Bomb-making video which inspired Manchester Arena terrorist still online
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The bomb-making video used by the brothers who killed 22 people in the Manchester Arena attack is still online, The Telegraph can reveal.
The 13 minute clip, which teaches viewers how to build an explosive device at home using “simple tools”, was available on one site for two years where it was viewed more than 17,700 times.
Hashem and Salman Abedi used the step-by step guide to learn how to build a shrapnel-packed bomb which was detonated at an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017.
Counter terror researchers last night criticised the “unacceptable” accessibility of the video and called for stronger cybersecurity filters to prevent extremist content being shared online.
A Telegraph investigation found the video on three websites last week, including the encrypted site Telegram, where it was removed within 48 hours after being viewed 18 times.
The terror tutorial was also found on a pro-ISIS website, where it has been accessible since March this year, and the Internet Archive, a free digital library, where it is played alongside two violent executions.
The video remained on the Internet Archive for more than two and a half years and was viewed thousands of times. The clip was removed this week after it was flagged by this newspaper.
Hosted by a balaclava-clad man wearing surgical gloves, the video opens with him saying: “My brother, today, by Allah’s permission, we will learn how to make simple explosive substances with common ingredients, and which you can make in your own home using simple tools.”
The video demonstrates how to create an explosive substance and detonator using easily accessible equipment like batteries, sandpaper and aluminum. The host tells the viewer to use “nails and bolts” as shrapnel.
The Abedi brothers built the bomb at a rented flat in Granby Row, central Manchester, in the months leading up to the attack.
The ongoing inquiry into the Arena bombing heard that two days before the attack, suicide bomber Salman bought 4,000 screws, 150 hex nuts, and six 20 zinc-plated dowels from B&Q to “form a substantial part of the shrapnel in his bomb”.
“It was this shrapnel … that was to be responsible for almost all of the injuries amongst those who died,” counsel to the inquiry, Paul Greaney QC, told the court on the opening day.
Joshua Fisher Birch, a researcher at the Counter Extremism Project, said: “It is unacceptable that dangerous ISIS propaganda that contains instructions for making explosives remains online”.
Mr Birch said tech companies can prevent the spread of dangerous ISIS content by creating stronger filters to stop it from being uploaded in the first place.
The revelation of the video’s online presence more than three years on from the Arena attack comes after a senior police officer warned that children as young as 12 are turning to extremism due to the rise in “hateful” content online.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism, this week told MPs on the Home Affairs Committee that there has been a “disturbing” trend in younger children being groomed by radicalisers exploiting social media to lure in recruits.
A spokesman for the Internet Archive said the video was taken down “within hours” of them being notified, adding: “The Internet Archive is a non-profit library that hosts books, music, and video from libraries, archives, and end users that serve over a million people a day.
“Some of these are inappropriate for different reasons. If we become aware of them, based on alerts or other signals, then we take the appropriate actions under law and our terms of service”.
Telegram was approached for comment.