By Charlie Loran • 27 October 2020 • 21:37
A SECURITY guard had a ‘bad feeling’ as he noticed the Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi but did not approach him for being afraid of being branded a racist, a public inquiry has heard.
Kyle Lawler, who was just 18 at the time, was working when a colleague, told him a member of the public had raised concerns about Abedi, who was hanging around outside the Arena at an Ariana Grande concert.
Mr. Lawler said he was stood 10 or 15ft away from Abedi, who had been reported to security by a member of the public who thought he looked ‘dodgy’.
The Showsec security guard, aged 18 at the time of the terror attack, told police in a statement read to the inquiry sitting in Manchester, ‘I felt unsure about what to do.
‘It’s very difficult to define a terrorist. For all, I knew he might well be an innocent Asian male.
‘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.
The Showsec security guard, was aged just 18 at the time of the terror attack, told police in a statement, ‘I felt unsure about what to do.
‘It’s very difficult to define a terrorist. For all I knew he might well be an innocent Asian male.
‘It made me hesitant.
‘I wanted to get it right and not mess it up by overreacting or judging someone by their race.’
Paul Greaney QC, counsel to the inquiry, said, ‘If you were to approach him and he was some innocent kid, people might think you were racist?’
Mr. Lawler replied, ‘Yes.’
The suicide bomber, dressed all in black and carrying a large, bulky rucksack, was reported by concerned parent Christopher Wild, who thought it looked ‘dodgy’ and had asked Abedi what he had in his backpack.
Mr. Wild told the inquiry he felt ‘fobbed off’ when he raised the matter to security, but Mr Agha said he could not immediately pass on the concerns as he was guarding a fire exit and it was practice never to leave those unattended.
Mr. Lawler told the inquiry he had had some counter-terrorism training provided by his employer Showsec, and he was aware that the terror threat level at the time was ‘severe’, meaning an attack was likely.
He said, ‘I think I was naive at the time to the situation. It was one of those things, it was possible but it wouldn’t happen to me.
The inquiry is being live streamed on youtube.
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you don't already have one. Review our
Manchester born mummy with a two year old diva (2020), living on the Costa del Sol for just short of a decade.
Former chef and restaurateur, holistic health fanatic and lover of long words.
Share your story with us by emailing email@example.com, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.