The 22-year-old man who carried out the Manchester concert suicide bombing that left 22 people dead transited through Istanbul airport ahead of carrying out the attack, a Turkish official said. “I can confirm that he transited through Istanbul Ataturk” airport, the official told AFP, asking not to be named and referring to the country’s main international airport.
The official said no intelligence had been shared with Turkey concerning the bomber, Salman Abedi, ahead of his presence in Istanbul. There was no immediate indication from the Turkish authorities where he had been travelling from or if he had crossed the border or merely changed planes at the airport.
Abedi, 22, grew up in a Libyan family that reportedly fled to Manchester to escape the now-fallen regime of Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
A relative told AFP that Abedi had travelled to Manchester from Libya four days before the bombing. German police have said he had made a brief stopover at Duesseldorf Airport to change planes.
Istanbul is a popular transit point for Libyans flying from their country to Europe, given the lack of direct flights from Libyan cities to most destinations.