Brothers Yahyah Werfalli, 22, and Mohammed, 20, were arrested early on Saturday morning in Cheetham Hill, Greater Manchester, and were heard “screaming loudly and crying” as they were led away from their home, according to a neighbour.
Although they are believed to have moved in the same friendship circles as the "slow and dopey" suicide bomber Salman Abedi, the Werfallis are said to have grown up in a "very nice family", the Daily Mail reports.
The Werfalli brothers on what appears to look like an airplane, photographed last year Manchester bombing: Heartbreaking photos from the morning after Tue, May 23, 2017
As the country wakes to the news of the worst terror attack on British soil in a decade, Manchester comes to terms with last night's terrible events
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Vikki Baker and her daughter Charlotte, who were at the Ariana Grande concert, leave the Park Inn, where they were given refuge
I was shocked beyond belief to hear they had been arrested
A friend of the British-born Werfalli brothers
Mohammed, a second year chemical engineering student at Huddersfield University who also works part-time for Amazon Prime, was described as “quiet and well-mannered”.
However, his older brother Yahyah, who studied at Manchester Metropolitan University, was said to be more unruly and causing concern to his father who works abroad.
A source described the siblings as “very intelligent” and studious, adding: “Mohammed in particular is very smart, he was one of the top students in the grammar school.
“They’ve had a very disciplined upbringing and were not allowed to mess around or anything.
“They are religious in a way but not extreme. They probably knew Abedi but I can’t see them being involved in something like this. They come from a very nice family.”
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Salman Abedi captured on CCTV on the night of the attack
Salman Abedi's father Ramadan said his family did not condone the "killing of innocents"
Another friend of the siblings said: "I was shocked beyond belief to hear they had been arrested. Mohamed has always been quiet and humble but Yahya has gone off the rails somewhat in recent years. I don’t know what happened to him."
The brothers live with their mother and two younger siblings in a semi-detached housing association property, on a street squeezed between two mosques.
Yahyah is Facebook friends with Salman Abedi’s 20-year-old younger brother Hashim.
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Army bomb disposal teams arrive in Hulme, South Manchester
Hashim Abedi was recently revealed to be a “significant player” in a jihadi cell which targeted the head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
The two brothers were schooled at Stratford Grammar, one of many secondary schools and higher education colleges in the Manchester area, where Abedi was said to have been a student.
The Werfalli family lived in Burnage, close to Abedi’s home in Fallowfield in South Manchester, before moving across the city around a decade ago.