The U.S. intelligence official, who has direct knowledge of the investigation, said Abedi, whose family is of Libyan descent, was identified by a bank card found in his pocket at the scene of the explosion after an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena. The identification was confirmed by facial recognition technology, the official said.
Abedi had traveled to Libya within the last 12 months, one of multiple countries he had visited, the official said. And while he had “clear ties to al Qaeda,” the official said, Abedi could have also had connections to other groups.
Members of his own family had even informed on him in the past, telling British authorities that he was dangerous, according to the intelligence official.
The U.S. official said Abedi’s bomb was “big and sophisticated,” using materials hard to obtain in Britain — meaning “it’s almost impossible to see he didn’t have help.”