Man arrested in Manchester bombing probe ‘linked to Muslim Brotherhood’

Zuhair Nassrat, who was taken into custody on Sunday evening in Manchester, is the son of Kalid Nasratt, who Arabic media say is a Muslim Brotherhood activist working as a diplomat in Turkey.

A police officer guards the entrance to a street in the Moss Side area of Manchester on May 28, 2017 as part of the investigation into the suicide bombing of a pop concert that killed 22 people. / AFP / JOHN SUPER
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A teenager arrested in Britain as part of the investigation into the Manchester bombing had links to the Muslim Brotherhood, Arabic media reported.

Zuhair Nassrat, 19, was taken into custody on Sunday evening when police raided a home in the city where the suicide attacker Salman Abedi used to visit, British newspapers said.

Zuhair is one of 16 people being held in Britain and Libya over the attack last week at a pop concert that killed 22 people. Like Abedi, he is from Manchester’s Libyan community and members of his family travelled to Libya during the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi.

Abedi’s father and brother are being held in Libya, where officials said the two brothers were ISIL extremists.

Zuhair, one of three brothers, was taken in handcuffs from the family home in Gorton, south Manchester.

Neighbours told the Daily Mail that the two older brothers, Abdul and Loqman travelled to Libya in 2011 with their father Zahid.

Zahid, a Muslim Brotherhood activist, worked in Turkey as a diplomat for the Tripoli-based Islamist government, which was established after the fall of Qaddafi, according to Sky News Arabia. He served as a labour attaché in the embassy in Turkey, and was later promoted to financial controller. The Sky report said he was accused of supplying weapons to Libya in 2014.

Pictures on social media showed Zuhair posing with Abedi’s brother Hashim, who is being held in Libya. Another picture showed Zuhair’s brother Abdul with the bomber.

Several neighbours told the Daily Mail that Abdul, 24, travelled to Turkey three years ago to train as a pilot but never returned.

The third brother Loqman, 22, who lives in Chester and attends the city's university along with Zuhair, said Abedi had stayed at the Nassrat family home for about six weeks in 2011, after his family left for Libya, the Daily Mail reported.

“The Libyan community in Manchester don’t believe in any way that he was by himself, he had not got the capability. He is not smart enough,” Loqman said of Abedi.

He condemned the attack and said Abedi must have been radicalised in Libya.

None of the 16 people held by police in either country has been charged.

*With additional reporting by Agence France-Presse