UK media are reporting that the late Salman Abedi, accused of carrying out the Monday night Manchester concert suicide bombing attack, had various ties to the local Didsbury Mosque, also known as the Manchester Islamic Center. According to a Guardian report, Salman and his brother Ismail worshipped at the Didsbury mosque, where their father is a well-known figure. A Telegraph report says that Abedi worked at the mosque in 2013. The Guardian report also cited a mosque spokesmen who described the Didsbury Mosque as:
… a moderate place that welcomed Muslims from Arabia, Africa, Asia and Europe. It also had new converts and held an open day once a week for non-Muslims to learn more about the mosque.
- The website of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has identified the mosque imam Mustafa Abdullah Graf as an IUMS member (See Note 1). The IUMS is headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi whose fatwas were instrumental in sanctioning Hamas suicide bombings.
- Libyan-born Salem Sheikhi supervises the Manchester Islamic Center Shariah department and is also known to have been a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), headed by Qaradawi. In April 2008, the GMBDW reported that Sheikhi was a regular feature on a satellite TV program closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
- Moin Shubib was known to have been a trustee of the Manchester Islamic Center (See Note 2). According to a former FBI analyst, Shubib is a known Hamas activist who once attended a US meeting of Hamas leaders in 1993. Shubib has also been a trustee of Human Appeal International and Education Aid For Palestine, two UK charities that were members of the Union Of Good, a worldwide coalition of charities headed Youssef Qaradawi that helps to raise funds for Hamas and that was designated as a terrorist entity by the US in 2008.
In addition, according to local media imam Mustafa Graf returned to Manchester from Libya on 9 October 2011 where he says he was captured twice by armed forces loyal to former dictator Colonel Gaddafi. Mustafa (see Note 3) . The report also suggests that Graf had been involved in political organizing while a student in Libya. However, a video posted on YouTube features an individual identified as “Mostafa Abdallah Graf- anti-Khaddafi figher from Britain” and dressed in military fatigues in command of a military unit preparing a military attack on pro-government forces.The video was dated 26 September 2011.
Note 1 http://iumsonline.org/ar/default.asp?menuID=26&contentID=8353 (no longer available)
Note 2 http://didsburymosque.com/Page.aspx?id=3&type=4 (retrieved July 2014)
Note 3 Manchester Evening News October 28, 2011 Friday “Dreaming of meeting my girl got me through Gaddafi jail hell” BYLINE: Sam Cunningham SECTION: NEWS