Father of Manchester bomber says his son was not a member of ISIS

A memorial for the Manchester Arena bombing victims.
(Image credit: Chris J. Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images)

The father of Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old man believed to have been behind the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert Monday night in Manchester, said he last spoke to his son about five days ago and "everything was normal."

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which left 22 people dead and dozens injured, but Ramadan Abedi told Reuters his son "doesn't belong to any organization. The family is a bit confused because Salman doesn't have this ideology, he doesn't hold these beliefs." Ramadan Abedi said Salman told his family he was planning on going to Mecca on a pilgrimage, and he looked at his son's passports and "he didn't travel to Syria."

Ramadan Abedi's son Hashem was detained Tuesday in Tripoli on suspicion of having links to ISIS, Libyan authorities said, and while Reuters was interviewing Ramadan, counterterrorism forces stormed his home in the Tripoli suburb of Ayn Zara and arrested him. Before the interview's abrupt ending, Ramadan Abedi told Reuters he thinks there are "hidden hands" behind the Manchester attack, and "we condemn these terrorist acts on civilians, innocent people."

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