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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/25/17

Salman Abedi: The Man Behind the Attack

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Message Thelma Mueller

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We have his name, It is Salman Abedi. We have his age, he was 22-years-old and we know he was a British citizen of Libyan descent. What we don't know is what would make a 22-year-old strap on a bomb and at the perfect time set it off killing 23 people, many of them children, not to mention take his own life in the process.

Why? This is the question that remains after all is said and done. He was the second youngest of four children. Abedi grew up in a Muslim household and later went on to become a university dropout. Was that enough to turn him into a killer? We are hearing reports that Abedi was described as "normal" by people who knew him. One person went on to say, "He was always friendly, nothing to suggest he was violent. He was normal, to be honest." So, when did "normal" take on the face of "evil?"

Salman Abedi was a loner who kept to himself. He did not participate in any clubs or societies before dropping out and had no friends. He was often seen dressed in traditional Islamic clothing and his family was very religious. A neighbour reports that Abedi had taken to chanting in Arabic in public. He was heard saying, "There is only one God and the prophet Mohammed is his messager." Enough to set alarm bells ringing?

According to the French Interior Minister, Abedi had "proven" links to Islamic State. He went on to add, "All of a sudden he travelled to Libya and then most likely to Syria, became radicalised and decided to commit the attack." If If that much was known about Abedi, why wasn't he under closer surveillance?"

We know so much and yet so little about a young man who chose to kill himself and others in such a horrific fashion. Abedi's sister, Jomana, gave an insight into the mind of the killer. She blamed it on revenge for the U.S. air strikes in Syria. She told the Wall Street Journal, "I think he saw children-Muslim children-dying everywhere and wanted revenge. He saw the explosives America drops on children in Syria, and he wanted revenge. Whether he got that is between him and God!"

Revenge or not, it is the end result that grips at our hearts and tears at our souls. Abedi's anger and unresolved issues took so many young innocent lives and as the families involved mourn their dead, the world looks on in horror and heartache. We still don't have answers to what would make a 22-year-old on the threshold of life want to end his and the lives of so many others. Perhaps, the solution to getting to the heart of "terror" lies in those unanswered questions.

Until then, we will have to live with the fact that somewhere down the road, we will be faced with yet another attack, perhaps more deadly than the last. There are no ifs and buts about it, just when, where and how many dead?

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Thelma Mueller is a writer residing in Germany but has lived in Asia and America for many years. She writes for an international online magazine daily and has published short stories, a children's book and is currently working on a novel. Her (more...)

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