MANCHESTER Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi should have been identified as a threat on the night of the attack by those in charge of security, a public inquiry has found.
Abedi died in the attack on May 22, 2017, along with his 22 victims who had enjoyed an Ariana Grande concert at the MEN Arena.
Abedi died in the attack on May 22, 2017, along with his 22 victims at an Ariana Grande concert at the MEN ArenaCredit: Handout
Salman Abedi is seen adjusting his bomb moments before the Manchester bomb blastCredit: PA:Press Association
The sickening attack killed 22 people at the Manchester Arena
Inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders found there were a number of missed opportunities to prevent or minimise the “devastating impact”.
Sir John said he considered it likely Salman Abedi would still have detonated his device if confronted “but the loss of life and injury is highly likely to have been less.”.
He said: “No-one knows what Salman Abedi would have done had he been confronted before 10.31pm.
“We know that only one of the 22 killed entered the City Room before 10.14pm.
“Eleven of those who were killed came from the Arena concourse doors into the City Room after 10.30pm.”
He added: “The security arrangements for the Manchester Arena should have prevented or minimised the devastating impact of the attack.
“They failed to do so. There were a number of opportunities which were missed leading to this failure.
“Salman Abedi should have been identified on 22nd May 2017 as a threat by those responsible for the security of Arena and a disruptive intervention undertaken.
“Had that occurred, I consider it likely that Salman Abedi would still have detonated his device, but the loss of life and injury is highly likely to have been less.”
Abedi makes his way to Manchester Arena to unleash the deadly attackCredit: PA:Press Association
An inquiry has found that Abedi should have been identified as a threatCredit: PA
He said Arena operator SMG, its security provider Showsec and British Transport Police, who patrolled the area adjoining Manchester Victoria rail station, were “principally responsible” for the missed opportunities.
Sir John said: “Across these organisations, there were also failings by individuals who played a part in causing the opportunities to be missed.”
In a statement, June Tron, mother of Philip Tron, 32, from Gateshead, who was killed in the attack, said it was “extremely hard” listening to evidence about the government’s failure to increase security at venues.
She said: “We hope that, as a result of this inquiry, many lessons are learned and that laws are introduced and changes made quickly to ensure people can go to a concert or a big public event in confidence that they have the best possible protection.”
Abedi launched the sick mission after he returned from a trip to Libya on May 18.
Salman Abedi waited for around an hour in the Manchester Arena foyer before parents and children left the gig at 10.30pm.
The inquiry was told he made three reconnaissance trips to the venue, adjoining Manchester Victoria rail station, before his fateful last journey and security experts considered he may have noticed a CCTV blind spot on the raised mezzanine level of the City Room. Abedi, dressed in black, crouched down upstairs for nearly an hour, occasionally praying, before he walked down to the foyer.
One minute later, he detonated the bomb as 359 people stood in the City Room – with 19 declared dead at the scene.
Among debris found after the blast were 1,675 nyloc nuts, 156 flanged nuts, 663 plain nuts and 11 fragments from Salman Abedi and his victims.
There were also screws recovered by investigators but they were so damaged they couldn’t be counted.