THE brother of the Manchester Arena bomber has been convicted of murdering 22 people and injuring hundreds more in the ‘cruel and cowardly’ attack.
Prosecutors had said Hashem Abedi, 22, was ‘just as guilty’ as his jihadi brother Salman — who carried out the suicide blast at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017.
Hashem, who was extradited from Libya after the attack, was not present at the conclusion of his seven-week trial at the Old Bailey. Relatives of some victims wept at the verdicts.
Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC had told jurors Hashem was ‘at times chauffeur, at times quartermaster, at times electrical technician’ in the bomb plot.
He helped his brother buy nuts and screws for shrapnel and order chemicals from Amazon to make the homemade explosives, with unwitting help from friends and relatives.
Jurors were shown chilling footage of Salman travelling to the foyer of the arena, before detonating his bomb as crowds left. The youngest victim was Saffie-Rose Roussos, aged eight.
Det Ch Supt Simon Barraclough said Hashem was ‘just as responsible’ as his older brother.
‘If you look at these two brothers, they are not kids caught in the headlights of something they don’t understand,’ he added. ‘These two men are the real deal, these are proper jihadis.’
The judge, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, said Abedi would be sentenced later.
A public inquiry into the bombing is due to begin in June.