the city center in which to build it, and carried out reconnaissance on the arena before finally executing the blast.

“Those who were taken from us will never be forgotten, nor will the spirit of the people of Manchester who came together to send a clear message to the entire world that terrorists will never prevail,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement. He described the attack as a “horrifying and cowardly act of violence.”