A Libyan armed group holding Hashem Al-Obeidi, the brother of Salman Al-Obeidi accused of blowing himself up at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last year, is offering for sale for $ 1 million cash, the English newspaper Sunday Express reported.
The British government fears he could be sold to ISIS where he will be declared a hero for his role in the attack. The newspaper quoted sources in Libya, who it did not mention, as saying that ISIS is negotiating through a third party for his release.
“We learned Hashem Al-Obeidi is in the process of being sold, for around $1million by two militia groups who are holding him," a British government source told the newspaper.
The British source added that Britain will not deal directly with these two groups, and will not pay for his extradition, pointing out that they have learnt from sources that negotiations are underway to hand over Al-Obeidi to a Daesh (ISIS) affiliated group which operates outside of Libya.
Sources from the British Foreign Office said they are monitoring the situation closely and are hoping that their request to extradite Al-Obeidi to Britain would be heeded.
A spokesman for the British Foreign Office said that the matter is the prerogative of the Libyan government. Manchester police believe that they have sufficient evidence to formally charge Hashem Al-Obeidi with intentional homicide, attempt to kill others and conspiracy to carry out a bombing attack.
The British authorities have been seeking to extradite him to the UK since last November, for his involvement with his brother in the bombing of the Manchester Arena in May last year, which killed 22 people and injured many others.
Investigators in London believe that Hashim helped in gathering the materials used to make the bomb. Both Hashim and Salman were born in Manchester to Libyan parents.
Hashem Al-Obeidi has been detained at Mitiga Prison by the Special Deterrence Force since November last year. The SDF is seeking to keep him in Libya to be tried in Libyan courts.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Special Deterrence Force (SDF) Ahmed Salim denied the Sunday Express report, saying the claim of offering Hashem Al-Obeidi for sale is completely untrue.
“Hashem is well and is going nowhere.” Salim confirmed.