The final attack we are exploring took place at an Ariana Grande concert
The bomber was twenty-two-year-old Salman Abedi. He was a British Muslim of Libyan descent; his parents had fled Libya and the Government of Muammar Gaddafi. His father was a member of the Libyan Islamic fighting group and both of them had returned to Libya to fight in the movement to overthrow Gaddafi. Reportedly during this time, Abedi had met with ISIS members also fighting in Libya and had remained in contact with them upon his return to the UK.
Islamic State (known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh) had been founded in 1999 by Al-Zarqawi and pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda. The group fought the insurgency in Iraq after the invasion of 2003 and in 2014 took control of key cities in Iraq by driving Security forces out. Around this time, they had declared themselves a worldwide Caliphate and had begun undertaking action across the Middle East, including in Libya.
Whilst Abedi’s motivation was not driven by events in Iraq, his ability to carry out the attack had been facilitated by ISIS, a group who had been able to take power through taking advantage of the chaos in Iraq to assume control in large areas of the country.