Brother of Manchester Arena bomber a 'normal dozy' youngster, court told

The brother of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber has been likened in court to the cartoon character Goofy, who was scared of his sibling and "just wanted to chill".

Hashem Abedi, the brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi, whose trial continues. PA Photo.
Hashem Abedi, the brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi, whose trial continues. PA Photo.

Hashem Abedi, 22, is accused of plotting with Salman Abedi, who blew himself up with homemade explosives, killing 22 people and injuring many more after an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 2017.

It is alleged the brothers had become radicalised and worked together to source materials to build the deadly device.

The Old Bailey heard how Hashem Abedi hoarded old cooking oil cans and skewers from the takeaway where he worked which he allegedly used to make prototype bomb parts.

On Tuesday, a friend and former colleague also described how he asked him to buy a large amount of sulphuric acid, a key component in TATP explosives, claiming it was for a generator in Libya.

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The witness, who cannot be identified, said he found out it could only be purchased in small quantities and they never spoke of it again.

Cross-examining, Stephen Kamlish QC said: "The type of character Hashem was, you described him as clumsy, a little stupid and like Goofy, the cartoon character, the cartoon dog who gets things wrong."

The witness agreed that Hashem was "just like a normal dozy" youngster.

He said they used to smoke weed together in a park and his "hot box" car.

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Making "very big spliffs" was Hashem Abedi's "speciality", the witness added.

Jurors heard Hashem also took other drugs, including tramadol, MDMA (ecstasy), and alcohol - to the disapproval of Salman Abedi, who he referred to as "Big Brother".

Mr Kamlish suggested that Hashem Abedi was “scared of his brother” in the time the witness knew him, adding: "He never wanted Salman to know that he smoked weed or did anything naughty."

Mr Kamlish went on to suggest that Hashem Abedi complained that his brother made him go to the mosque and "follow his religion".

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The witness told jurors: "He just wanted to chill, yeah."

Hashem Abedi has denied 22 counts of murder, attempted murder and plotting with his brother to cause explosions.

The trial continues.