Reports that the Manchester Arena suicide bomber was evacuated from Libya by the Royal Navy has sparked a flood of reaction on social media and prompted Nigel Farage to proclaim that “Europe is committing suicide.”
The former leader of the Eurosceptic UK Independence Party posted the comments on Twitter along with a picture of Tuesday’s Daily Mail front page. The newspaper reports that Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was rescued from Libya along with his brother Hashem and around 100 other British citizens following the outbreak of violence in the capital in 2014. All evacuees were taken to Malta before being transferred back to the UK. It is thought the Britons were visiting family in the North African country at the time.
Salman Abedi later detonated a homemade bomb at the Manchester Arena on May 22 last year as people were leaving an Ariana Grande concert. Some 22 people, including seven children, were killed and more than 200 others injured in the blast.
Farage is one of a number of anti-immigration commentators deriding the UK on Twitter for rescuing the then-19 year old Briton from the warzone, while some others despaired of the UK public’s seeming lack of interest in the story relative to other headline-grabbing events in British life.
Europe is committing suicide. pic.twitter.com/Hx0URzWz7e
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) 31 de julio de 2018
Commentators were quick to hit back at Farage, claiming he was misrepresenting the facts of the story in a bid to bolster his right-wing agenda. Others pointed the finger of blame at former Prime Minister David Cameron for getting Britain embroiled in the Libyan conflict in the first place.