Manchester Arena bomber and his family ‘raked in a fortune in benefits’
The family of a terrorist who killed 23 people in the Manchester Arena bombing were given almost £200,000 in state hand-outs, a trial has revealed.
The Abedi family received the money over seven years – and some of it funded the Arena attack.
Samia Tabbal, the mother of Salman and Hashem Abedi, was paid housing benefit, tax credits and child benefit worth an estimated £190,000 – about £2,200 every month – right up to the time of the 2017 atrocity, even though the parents and younger children left for Libya in October 2016.
Arena bomber Salman Abedi, then doing a business management degree at Salford University, was handed a student loan worth £2,258 on January 20, 2017.
It was around this time he and his brother started plotting the evil terror strike, Manchester Evening News reports.
The Arena trial heard how mother Samia’s bank account was used to pay for bomb-making kit as well as groceries for the bomber and his accomplice, brother Hashem.
Even though she wasn’t in the country, some £250 was withdrawn from her HSBC bank account from a newsagents in Rusholme on March 25, 2017.
The jury was told Hashem Abedi went to B&Q in Stockport on March 27, 2017, where the card was used to purchase a Mac claw hammer, a junior hacksaw and ten blades, a pair of ‘tin snips’ and water pump pliers for £40.99.
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The next day there were two further large cash withdrawals using the same card in Whalley Range.
The brothers used pliers to cut 20 litre vegetable oil drums to turn them into prototype parts of a bomb.
The same card was used by Hashem Abedi to purchase a huge 200 amp battery from a firm in Salford on March 3. 2017, although this wasn't for the bomb.
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The trial was told Samia Tabbal received housing benefit for herself, her husband Ramadan Abedi and their six children while they were living in their semi on Elsmore Road in Fallowfield between 2008 and 2011.
The housing benefit stopped in 2011 after the council was informed the family would be leaving the country. They went back to Libya following the death of ruler Col Muammer Gaddafi amid the Arab Spring uprisings.
However, the family returned and Samia Tabbal started claiming housing benefit for herself and her five youngest children from August 23, 2013. It is believed her eldest Ismail married and left the family home by then.
The family stayed for about a month at a terraced home on Claremont Road in Moss Side but then they returned to the same house Elsmore Road in Fallowfield where they had spent the three years up to 2011.
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Housing benefit continued to be paid for Samia’s tenancy there until May 26, 2017, covering a period which elapsed four days after the bomb.
It wasn’t just monthly housing benefit payments, which were worth £692 per month.
A copy of Samia Tabbal’s bank statements shown to the jury showed her account was also bolstered by a weekly £302.76 working and child tax credit and a £61.80 in child benefit.
It meant a total bill to the tax-payer of £27,000 a year (or £524 per week).
It means an estimated £189,000 was given to the family in benefits during two periods totalling seven years – not including a student loan secured by Salman Abedi.
Some £2,258 loan money was deposited into Salman Abedi’s RBS account on January 20, 2017 by the Student Loan Company.
It swelled his account to £5,790.78. He withdrew about £3,000 in cash on January 23 and 24.
His brother’s trial heard the pair ‘hated education’ and it was around January 2017 that the siblings started to plot a terror attack.
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