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Manchester bomber had links with ISIS' prolific recruiters: Media report

Information on the 'IS Files' shows IS fighter, who called Hostey, sponsored hundreds of recruits

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Manchester attack, Bomb attack, UK
People lay flowers after a vigil in Albert Square, Manchester, England on Tuesday, a day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert left 22 people dead on Monday night. (Photo: PTI)

Manchester Arena Salman Abedi had links to an Islamic State cell which operated in the city, and knew one of the terror group's most prolific recruiters, Sky News claimed today.

Information on the 'IS Files' - a huge cache of documents obtained by Sky News - shows that an ISIS fighter, called Raphael Hostey, from Moss Side in the south of Manchester, sponsored hundreds of terror recruits.

Abedi and Hostey reportedly hung around on the same estates and worshipped in the same Didsbury mosque, before they became disaffected with life in the West.

Counter-terrorism sources have told that they have established a "significant" connection between the two men as they investigate the murder of 22 concert-goers and search for possible accomplices, Sky News reported.

The suspect, Manchester-born Abedi, went to school locally and then studied business management at Salford University, before dropping out of the course.

Meanwhile, a woman, whose identity was not immediately known, became the sixth person to be arrested by police in connection with the Monday night's attack at a pop concert, the deadliest terror attack in Britain since the 2005 London bombings, as police said they were investigating a "network".

Police said they had arrested a woman after an armed raid at a block of flats in Blackley, north Manchester.

"A woman has been arrested at an address in connection with the investigation," the Greater Manchester Police said yesterday.

The Monday night's attack at a concert by US actress- singer Ariana Grande killed 22 people, all of whom have now been identified by police but their names will be released during the course of this week after formal identifications are complete.

The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said yesterday that as many as 119 people had been injured in the attack, 64 of whom remain hospitalised, 20 of them critically.

The singer has since flown back to the US and officials have said there remains uncertainty over whether two of her other planned concerts at London's O2 Arena today and a day after would go ahead.

First Published: Thu, May 25 2017. 10:25 IST