The Manchester Arena Bomber: A Conclusion of Suicide or Unlawful Killing?

The Manchester Arena Bomber: A Conclusion of Suicide or Unlawful Killing?

The inquest into the tragic Manchester Arena bombing, where Salman Abedi detonated a homemade bomb killing 22 innocent victims and injuring countless others, has reached its conclusion. However, the recording of Abedi’s cause of death as “suicide” has sparked controversy among the families of the victims. They argue that simply labeling it as suicide fails to acknowledge the true circumstances of his death and the unlawful killing he committed. This article delves into the debate surrounding the conclusion and its impact on the victims’ families.

A group of families, representing five victims, implored Sir John Saunders, the chairman of the public inquiry, to record a conclusion that reflects the gruesome reality of Abedi’s actions. To them, the term “suicide” alone fails to capture the magnitude of his crime. They argue that Abedi’s “mode of death resulted not only in his demise, but also in his unlawful killing of his victims.” Lawyers representing the families stressed in legal submissions that failing to acknowledge the true circumstances of Abedi’s death would unjustly misrepresent and minimize the impact of his act.

One cannot forget the innocent lives tragically taken away during the Manchester Arena attack. The youngest victim, Saffie-Rose Roussos, was a mere eight years old. Abedi’s shrapnel-packed, homemade rucksack bomb tore through the concert venue, inflicting severe damage in its wake. Thousands of nuts and bolts were hurled into the crowd, leaving devastation and grief in their path. The families of the victims rightly demand a conclusion that comprehends the true extent of the violence inflicted upon their loved ones.

Following the bombing, Abedi’s remains were collected in four body bags and transported to the Royal Liverpool Hospital. A post-mortem examination confirmed that he died from blast injuries. In the process of identification, his DNA matched that which had been held by the Home Office since his 2012 arrest for shoplifting. The legal obligations surrounding sudden and violent deaths compelled Sir John to conduct an inquest, resulting in the recent verdict.

Sir John’s ruling offers insight into the exact circumstances in which Salman Abedi died. The explosion occurred at 10:31 pm on May 22, 2017, in the City Room of the Manchester Arena. Abedi, along with his brother, had meticulously crafted an explosive device concealed in a backpack. He carried out his planned terror attack near the entrance doors, causing immense destruction. Sir John explicitly states, “In detonating the device, the deceased murdered 22 innocent victims and injured many others.” The verdict reaffirms the gravity and intentional nature of Abedi’s actions.

Abedi’s brother, Hashem Abedi, played a significant role in the terror plot and has since been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 55 years before parole. The conclusion of the Manchester Arena Public Inquiry, published in March, severely criticizes the security services for their failure to take preventive action. It emphasizes that crucial opportunities were missed, potentially preventing the devastating attack.

The debate surrounding the recording of Salman Abedi’s cause of death continues to stir emotions among the families of his victims. They argue that a simple classification of “suicide” overlooks the true nature of his demise and the unlawful killing of innocent lives. The impact of his actions will forever be etched in the memories of those affected, and it is crucial to honor their pain and suffering through a comprehensive and accurate conclusion. The inquest’s verdict, while not satisfying all families, serves as a reminder of the dark consequences of terror and the persistent need for security measures to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.


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