By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the bombing in Manchester that took place about a week ago during an Ariana Grande concert. The bombing resulted in 22 deaths and approximately 64 serious injuries as well as a number of missing children.
When an event like this occurs, it’s easy to assume the worst and get consumed with anxiety. We see tons of news outlets reporting on terrorism, which in turn sparks our deepest and darkest fears. However, it’s crucial that we create a conscious dialogue around events like this so we can discover the truth and prevent things like this from happening again.
It’s especially difficult to discuss this subject with children, as we have the habit of treating them like they’re unable to comprehend subjects as complex as these. If you’re a parent or mentor struggling to discuss subjects like these with children because they easily invoke fear, check out our latest article on conscious parenting:
Something that recently came to light regarding the Manchester bombing was who’s responsible for it and how the UK intelligence agency MI5 was warned numerous times in advance, in one case as early as January by its U.S. counterpart, the FBI.
FBI and Bomber’s Friends and Family Warned UK Intel of His Plans
MI5 is the UK’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency. It was recently discovered that MI5 was warned by the FBI in January that the suicide bomber was planning an attack in the UK. The bomber, 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who was part of a North African Islamic State cell based in England, was placed on an FBI “terrorist watch list” in 2016. Abedi made it onto this list as a result of an investigation into terrorist groups in Libya.
“In early 2017 the FBI told MI5 that Abedi belonged to a North African terror gang based in Manchester, which was looking for a political target in this country,” a security source explained to the Daily Mail on Sunday.
“The information came from the interception of his communications by US federal agents, who had been investigating Abedi since the middle of 2016, and from information unearthed in Libya, where his family was linked to terrorist groups.”
Though Abedi was “investigated” and then “scrutinized” by MI5, he ultimately made it back underneath the intelligence agency’s radar. As a result, MI5 has been facing a lot of public criticism and skepticism on their ability to fulfil their duties.
In response, MI5 officials explained that they are typically overseeing 500 terror investigations at any given moment. This explanation may seem insensitive to some people, as it seems like there could never be a good enough excuse to put an investigation into a known terrorist on the back burner. Plus, we know that intelligence agencies’ resources are often used to spy on innocent civilians, not “terrorists,” making it that much more difficult to understand why they don’t focus all of their time on surveilling people who actually have reason to be spied upon.
This also wasn’t the only warning MI5 received regarding Abedi. Abedi’s friends and family reported him to MI5 because they believed him to be “dangerous” and a potential “suicide bomber.”
As the Times reported, “Abedi’s support for terrorism was reported this year to the security services, and friends had called Britain’s anti-terrorist hotline five years ago with concerns about his views, it was claimed. He was reported for violent statements, including a claim that being a suicide bomber was ‘OK.’ “