The suicide bomber responsible for killing 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert was reportedly rescued by the British Royal Navy from the Libyan civil war three years before the atrocity.
Salman Abedi, his brother and another 100 British citizens were evacuated from the deteriorating situation in Tripoli in 2014 by the HMS Enterprise, Sky News reported Tuesday.
“During the deteriorating security situation in Libya in 2014, Border Force officials were deployed to assist with the evacuation of British nationals and their dependents,” a government spokesman said.
Abedi was being monitored by British security officials when he traveled to Libya, but his case was closed prior to his rescue, according to The Guardian. Officials later determined that it was right for them to close the Abedi case based on the information they had at the time.
About three years later, Abedi would blow himself up at the concert in Manchester leaving nearly two dozen dead and more than 200 others wounded.
“For this man to commit such an atrocity on UK soil after we rescued him from Libya was an act of utter betrayal,” a government source told The Daily Mail.
Abedi was born in Manchester in 1994 to Libyan parents who had previously fled Muammar Qaddafi’s regime. According to Sky News, Abedi would spend a few years in the same housing unit as a group of men who radicalized each other and fought for the Islamic State in the Middle East.
Abedi spent three weeks in Libya prior to the Manchester bombing, returning to England just days before the concert, Fox News reported last year.
Libyan officials also arrested Abedi’s two brothers and father days after the bombing.