Convicted terrorist suspected of grooming the Manchester Arena bomber could be freed from jail as he approaches end of nine-and-a-half-year sentence
- Parole Board is reviewing the case ofIslamic State recruiter Abdalraouf Abdallah
- Abdallah, 29, was a significant influence on suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22
A convicted terrorist suspected of grooming the Manchester Arena attacker into becoming a suicide bomber is set to be freed from jail, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The Parole Board has confirmed it is reviewing the case of Islamic State recruiter Abdalraouf Abdallah as he approaches the end of his nine-and-a-half-year sentence.
Abdallah, 29, was a significant influence on Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, 22, the official investigation into the 2017 attack concluded last week.
The Manchester Arena Inquiry said more than 1,000 text messages were exchanged between Abedi and Abdallah in 2014.
Chairman Sir John Saunders also revealed that Abedi visited Abdallah in prison, including the day in January 2017 when he began amassing chemicals for his bomb.
The Parole Board has confirmed it is reviewing the case of Islamic State recruiter Abdalraouf Abdallah (pictured) as he approaches the end of his nine-and-a-half-year sentence
Six days later, Abdallah spoke to Abedi using a contraband mobile phone the convict had acquired at HMP Altcourse in Liverpool. On that day, Abedi had bomb chemicals delivered.
Sir John said Abdallah, a childhood friend of Abedi’s in Manchester, provided the ‘ideological motivation’ for him to carry out the attack, even if he was not operationally involved. He added: ‘It is likely that their continued relationship made a significant contribution to consolidating Salman Abedi’s ideology as he was contemplating the attack, and stiffened his resolve to carry out the atrocity.’
Abedi killed 22 people – many of them children – at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017.
Abdallah was jailed in 2016 for sending jihadis to Syria to join IS. He was released on licence in November 2020 but recalled to jail for breaching his conditions.
Last night, the Parole Board said: ‘The parole review of Abdalraouf Abdallah has been referred to the Parole Board by the Secretary of State for Justice. Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.
‘Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.’
Abdallah, 29, was a significant influence on Manchester bomber Salman Abedi (pictured), 22, the official investigation into the 2017 attack concluded last week
However, Caroline Curry, whose son Liam, 19, died at the concert with his girlfriend Chloe Rutherford, 17, said: ‘The Parole Board should think again. Releasing him early would be absolute lunacy.
‘He has to stay inside as long as possible because every day that he is out he is a threat.’
Warning of future attacks, she added: ‘People like him will be the cause of the next one, and anything that can be done to keep him in prison longer should be done.’
Last week, Sir John Saunders recommended that the Home Office consider visitor restrictions for prisoners suspected of attempting to radicalise others.
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