Manch­ester police grill 3 Malaysian stu­dents for 3½ hours to find out if they knew the sui­cide bomber

New Straits Times - - Front Page - HALIZA HASHIM-DOYLE MANCH­ESTER

MANCH­ESTER police ar­rest the three in its probe into the Manch­ester Arena sui­cide bomb­ing on May 22 that killed 22. Authorities let them go three hours later with­out charg­ing them. Mean­while, the deputy prime min­is­ter con­firms that an­other Malaysian mil­i­tant was killed in the Philip­pines, bring­ing the to­tal to 3.

THE 3 Malaysian stu­dents who were ques­tioned for al­most 3½ hours by the Greater Manch­ester Police on Mon­day said they are fine be­cause they have not done any­thing wrong.

They are sec­ond and third year stu­dents from Univer­sity of Manch­ester.

Malaysian High Com­mis­sion of­fi­cers, who vis­ited them yes­ter­day, said they were ar­rested at 5.40pm on Mon­day at their rented ac­com­mo­da­tion, but were re­leased at 9pm.

The stu­dents, who were not charged, gave their state­ments at the Longsight police sta­tion here.

Ear­lier, a National Crime Agency spokesman would not re­veal the rea­son for the ar­rest and only said the case was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The Malaysian High Com­mis­sion of­fi­cer who vis­ited the stu­dents yes­ter­day said they were trau­ma­tised by the ex­pe­ri­ence, but were oth­er­wise okay.

The United King­dom’s se­cu­rity ser­vices have been car­ry­ing out raids and ar­rests as part of their in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the Manch­ester bomb­ing.

Dur­ing an op­er­a­tion, a home oc­cu­pied by three Malaysian stu­dents was raided. Pho­tos al­legedly taken by the stu­dents’ neigh­bour were re­leased on Twit­ter by a Guardian jour­nal­ist. It showed them be­ing led into police ve­hi­cles.

Ac­cord­ing to a Face­book mes­sage cir­cu­lated among the stu­dent com­mu­nity, the three Malaysian stu­dents were be­ing housed at a safe­house as their rented home had been cor­doned off, with police of­fi­cers guard­ing the prop­erty.

A Malaysian High Com­mis­sion of­fi­cer said male Mus­lim oc­cu­pants of neigh­bour­ing houses were also ar­rested and ques­tioned.

The Malaysian stu­dents were al­legedly not tar­geted, but were caught in the mid­dle of the tense sit­u­a­tion.

Among the ques­tions al­legedly asked by Manch­ester police were whether the Malaysian stu­dents knew sui­cide bomber Sal­man Abedi, whether they had met him and whether they sym­pha­tised with his cause.

Al­though the stu­dents were re­leased, police had con­fis­cated their mo­bile phones and com­put­ers for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The stu­dents’ friends are wor­ried as one of the stu­dents will sit an ex­am­i­na­tion this week.

Fourteen men are in cus­tody fol­low­ing last Mon­day’s bomb­ing by Abedi that killed 22 peo­ple at Manch­ester Arena af­ter a pop con­cert.

Over the com­ing days and weeks, UK police would con­tinue work­ing with com­mu­ni­ties to ad­dress their con­cerns.

They sought the pub­lic’s help to de­feat ter­ror­ism by be­ing ex­tra vig­i­lant and let­ting the authorities know of sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour or ac­tiv­ity.


One of the pho­tos that has

gone vi­ral, pur­port­edly show­ing one of the Malaysian

stu­dents be­ing taken in by Manch­ester police for


Pho­tos of the ar­rest of Malaysian stu­dents in con­nec­tion with the Manch­ester bomb­ing have been re­leased on Twit­ter.

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