PETALING JAYA, May 31 – The three Malaysians, who were questioned by British police on Monday, are “innocent Muslim students”. The Times reported today that they may have been “used” by Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi. Friends of the three Malaysians said yesterday that Abedi may have taken advantage of their hospitality while he was planning his attack.
The students, Aliff Farhan, Muhd Helmi and a third man, were released without charge on Monday night. According to the report, Abedi’s link to the address, which is thought to have been occupied by the students for four years, was not clear. The Malaysian High Commission in London had also confirmed the detention and questioning of the students in a statement released yesterday.
“The students were reportedly taken to the Longsight police station in Manchester at 5.40pm and released at 9pm, on Monday,” the Foreign Ministry said, without giving any further details. Two of them were said to be medical students at Manchester University, while the third was said to be studying at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Friends shared how the trio were all strong advocates against Islamic extremism and terrorism, besides being “hard-working and of good character”. “These students are Malaysians and Malaysians in general tend to be communal. If this guy is known locally and went to the mosque near by, it is possible they have interacted at some point,” a friend of the Malaysians was quoted as saying by the daily.