A security guard who had “a bad feeling” about Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi has admitted that he ignored the terrorist because he was scared he would be “branded a racist.”
The terrorist attack happened in 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. It left 22 dead and over 100 injured.
“I felt unsure about what to do,” said Kyle Lawler, the security guard who was 18 at the time of the radical Islamic terror attack. He described the bomber as “fidgety and sweating.”
“It’s very difficult to define a terrorist. For all I knew he might well be an innocent Asian male,” Lawler explained at a public inquiry investigating the attack.
“I did not want people to think I am stereotyping him because of his race. I was scared of being wrong and being branded a racist if I got it wrong and would have got into trouble. It made me hesitant. I wanted to get it right and not mess it up by overreacting or judging someone by their race,” he said.
Ultimately, Lawler did not get it right. His politically correct instincts arguably contributed to the killing and wounding of hundreds of people, mostly children, adolescents, and their parents, with 22 fatalities and over 100 hospitilizations.
‘Open Door’ Policy
The security guard’s apparent oversights is just one of many failures leading up to Abedi’s bombing. The mistakes date all the way back to the decision to allow his Islamist father to claim asylum in Britain in the first place.
These include Britain’s security services reportedly operating an “open door” policy to Libyan-heritage British passport holders, like Abedi, entering Libya to join factions fighting against the Gaddafi government, including Islamist organizations. Also, the Royal Navy ‘rescued’ Abedi from the North African country with a warship and returned him to Britain after helping to plunge it into chaos.
Security services are also reported to have been aware of Abedi visiting a convicted jihadist in prison twice. In fact, he was flagged by the authorities 18 times prior to the Ariana Grande concert attack in Manchester, but they failed to stop him from progressing to planning and executing the attack.
Lawler does not appear to be the only authority figure to have failed on the day of the attack itself. A police officer was absent from the scene after deciding to take an unauthorized two-hour break from their duties. Also, police reportedly ignored members of the public who were concerned by Abedi’s giant rucksack and strange behavior, which included Islamic prayers.
After reporting Abedi’s suspicious behavior, one witness said police told them, “yeah, yeah, we’ve seen him, he’s fine.” Fifteen minutes later, he exploded.