Brother of Manchester Arena suicide bomber jailed for at least 55 years

Hashem Abedi, who was jailed for a minimum of 55 years for the murders of 22 people in the Manchester Arena bombing. COURTESY: Greater Manchester Police via BBC

Hashem Abedi, the younger brother of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was on Thursday sentenced to a minimum of 55 years in prison for killing 22 people.

Salman Abedi blew himself up at the Manchester Arena in May 2017 at the end of an Ariana Grande concert killing 22 people and injuring dozens of others. Hashem, who was arrested in Libya the day after the bombing, aided his brother in planning the attack.

Abedi was not present in the courtroom at London’s Central Criminal Court after he declined to leave his cell.

Justice Jeremy Baker said Abedi would have received a full life sentence with no minimum term if he had been 21 years old or over at the time of the offence.

Baker, who added that Abedi may never be released, noted that the offences committed were large in scale, deadly in intent and appalling in their consequences.

“The despair and desolation of the bereaved families has been palpable,” Baker said.

Baker said Abedi’s crime was “a matter distinct to and abhorrent to the vast majority for those who follow the Islamic faith.”

Abedi was found guilty in March, however, disruptions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic forced the judge to postpone the sentencing. He said that he wanted to give the families an opportunity to be present at the hearing and offer them time to prepare their statements.

The incident is regarded as one of the deadliest terror attacks in British history.