The bomber who carried out the attack on the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England had input and encouragement from a U.S.-based ISIS recruiter, Newsweek reported.
The attack, which targeted concert-goers as they left the arena, killed 22 people in August 2016.
Said Azzam Mohamad Rahim, a 40-year-old American national of Jordanian descent from Dallas, was part of an online chat with the bomber, Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old British national of Libyan descent, who was seeking authorization to carry out the bombing.
During the chat, which was held on the encrypted messaging app Zello, Abedi addressed a question to a sheikh in the group (later identified as Mouner el-Aoual, 28, an ISIS jihadi in Turin, Italy).
“Sheikh, I live in Manchester, in Great Britain. I live among non-Muslims. I have found work with them. Am I allowed to kill them? Is it permitted to kill them with a bomb?” Abedi asked.
Rahim responded, “To the boy from Manchester I say, OK, kill them! Show no mercy to civilians.”
El-Aoual agreed, saying, Abedi should “fight the pagans all together.”
Rahim was arrested in the U.S. last March for making false statements to federal officers about his alleged support of ISIS.
El-Aoual was later arrested by Italian police on suspicion of extremist activities.
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