UK

Manchester attack: Salman Abedi's cousins say 'he did it secretly'

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Media captionSalman Abedi's cousins say the bomber "betrayed his family"

Two cousins of the Manchester bomber say they had no idea he was planning his attack, which killed 22 people.

Isaac and Abz Forjani were arrested by police after the suicide bombing - and were questioned for a week - but have since been released without charge.

They say they did not know about Salman Abedi's extremist views - adding that he may have been radicalised abroad.

It comes as police released new CCTV images of Abedi before the attack at Manchester Arena on 22 May.

Sixteen people have been arrested over the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert and 10 remain in custody.

Meanwhile, police said they had so far found no record of any calls to the anti-terrorist hotline about Abedi.

After the attack, a community worker said two people had made separate calls to the hotline about five years ago to raise concerns about his behaviour.

The Forjani brothers were arrested in Fallowfield, south Manchester, the day after the attack.

Isaac, 24, said: "It's not easy being connected to 22 lost, innocent lives.

"The fact that the person that did this is related to us by blood is something that's going to stay with me for the rest of my life.

"My thoughts are with the families of the victims. I really do feel for them.

"We went in, we could come out, we can try and move on with our lives. They've lost their loved ones."

Image copyright GMP
Image copyright GMP
Image caption Police have released new images of Salman Abedi

The two brothers said they last saw Abedi three months before the attack, when he got his hair trimmed at Abz Forjani's barber shop.

Abz, 21, said he had a "pretty close relationship" with Abedi. He said his cousin was not part of "a big network".

He said: "I believe it was all done by one man, (who) developed some sort of thoughts in the past few years which he kept to himself, secretly to himself.

"He never shared it with any members of the family - if he would've, we could have done something to stop that happening.

"He never admitted extremist views - it was just political opinions, so it wasn't focused or aimed at a particular group," Abz added.

"The thought was he was just a religious man taking it way too far, becoming judgemental maybe.

"There's never been a hint of extremism."

The brothers also insisted they shared the same British values as everyone else.

"We're Mancunians ourselves," said Isaac.

The pair's younger brother Alharth, 19, is still in custody.

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