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The Manchester Bomber Was Enabled by the British Government
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The culpability of the British government and its intelligence agencies in enabling suicide bomber Salman Abedi to blow himself up at a pop concert in Manchester is being masked one year later by the mood of grief and mourning over the death and injury of so many people.

It is heartrending to hear injured children and the relatives of the dead say they do not hate anybody as a result of their terrible experiences and, if they feel anger at all, it is only directed towards the bomber himself. Victims repeatedly say that they did not want the slaughter at the Manchester Arena to be used to create divisions in their city.

The downside of this praiseworthy attitude is that it unintentionally lets off the hook those British authorities whose flawed policies and mistaken actions really did pave the way towards this atrocity. Appeals against divisiveness and emphasis on the courage of survivors have muted attacks on the government, enabling it to accuse those who criticise it of mitigating the sole guilt of Abedi.

This attitude is highly convenient for former prime minister David Cameron who decided in 2011 on military intervention against Muammar Gaddafi. His purported aim was humanitarian concern for the people of Benghazi, but – as a devastatingly critical report by the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs said last year – this swiftly turned into “an opportunistic policy of regime change”.

The military intervention succeeded and by the end of the year Gaddafi was dead. Real power in Libya passed to Islamist militias, including those with which the Abedi family were already associated. Pictures show Salman’s brothers posing with guns in their hands. Libya was plunged into an endless civil war and Benghazi, whose people Cameron and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy were so keen to save, is today a sea of ruins. Inevitably, Isis took advantage of the anarchy in Libya to spread its murderous influence.

This is the Libyan reality which was created by Cameron and Sarkozy, with sceptical support from Barack Obama, the then US president, who famously referred to the Libyan debacle as a “shit show”.

Libya became a place where the Abedi family, returning from their long exile in Manchester, were able put their militant Islamist beliefs into practice. They absorbed the toxic variant of Islam espoused by the al-Qaeda clones, taking advantage of their military experience honed in the Iraq war, such as how to construct a bomb studded with pieces of metal designed to tear holes in human flesh. The bomb materials were easily available in countries like Britain.

Salman Abedi was responsible for what he did, but he could not have killed 22 people and maimed another 139 others, half of them children, if the British government had not acted as it did in Libya in 2011. And its responsibility goes well beyond its disastrous policy of joining the Libyan civil war, overthrowing Gaddafi and replacing him with warring tribes and militias.

Manchester had since the 1990s become a centre for a small but dangerous group of exiled Libyans belonging to anti-Gaddafi groups, such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, originally formed by Libyans fighting the communists in Afghanistan. After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, strict measures were taken by MI5 and the police against Libyans thought likely to sympathise with al-Qaeda in Iraq and, later, Isis. They were subject to counter-terrorism control orders monitoring and restricting their movements and often had their passports confiscated.

But no sooner had Britain joined the war against Gaddafi than these suspected terrorists became useful allies. Their control-orders were lifted, their passports returned and they were told that the British government had no problem with them going to Libya to fight against Gaddafi. In place of past restrictions, they were allowed to pass to and fro at British airports. Some militants are reported as saying that when they had problems with counter-terrorism police when flying to Libya, the MI5 officers with whom they were in touch were willing to vouch for them and ease their way to the battlefront in Libya, where MI6 was cooperating with Qatar and UAE as financiers of the armed opposition.

This opportunistic alliance between the British security services and Libyan Salafi-jihadis may explain why Salman Abedi, though by now high up on the list of potential terrorists, was able to fly back to Manchester from Libya unimpeded a few days before he blew himself up.

There should be far more public and media outrage about the British government’s role in the destruction of Libya, especially its tolerance of dangerous Islamists living in Britain to pursue its foreign policy ends. The damaging facts about what happened are now well established thanks to parliamentary scrutiny and journalistic investigation.

The official justification for British military intervention in Libya is that it was to prevent the massacre of civilians in Benghazi by Gaddafi’s advancing forces. The reason for expecting this would happen was a sanguinary speech by Gaddafi which might mean that he intended to kill them all. David Cameron, along with Liam Fox as defence minister at the time and William Hague as foreign secretary, have wisely stuck with this explanation and, as a defence of their actions, they are probably right to do so. But a report by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee says that the belief that Gaddafi would “massacre the civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence”. It points out that he had retaken other towns from the rebels and not attacked the civilian population.


The British followed the French lead in military intervention and Sarkozy similarly justified his policy as being in defence of the people of Benghazi. We are a little better informed about the real French motives thanks to a report, revealed through the Freedom of Information Act, made in early 2011 by Sidney Blumenthal, an unofficial advisor to Hillary Clinton, the then US secretary of state, after a meeting he had had with French intelligence officials about Sarkozy’s motives for intervention.

The officials told Blumenthal that Sarkozy’s plans were driven by five main causes, the first being “a desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production” and the next being to increase French influence in North Africa. His other aims were to improve his own political standing in France, enable the French military to reassert their position in the world, and prevent Gaddafi supplanting France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.

The intelligence officials make no mention of any concern on the part of Sarkozy for the safety of the Libyan people. Conceivably Cameron, Hague and Fox had much purer and more altruistic motives than their French counterparts. But it is more likely that the aim was always regime change in the national interest of those foreign powers who brought it about.

It is easy enough to convict Cameron and Sarkozy of hypocrisy, but a more telling accusation is that they betrayed the very national interests that they were seeking to advance. They destroyed Libya as a country, reduced its six million people to misery and played into the hands of men like Salman Abedi.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Islamism, Libya, Terrorism 
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  1. Gordo says:

    The media reponse to this atrocity was choreographed very precisely.

    One wonders if they placed someone to start singing that appalling song.

    And how long in advance.

    Sometimes anger is the appropriate emotion.

    • Replies: @Malaysian Truther
  2. Don’t worry, Cuck Island is imprisoning the bad guys now. But only Whites are bad, see?

    UK Police State: Activist Tommy Robinson to Serve 13 Months in Prison for Livestreaming Report on Child Grooming Gang

    • Agree: Gordo, Per/Norway
    • Replies: @Rev. Spooner
  3. You’ve got half the story here. The bombing of Libya is incidental, rather than the main event.

    Salman Abedi’s parents were brought to Britain because, as opponents of Col. Gaddafi, they would be useful to the British when the time came for Gaddafi to be replaced. That time came, and they duly went back to Libya to join the revolution. One of their sons went with them; Salman stayed behind in Manchester and became a suicide bomber.

    A child is likely to inherit its parents’ revolutionary or religious fervour; it may or may not inherit its parents’ loyalty to the West.

    It is bad enough when MI6 treats third-world countries as a playground for geopolitical wars. When they make the home country part of that playground, they are crying out for closer oversight than they currently receive.

  4. All of this brought you by the same sick minds who tell us how they are going to save the planet from climate change. Can’t wait to see how that one goes.

    When do we storm the Bastille?

  5. El Dato says:

    Conceivably Cameron, Hague and Fox had much purer and more altruistic motives than their French counterparts.


    Does that mean they are only half satanic?

  6. EagleEyeX says:

    Bravo Cockburn …….telling it like it is. But to no real avail , regrettably. Few are listening, and we that do are shunned and discredited for even broaching the subject.
    Still …carry on.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  7. Steve says:

    There is a lot more to this than is mentioned in the above article, not least that the Americans knew who the perpetrator was hours before the British would confirm his name…

    Then there’s this :

    “For decades, successive British governments have worked with jihadi groups, prepared to use atrocities to achieve their objectives. This has meant that, behind the “war on terror” and the relentless assault on democratic rights that it has entailed, UK authorities have been harbouring Islamist extremist operatives and groups who can be set into motion at the required time, in line with British imperialist foreign policy objectives.”

    The bomb was sophisticated and no bomb-making equipment was found anywhere. Also bear in mind this young man was supposed to be intent on committing suicide so why would he hide the evidence?
    Which begs the question who supplied the bomb?

  8. El Dato says:

    Never bravo the Cockburn.

    Cockburn writes for The Independent. Which is am establishment family-friendly newspaper.

    He only tells about half of “how it is”.

    • Replies: @Henry's Cat
  9. Saxon says:

    Also enabled by the same people: Rape gangs, fraudulent parasitism linked with mass migration, and of course the migration itself. All of which no one consented to or would have voted for if given the choice–and in the only country where they were given, a choice, Hungary, the choice was an overwhelming no.

    The downside of this praiseworthy attitude

    It’s not a praiseworthy attitude to “tolerate” people invading your country without your consent, ripping you off, raping your women including girls who are to be the mothers of your future generations, and killing your people. You don’t have to tolerate things that are good for you, and this certainly isn’t good for the British people, or any other people set upon by these predators. I get that you’re part of the establishment and are shilling for this status quo, though.

    You see, we never really had these kinds of problems when our countries were homogeneous. Now we do, but of course for some reason we’re expected to believe this is a good thing and just Part And Partcel of living in a multikult society (which we never wanted or consented to).

    • Replies: @Rev. Spooner
  10. @El Dato

    He doesn’t want to invade the world, just invite it.

    • Replies: @lavoisier
  11. jsinton says:

    You missed the story 10 days ago how Sarkozy was arrested by police for questioning over allegations he accepted 50 million Euros from Gaddafi in illegal campaign contributions. It seems Mr. Gaddafi was perhaps “blackmailing” Sarkozy, threatening to go public with his bribe. So it seems Mr. Sarkozy had Mr. Gaddafi “offed” to hide his crimes.

  12. lavoisier says: • Website
    @Henry's Cat

    He doesn’t want to invade the world, just invite it.

    Good point. And even if you just invite the world, and do not invade the world, you are going to invite the terrorists.

    So Cockburn is half-good or half-bad depending on your perspective.

  13. Libyan reality which was created by Cameron and Sarkozy, with sceptical support from Barack Obama, the then US president, who famously referred to the Libyan debacle as a “shit show”.

    It was no “debacle”
    A shit show is what they wanted. From what I’ve seen Libya wasn’t too bad a place before US democracy came to town.
    Its throughly disgusting what they’ve done to Libya, Syria, the world. They will get theirs, this life or the next, doesn’t matter.

    Theres probably much more to the “terrorist” bombing than the public will ever find out, just like 9/11 their govt. probably played a big role in it too.

  14. ohmy says:

    Tony Blair and, George Bush say we must save them. Who? The children, Gadhafi is killing everybody, 6000 so far. Only 10 years before on national TV it was a pretty young girl recounting her story. She said she was a nurse back home in Kuwait. She said she was on duty in a hospital when Iraqi soldiers burst in and began ripping babies from their incubators and smashing them until dead against the concrete floor. But, she wasn’t a nurse. She was an acting student and, the daughter of the Ambassador to the USA from Kuwait. Or, how about General Colin Powell’s preceding skit? You remember, right? Yes, when while holding up a little brown vile he began ranting about yellow cakes, Iraq, evil Saddam Hussein and, nuclear bombs. In the West we always hear the same old tired excuse. When will one of these liars be arrested? They’ve only killed a few million since 2001.

  15. Don’t forget Cameron’s other British casualties – the 30-odd middle-aged Brits gunned down on a Tunisian beach by an Islamist trained in ‘post-liberation’ Libya, and the Brit killed in the Bardo attack.

    Like Salman Abedi, the killer was a ‘lad’ who enjoyed a drink until Sudden Jihad Syndrome struck.

  16. @Gordo

    I agree. The day the Select Committee report came out the Daily Telegraph had as its front page story an improbable Islamic plot to murder Theresa May in Downing Street- to drive the Select Committee report off the front pages. But the Sheeple still don’t get it!

  17. @Echoes of History

    Fuck off, keep your echoes confined to your toilet. This is not about Tommy Robinson.

    • Disagree: YetAnotherAnon
  18. @Saxon

    It’s Karma buddy, you kept quiet when all these atrocities were happening because they didn’t impact you. Now it’s too late; the gate was left open and the foxes are in the coop.

    • Replies: @Saxon
  19. Saxon says:
    @Rev. Spooner

    The karma will be for you when you are sandwiched between us and the savages you have let in with no allies, traitor.

  20. ‘…Salman Abedi was responsible for what he did, but he could not have killed 22 people and maimed another 139 others, half of them children, if the British government had not acted as it did in Libya in 2011…’

    Yeah, but unless Cockburn is prepared to argue that Britain actually intended to promote Islamic radicalism, the notion that it is reponsible for the Manchester bombing swiftly becomes untenable.

    If Germany hadn’t lost World War One, Hitler becomes virtually inconceivable — but does it follow that Lloyd George was responsible for the Holocaust? Absent aircraft, Pearl Harbor couldn’t have happened; should we hold the Wright Brothers responsible?

    Unintended consequences are rife. A butterfly flaps its wings in Peking, and it rains in Central Park. Etc. Nevertheless, we have to look at intention before deciding that whoever we please is responsible for sinking the Titanic. To return to the point, the Manchester bomber really did kill those children; not the British government.

    • Replies: @anon
  21. Hillary Clinton as the U.S. Sec. of State had a major role in the murder of Colonel Gaddafi. Remember her revolting cackling glee over the blood on her hands?
    We truly dodged a bullet when she lost the 2016 POTUS election. What a sick woman.

  22. anon[228] • Disclaimer says:
    @Colin Wright

    Doctors don’t mean to hurt. Still they get sued .

  23. anon[228] • Disclaimer says:

    Was the rise of ISIS the intention of Bush Jr? Was the chaos in ME intention of moron Bush Jr? ( It was the main plan of the Zionist but not of Bush ) But he created both .

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