Manchester City’s bomber Salman Abedi used to be good friends with Bilal Ahmed, who is now serving a nine-year prison sentence for luring a schoolgirl into a hotel room and raping her along with a mob of attackers.
Who knew these two kids would grow up to be such a disaster.
The gang victim entrapped a schoolgirl who mostly kept quiet during the terrifying attack because she feared the consequences of protesting.
‘I just stayed quiet because I thought they would kill me if I screamed,’ she said.
‘Any one of them could have had a knife. Nobody else knew I was there. I kept thinking they could kill me and nobody would know.’
Salman Abedi (pictured) had only just returned from war-torn Libya before launching his horrific attack and is believed to have undergone secret jihadi training
The little girl had almost no exposure to boys, she is a gifted musician and was introduced to a group South Manchester’s Somali community, who among them was Ahmed plus Muhyadeen Osman and Mowled Yussuf, by a mutual friend in 2013.
Other youths and the bomber’s friend lured the 16-year-old into a hotel room in Rusholme, site of Manchester’s famous Curry Mile, where they had been spent the previous night for Eid celebrations.
The mob forced her inside and each took turns raping her.
Last year the trio, then all aged 20, were jailed for a total of 31 years after all being convicted of rape.
Sadly, the victim’s parents faced abuse and intimidation from the families and friends of the convicted men during the trial.
Bilal Ahmed sarcastically blew a kiss at the couple shortly before sentence was delivered.
The girl’s mother said: ‘By supporting them in this way, they are condoning what happened. No wonder so many people are too scared to go to court in rape cases if this is what you have to go through.’
Apparently, Ahmed and Salman Abedi used to hang around together on the South Manchester estates where they live.
A neighbor of Ahmed’s family in Whalley Range, which is close to the home of the attacker’s elder brother Ismail said that: ‘When he went to prison it was such a shock. The rape – that was so, so shocking. The whole community was shocked.’