A Muslim community worker has told BBC News that members of the public called the police anti-terrorism hotline warning about the Manchester suicide bomber’s extreme and violent views several years ago. The BBC also understands that Abedi was in Manchester earlier this year when he told people of the value of dying for a cause and made hardline statements about suicide operations and the conflict in Libya. The community worker – who did not want to be identified – said two people who knew Salman Abedi at college made separate calls to the police. They had been worried that “he was supporting terrorism” and had expressed the view that “being a suicide bomber was OK.” The friends had argued with him, telling him he was wrong but had become so concerned they contacted the police. The community worker told the BBC “all of the publicity is about Muslims not coming forward and this shows that they are coming forward and expressing their concerns.” The calls are thought to have been made around five years ago after Abedi left school, where he was known to have smoked marijuana and mixed with gangs in south Manchester.
Greater Manchester Police said they would not comment on the claims.
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