Manchester Bomber Wanted Revenge for US Airstrikes in Syria

Friends Say He Was Increasingly Angry About Treatment of Muslims

Jomana Abedi, the sister of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, expressed surprise at learning her brother had bombed an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people, and in quotes to the Wall Street Journal said she believes he was motivated by a desire for revenge over US airstrikes in Syria.

Other family friends suggested that an incident in May of last year, in which a friend of his, also a Libyan living in Britain, died after being hit by a car and stabbed, and that since then, he had grown increasingly angry about the way Muslims were being treated, and grow more religious.

Despite having some increased religious consciousness, the local mosque says he was not a regular attendee at local prayers. His younger brother, Hashem Abedi, who was captured in Tripoli on Wednesday, claims that he and his brother were both members of ISIS.

All of this is likely to fuel further speculation, but British media quoted local Manchester residents as being “outraged” at quotes from his family speculating on why he carried out the attack, insisting that him having had any reason at all implied they were justifying what he did.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.