In its own words:
"The leading website for in-depth analysis and exclusive news on British foreign policy, investigating the UK military, intelligence agencies and its most powerful corporations."
Declassified UK is an investigative journalism website founded in 2019 by Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis and hosted by the Daily Maverick, an online newspaper based in South Africa. Declassified UK was briefly blacklisted by the UK Ministry of Defence in September 2020.
- 1 2017 Manchester bombing
- 2 Documents sourced from Declassified UK
- 3 References
2017 Manchester bombing
In December 2021, Declassified UK posted on Crowdfunder:
Help us investigate the 2017 Manchester bombing.
22 people died in the Manchester Arena bombing of 2017. Help Declassified UK uncover the full story.
Manchester bomber Salman Abedi and those close to him have a secret history linked to the British establishment. Abedi and his allies fought for extremist groups that the UK government also supported in a foreign war. Your donation will help Declassified UK uncover the bomber's links to the UK establishment.
You can help us answer key questions
- What relationship did Abedi really have with the UK government?
- Could the security services have done more to prevent the bombing?
- Has UK support of foreign militia groups contributed to terror at home?
- If nothing changes, are we setting ourselves up for more terrorism in our country?
We all have the right to know
We don’t yet know the full story - only some information has so far emerged, and we have to get to the truth. The story raises massive issues. Twenty-two people are dead. The families of the 2017 Manchester bombing victims have a right to know the connections the bomber had with the UK establishment.
We all need to know how it could be that the UK secretly supported fighters who would go on to become terrorists, to ensure this can never happen again.
There's an immediate danger of a cover up
Our investigation must be done now. There is a public inquiry going on into the Manchester bombing. But it won’t uncover the full story. There is a clear danger of a cover-up: the security services are giving most of their evidence to the inquiry in secret.
With a recent rise in terrorist attacks in the UK, we need clarity on the impact UK policies abroad can have on the safety of the public at home – especially when we are given little voice in our governments’ actions overseas.
Declassified UK are experts in doing difficult investigations
The UK’s national media are not going to uncover this story. It’s too challenging of those in power. Only Declassified UK is going to investigate this story independently.
We have proved to be a thorn in the side of the security establishment. We believe that transparency and accountability are key to a democracy, and our independence as journalists puts us in prime position to uncover this story in the public interest.
We will uncover the truth, publicly
Our investigative journalism will involve pursuing all the leads we can find to establish the truth. We already have some avenues to go down (but cannot reveal them all now). The process will not be easy and will be time-consuming. We need to interview many people, in different countries, to pull the story together.
We will publish our work openly on our website for all to see, and publicise this through our social media channels. We expect our findings to be widely picked up.
We will present our work to MPs to demand they take action. We will also produce a short film to reach as wide an audience as possible.
We can't do this without you
We need you to fund us to undertake this work.
We operate on a tiny budget, equivalent to only 0.09% of The Guardian’s annual income, for example. We are a team of just four deeply committed individuals who strive to uncover the truth about what UK military and intelligence agencies do in the rest of the world, and how that affects us in the UK.
To take on this vital public service task, we need your help to fund the long hours needed to conduct the research and investigation.
Help us get to the truth
We need to know - Is the British government partly responsible for the radicalisation and terrorism of Salman Abedi? Who needs to be held to account? How can we ensure this never happens again?
The story starts in 2011 when David Cameron’s Conservative government went to war in Libya. The UK secretly deployed troops and conducted massive air attacks, aiming to overthrow Libyan ruler Colonel Gaddafi.
The UK and its allies supported extremist fighters on the ground to promote their war. Those forces included Salman Abedi, his father and brother, and others who would later be connected to the 2017 Manchester bombing.
The UK’s key ally at the time was Qatar. This authoritarian Gulf state poured hundreds of millions of pounds worth of arms into Libyan militia forces, including to Abedi’s group – all with the UK government’s blessing.
Not only this, it is also believed the British security services expressly allowed Libyan radicals from Manchester, like the Abedis, to go and fight in Libya in 2011.
Incredibly, three years later, Salman Abedi was actually rescued by the Royal Navy. In August 2014, he was one of the UK nationals evacuated from Libya as fighting increased there.
Three years later, he committed his atrocity.
We believe the 2017 Manchester bombing is a case of ‘blowback’ – where individuals or groups secretly backed by the UK government go on to strike at the British public.
We will uncover those who may have aided this catastrophe, and investigate for the public, with your support.
Documents sourced from Declassified UK