Survivors Of The Manchester Arena Bombing Have File Lawsuit Against MI5, Over Negligence To Prevent The Assault

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Survivors Of The Manchester Arena Bombing Have File Lawsuit Against MI5, Over Negligence To Prevent The Assault

Relatives of victims and hundreds of survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing have initiated legal proceedings against MI5, alleging that the agency’s inaction may have prevented the attack.

Over 250 individuals have joined the collective legal action against MI5 and have lodged their complaint with the investigatory powers tribunal, which addresses grievances against the intelligence services. This marks the first instance where MI5 faces a lawsuit for its alleged failure to prevent a domestic terrorist attack.

A statement on behalf of Hudgell Solicitors, Slater and Gordon, and Broudie Jackson Canter, the three lead firms representing the group, said: “Legal teams representing injured survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 can confirm that they have collectively submitted a group claim on behalf of more than 250 clients to the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT).

“As it is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable or provide any further details, or comment further, at this stage.”

Ken McCallum, the director general of the security service, had previously publicly apologized for MI5’s failure to apprehend the suicide bomber Salman Abedi, aged 22, despite receiving intelligence concerning him prior to the tragic incident.

A comprehensive inquiry into the attack, which resulted in the deaths of 22 individuals and injuries to hundreds, determined that MI5 overlooked a “significant opportunity” to avert the bombing.

Sir John Saunders, the inquiry’s chair, indicated that there was a “realistic possibility” that the authorities could have thwarted the bombing had they acted more decisively on two crucial pieces of intelligence.

However, he stressed that it was “quite impossible” to definitively ascertain whether different actions could have prevented the explosion.

Andrew Roussos, the father of eight-year-old Saffie Roussos, who was the youngest of those killed in the attack, previously said suing MI5 was the “only way to learn”.

“Everybody learns by hitting them hard in the pocket, I am sorry to say,” he told Times Radio.

“At 2017 we were at the highest alert and everybody was warned of an attack in this country, and MI5 – who, their sole job, they are well funded and well equipped – had 22 pieces of information about Salman Abedi.

“So, if they would have learned lessons, they wouldn’t have allowed Abedi to walk into that arena. So, yes, MI5 have, for me, most of the blame.”

On 22 May 2017, Abedi detonated a homemade bomb in the foyer of Manchester Arena as hundreds of attendees were exiting an Ariana Grande concert, marking the deadliest terror attack in Britain since the 7 July 2005 bombings in London.

The bomb, packed with metal nuts and bolts, caused severe injuries to many survivors, predominantly children and young individuals.

The inquiry into the attack, which concluded last year, highlighted that Abedi’s return from Libya four days before the explosion would have been deemed “extremely serious” by MI5 had crucial pieces of intelligence been given more weight in the preceding months.

Furthermore, it revealed that the agency could have discovered Abedi’s homemade device, which was stored in a car in Manchester, had an investigation commenced earlier.

Roussos said: “Salman Abedi should not have made it to that arena that night. There were too many missed opportunities.”

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