Police have been sifting through a shed which is thought to be the bomb workshop
Forensic teams have been searching Abedi’s family home in Fallowfield, Manchester, since Tuesday morning, including sifting through the shed which is thought to have doubled as a workshop.
One neighbour, who had warned police about clandestine meetings in the shed, told the Sunday Express how “his blood turned cold” when he recognised Abedi as the evil killer behind the massacre.
According to intelligence reports, the 22-year-old fanatic built detonators in the shed before constructing the rucksack bomb at a rented city centre flat.
He lived at the semi-detached red brick home with brothers Ismail, 23, and Hashem, 20.
I thought nothing of it at the time, but it now makes you shudder
They had been living there by themselves since 2011, when their parents moved back to Libya.
In 2014, the shed caught fire prompting locals to wonder if he had been tampering with explosives for years.
One neighbour said: “I thought nothing of it at the time, but it now makes you shudder.
“They used that shed as a kind of workshop and nobody ever knew what sparked the blaze – but he could have been perfecting his bomb making.”
The shed caught fire in 2014
Jim Fitzgerald, 46, who used to live opposite, warned police about “strange” late-meetings in the shed five years ago but officers said they would “keep an eye” on the house and he heard nothing more.
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He said: “My blood ran cold when I saw what happened at the Manchester Arena and found out that Abedi was involved.
“I was always concerned about what was going on in that house. There would be loads of men pulling up in cars at all times, more often than not late at night.
“They would get out the vehicles dressed in Islamic robes and go into the house. It didn’t sit right with me so when the police put a leaflet through the door urging people to be vigilant and to recognise signs of terrorism, I rang the number given.
“They sent me a letter thanking me for contacting them and said that they’d keep an eye on the property.
“I don’t know what the police ever did with the information I gave them but he seems to have slipped under the radar.”
Mother-of-three Jackie Kelly, 43, who lives nearby, told how an IS flag was hoisted above the roof two years ago.
She said: “I was driving home and passed the house and one of my kids said ‘look mum, there’s that flag they have in the background on those beheading videos’. It was a completely black background with white Islamic writing on it and it was attached to the roof somehow.
Sickening images reveal what's left of the Manchester bomb backpack Wed, May 24, 2017
The remains of the backpack that killed at least 22 people, with more than 60 injured after Salman Abedi detonated a bomb in the Manchester Arena, at 10:30pm Monday, 22 May 2017
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12-volt battery that was possible power source
“I remember it was St George’s Day because a few other people had put up St George’s flags. Whether they were making any kind of statement with the timing of the flag, I’ve no idea, but it annoyed and insulted a lot of people. Some must have complained to the council because it was gone within a day or so.
“But Salman used to drive an old black Volkswagen Golf which had that same flag attached to a rear passenger window.”
She added: “Some members of that family were brazen about their support for a terrorist organisation, they didn’t care what people thought.”
The brothers had been living at the house by themselves since 2011
Ilyas el-Mehdi, a friend of Abedi of Libyan heritage, told how the suicide killer had gone underground in the months leading up to the attack.
He said: “We’d chat but we never spoke about politics or the Islamic State or anything like that. Then earlier this year he broke off all contact.
“We all assumed that he’d gone to live in Libya. It was a shock to find out that he was behind the bombing. He didn’t show any signs of being radicalised.”