Anti-terror cops raided University of Chester accommodation where it is reported a friend of the younger brother of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi has been living.
The 19-year-old student is understood to have been arrested at his family home in Gorton, Manchester, on Sunday night (May 28)where Abedi had stayed in the past.
Then in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday officers from Cheshire Police and Counter Terrorism Policing North West swooped on Sumner House student halls of residence in Delamere Street, Chester.
There were no arrests at the property.
Officers returned later in the day to carry out follow-up enquiries and a forensic examination.
The University of Chester is making no comment but referred all enquiries to Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
Both GMP and Cheshire Police confirmed an anti-terror raid had taken place in Chester but not the location.
However, The Chronicle understands the investigation at Sumner House is linked to the Manchester bomb which killed 22 people including off duty Cheshire Police detective Elaine McIver, 43, from Frodsham , who grew up in Ellesmere Port .
A student who witnessed the dawn raid said: “I left the library (Chester University) at around 4.20am, I have to walk through the city centre to get home – upon passing Tesco (Delamere Street) at around 4.25-30am I spotted two police vans outside Sumner House.
“In light of the Manchester bombing I immediately suspected that this was potentially in connection with the incident especially because a blue van – unmarked but which had a CCTV logo on the rear – was next to the marked police van. The scene itself was calm, there were two policemen outside looking at the Sumner House building and I think they had got into the entrance of the building. That’s all I can really say.”
The Daily Mirror reports that the University of Chester student at the centre of the probe is best friends with the bomber’s younger brother Hashem Abedi.
He is a keen boxer and Manchester City fan and studies criminology and law at the university.
One relative was quoted as saying the student was ‘no terrorist’, adding: “I’m certain he’s been caught up in all of this because Salman used to live in the house with him and his family. We were all shocked when we heard about the bombing and absolutely sick when we found out Salman was responsible.”
One national title published a picture, apparently of the university student, pointing what appears to be a gun at the camera.