Manchester bomber spotted on camera moments before 36kg homemade bomb blast

Will Taylor
News Reporter
Hashem Abedi, left, is on trial accused of helping his brother commit murder in the Manchester bombing. Right, emergency services on the scene after Salman Abedi detonated his device. (PA Images)

The final moments of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber were played to jurors in his brother’s trial today.

Salman Abedi is shown on CCTV carrying a rucksack that contained a homemade bomb as he went to the venue, where pop star Ariana Grande was playing, on May 22 2017.

The 22-year-old waited an hour before triggering the device, which is estimated to have weighed 36kg and was packed with screws and bolts for shrapnel, as thousands streamed out at about 10.30pm.

Prosecutors say Abedi’s Manchester born brother, Hashem, now 22, was complicit in sourcing and stockpiling components for the bomb.

Hashem denies 22 counts of murder – one for each of the fatalities, who ranged in age from eight to 51 – one count of attempted murder, which encompasses the injured, and conspiring to cause explosions.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Hashem Abedi, younger brother of the Manchester Arena bomber, in the dock at the Old Bailey in London accused of mass murder. (PA Images)

Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC told the jury at the Old Bailey how Salman made final preparations for the bomb and visited the arena earlier in the evening, before returning home and waiting to strike.

He later journeyed to the arena and waited for concert-goers to leave before setting off the bomb at 10.31pm, decapitating himself in the process.

Mr Penny said: “As you know, the blast and shrapnel contained within the device killed 22 bystanders and caused the catalogue of injuries about which you have heard.”

He earlier told jurors that Hashem was “just as guilty” as his brother.

22 people were killed when Salman Abedi detonated a bomb at the Manchester Arena in 2017. (PA Images)

Salman carried a paint tin filled with the homemade explosive TATP, placed inside a money tin and surrounded by a large amount of shrapnel, Mr Penny said.

The brothers are accused of duping friends and associates into helping them buy TATP components and the court heard they switched vehicles and phones to avoid detection.

It is alleged they used an empty house to take delivery of chemicals ordered from Amazon by using other people’s bank details and fake emails.

After the bombing, a Nissan Micra was found by police in Manchester which contained bags of screws and nails that had been handled by the defendant. More than 10 litres of sulphuric acid were found in the boot and there were traces of TATP, the court heard.