British police trawled through 11,000 tonnes of refuse in an unsuccessful attempt to find a blue suitcase used by a suicide bomber on the day he attacked a concert venue killing 22 people in Manchester.
Security camera footage captured Salman Abedi, 22, pulling the suitcase in the centre of Manchester but a search ended last week at a landfill site some eight miles from the scene of the attack without any sign of the suitcase, detectives said.
The suitcase was not used in the attack but was believed to contain some of the materials later used in the attack at a concert by American pop star Ariana Grande on May 22 last year. Abedi detonated a metal-filled rucksack to kill children, adults and leaving 800 people with physical and psychological injuries.
[ Manchester bomber was ‘radicalised by senior Al Qaeda leader’ ]
[ Moss Side story: The UK volunteers trying to stem the extremist threat ]
Manchester police gave an update on the £4 million investigation on Wednesday as they prepared for a trial of Abedi’s brother Hashem, who is believed to be held in custody by a militia group in Libya. Detectives applied for extradition on November 1.
Police believe that Salman Abedi was not part of a wider network but received help to carry out his attack. UK officials last year approved an arrest warrant for Hashem Abedi on charges of involvement in 22 murders.
Some 100 officers are still working on the case, the most deadly of a series of terrorist attacks that hit the UK in 2017. Police have arrested 23 people and searched 30 homes as part of the inquiry, said Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson of Manchester police.
“We must respect the Libyan legal process and we are very grateful to them for considering our request," he said.
“We will continue to gather evidence, searching for as much detail about what happened and evidence of anyone responsible whilst supporting the families, many of whom who are going through unimaginable pain.”