Lawsuit Filed Over Bombing at Ariana Grande Concert

Lawsuit Filed Over Bombing at Ariana Grande Concert

( – Survivors of a 2017 bombing in Manchester, England, have filed a lawsuit against the UK’s intelligence services, arguing that the bombing could have been prevented. Lawyers representing 250 family members confirmed they had submitted a group claim to the country’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), saying Britain’s premier intelligence agency, MI5, failed to act on crucial information and missed an opportunity to prevent the attack that killed 22 and injured more than 100.

Last March, an official inquiry found that MI5 did not pass on details about bomber Salman Abedi to police, which could have raised red flags when he flew into Manchester from Libya just days before the attack. Sir John Saunders, who led the inquiry, said he could not determine “on the balance of probabilities” whether the information could have prevented the atrocity.

Furthermore, the report concluded that leaders of Abedi’s mosque were wilfully blind and failed to address the “toxic political environment” at the facility. It stopped short, however, of blaming the mosque for radicalizing Abedi.

MI5 Director General Ken McCallum issued an apology last year for his organization’s failure to prevent the attack. He said intelligence gathering is complex, but if MI5 had “seize[d]” the opportunity, it could conceivably have saved innocent lives.

The attack took place on May 22, 2017, during a concert by Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena. Abedi entered the arena with a 30 kg nail bomb, which detonated just after 10.30 pm, killing himself and 22 others.

Later investigations found that Abedi had been rescued from his native Libya by the Royal Navy and transported to safety in Britain. The controversial Didsbury Mosque, where Abedi prayed, was condemned by family members for failing to tackle extremism.

A year after the incident, the BBC obtained a covert recording from inside the mosque in which Imam Mustafa Graf appeared to call for armed jihad. The recording was made six months before the concert attack.

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