Salman Abedi, the Manchester terrorist attacker, smoked cannabis and dropped out of the University of Salford (where he was studying for a business degree). Some of his friends say he may have been involved in gangs before he became radicalised. After quitting university, he worked at a bakery.
Some experts are seeing this trajectory as a somewhat typical shift from crime to terrorism. Because criminals are accustomed to violence, according to some, there is a smaller jump to political violence.
At one point, Abedi flew an ISIS flag from his Manchester home but the police did not interview.
Abedi attended the Burnage Academy for Boys between 2009 and 2011 but the school did not make a statement because of the status of the investigation.
Neighbours were not very familiar with Abedi but noticed a recent increase in the religiosity of his appearance. Friends from school said that he was ‘fun’ until he went to Libya in 2011. Abedi reportedly had just returned from a trip to Libya a few days before the attack.
Abedi’s cousins were arrested as well and two of them were recently released.