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Manchester bomber Abedi met ISIS fighters in Libya, report says

Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi went to Libya before the attack and met with Islamic State extremists linked to the 2015 Paris terrorist attack, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The report, citing current and retired intelligence officials, said Abedi met the ISIS operatives on visits to Tripoli and another town.

The paper reported that those operatives were from Katibat al-Battar al-Libi, a core ISIS unit that attracted a number of French and Belgian foreign fighters and carried out terror attacks in Europe when it moved to Libya from Syria.

Alumni of the group were involved in the Paris attacks, including mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the paper reported.

“The contacts between Abedi and al Battar members happened personally when he went to Libya, especially in Tripoli and Sabratha,” a retired European intelligence chief told The Times.

Abedi kept in contact with the group after returning to Manchester the source said.

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A senior United States intelligence official confirmed that Abedi had been in contact with Battar brigade members in Libya, the paper reported.

ISIS has claimed that "a soldier of the caliphate” carried out the Manchester attack, which killed 22 people, including children, after an Ariana Grande concert May 22.

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It has previously been reported that Abedi, born in Britain to Libyan parents, returned to the U.K. from Libya days before the attack and that investigators were attempting to learn if he had attended a terrorist training camp in Libya, where ISIS and Al Qaeda fighters are engaged in a bloody war against government forces.