The Manchester Arena suicide bomber had made trips to Libya as intelligence agencies combed his connections with al-Qaeda and Islamic State in his parents’ homeland.
Salman Abedi, 22, who was reportedly known to the security services, is thought to have returned from Libya as recently as this week.
A school friend told The Times: “He went to Libya three weeks ago and came back recently, like days ago.”
Born to a devoutly Muslim Libyan family in Britain’s third biggest city, officials said he was known to British security services and the Financial Times reported he had turned to radical Islam.
Also Read- Libyan origin Salman Abedi identified as Manchester concert attacker
Abedi worshipped at a mosque in a leafy Manchester suburb popular with students.
His father was reportedly a well-known figure who sometimes performed the call to prayer.
Abedi was named by British police on Tuesday, a day after the attack outside a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande. Abedi’s family have lived in the Fallowfield area of south Manchester for at least 10 years, according to The Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Reports said Abedi was the second youngest of four children, including another two sons and one daughter.
Abedi began studying business and management at Salford University in Manchester in 2014, a source told the Press Association news agency, but he dropped out after two years and did not complete his degree.