LONDON — The father and younger brother of alleged Manchester bomber Salman Abedi have both been separately detained in Libya, according to reports.
Bloomberg reports late on Wednesday afternoon that Salman’s father Ramadan Abedi was detained by “unknown security personnel” in the Libyan capital Tripoli, citing eyewitnesses.
That follows an earlier report from Reuters that Hashem Abedi, Salman’s younger brother was arrested by counter-terrorism forces on suspicion of Islamic State links.
News of both arrests comes just hours after Ramadan Abedi denied to the Associated Press that his son is linked to the attack which killed 22 people on Monday.
In an interview with AP from Tripoli, Ramadan Abedi said that he spoke to his 22-year old son five days ago who sounded “normal.”
He said: “We don’t believe in killing innocents. This is not us.”
He said that his son had visited Libya a month-and-a-half ago and was planning to visit Saudi Arabia.
The father also confirmed to AP that his other son, Ismail, had been arrested.
The 23-year-old Ismail was reportedly arrested in Chorlton, south Manchester in connection with the attack on Tuesday. Today, three other men have been arrested and a block of flats on Granby Row, central Manchester has been raided by armed police. A hunt is underway for the person who made the bomb, police have confirmed.
AP also reports that Ramadan Abedi himself has reported links to terror-related groups. Former Libyan official Abdel-Basit Haroun told the news agency on Wednesday that the elder Abedi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting group in the 1990s, which had links to al-Qaeda.
The former official said that he belongs to the Salafi Jihadi movement, an extreme sect of Islam from which al-Qaeda and the Islamic State hail.
Greater Manchester Police continued to raid buildings across the city on Wednesday as they close in on the terrorist network of Abedi.
“I think it’s very clear that it’s a network that we are dealing with,” Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said on Wednesday afternoon.
Abedi killed 22 and injured at least 64 when he detonated an improvised bomb in the foyer of Manchester Arena in central Manchester on Monday night, where pop star Ariana Grande was performing.
The 22-year-old suicide bomber was radicalised during trips to Syria and was known to British intelligence services, it has emerged.
Police confirmed in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that a total of four people remain in custody in relation to the attack.
More from Thomas Colson:
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