According to a BBC report from London on Saturday, a man suspected of helping the Manchester Arena bomber was given back his British citizenship after the government dropped a court case against him on the advice of the MI5 intelligence agency.


After receiving information from British security, Libyan authorities arrested Mohammed Soliman, 26, who had purchased 10 liters of sulphuric acid online for Hashem Abedi, the bomber’s brother.

The information was made public as part of the investigation into the 2017 attack by Salman Abedi, which resulted in the deaths of 22 people and hundreds of injuries.

Soliman was arrested in Libya eight months after losing his British citizenship and claims he was mistreated during that time.

The 26-year-old claims he bought the chemicals after being told that Hashem needed them for “legitimate reasons,” and that he had no intention of aiding the Abedi brothers in their attack.

The government agency MI5, which was in charge of the investigation into the bombing and is tasked with keeping tabs on and disrupting terrorist plots, was heavily criticized in the public inquiry for its inability to prevent the bombing.

Despite MI5’s claims that the Abedi brothers acted alone, evidence from the investigation suggests that they sought out several friends and acquaintances in the days leading up to the bombing in order to acquire the necessary chemicals.

Soliman, a restaurant worker who knew the attacker by his alias, Hashem, was approached and bought 10 liters of sulphuric acid, which was delivered to his home months before the attack in May 2017.

After the attack, police searched Soliman’s home and found chemical remnants, but he had already left for a trip to the city of Benghazi in Libya a month before.

After being detained in Libya, he was not questioned by British authorities or MI5 about his possible involvement in the bombing.

After filing an appeal, Priti Patel, the Home Secretary at the time, reinstated his citizenship in 2021.

According to the BBC, MI5 recommended the change of heart after concluding that the Abedi brothers acted alone (despite not questioning Soliman).

In 2021, however, Soliman returned to the UK and was promptly arrested upon arrival.

He testified that Hashem prompted him to give the brothers access to his bank account so that they could purchase engine oil.

Soliman stated, “I had no idea, and I had no reason to suspect, that Hashem and/or Salman planned to attack any location or person, or carry out any form of terrorism.”

He continued by saying that his trip to see relatives in Libya had been planned before the bombing. The police assured him he would not be arrested or charged with anything.

Hashem was arrested in Libya the day after the bombing after the name of his brother, who was killed in the blast, became public knowledge.

After claiming torture in Libyan custody, he was extradited to the United Kingdom in 2019, where he was found guilty and sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 55 years in prison.

The families of the victims told the BBC that Soliman would have been sentenced alongside Hashem if he had stayed in the UK.

A detective told Caroline Curry, whose son was killed in the bombing at age 19, that Soliman “would have been alongside him (Hashem) charged with 22 counts of murder.”

An official statement from the Home Office read, “The government, working with our world-class police and security and intelligence agencies, will always take strongest action possible to protect national security and public safety.”