The brother of Manchester Arena concert bomber Salman Abedi was allegedly plotting to assassinate the British ambassador to Libya, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
Hashem Abedi, 20, was part of a four-man cell that was planning to murder Peter Millett, the UK envoy to Libya, a source has said.
The British-based source, who is well-connected with Libyan intelligence officials, added that the plotters were also suspected of planning to kill the then United Nations envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, as well as the country’s prime minister, Fayez Al-Sarraj.
Hashem Abedi, 20, was part of a four-man cell that allegedly planned to murder Peter Millett
Hashem and his alleged terror cell – who are all detained by the Libyan counter-terrorism force known as Rada – have admitted during interrogation that there was a plot to kill Mr Millett, the source said.
Shortly after his 22-year-old brother blew himself up at a concert by American singer Ariana Grande in Manchester – killing 22 people and injuring 119 – Hashem fled the family home in Tripoli and hid in a remote farmhouse outside the Libyan capital.
When Hashem was captured, Rada forces allegedly found a suicide vest with him, which investigators believe might have been earmarked for use in the alleged plot to kill Mr Millett.
Peter Millett, the UK envoy to Libya (left) whose life was allegedly under threat by Hashem Abedi, who’s brother was Manchester bomber Salman Abedi (right) who killed 22 people
It is not clear how the cell hoped to kill the ambassador because the UK mission in Libya is based in Tunis, the capital of neighbouring Tunisia, for safety reasons.
Investigators suspect they may have been plotting to target the career diplomat during one of his frequent visits to Tripoli.
‘They found the list with three names on Abedi,’ the source alleged, referring to Millett, Kobler and Al-Sarraj.
Last night, both Greater Manchester Police and the Foreign Office refused to comment. A Whitehall spokesman said: ‘We don’t comment on intelligence and security matters.’
It has previously been reported that Hashem knew that his older brother Salman was going to commit a terrorist attack in the UK. He has admitted helping procure components for the bomb, but said he did not know precisely when his older brother would carry out the attack.
Salman and Hashem Abedi had travelled back to Libya on April 15 this year, after parts of the Manchester suicide bomb had already been bought by them, investigators believe. Salman returned to Manchester a week before the attack on May 22, and is believed to have bought remaining components of the bomb from DIY stores.
In the days after the Manchester attack, police in Britain arrested 23 people, including Salman’s brother Ismail, 23. All of them have been released without any charge.
The brothers’ father Ramadan Abedi, 51, was arrested in Libya by Rada and questioned.
He was a senior member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which is linked to Al Qaeda and banned by Britain.
The father fled the Gaddafi regime in the 1990s, sought asylum in the UK and settled in Manchester. He returned to Libya in 2011 when the Gaddafi regime was toppled. He is still in the war-torn country.
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