A night of fun turned to terror on May 22, 2017, when 22 concert-goers died and an additional 116 were injured during an Ariana Grande performance in Manchester, England. A suicide bomber, later identified as Salman Ramadan Abedi, had entered into the lobby of the venue before detonating a homemade explosive device. He perished in the attack.
Abedi’s body was later taken to a morgue outside of city limits where it has been placed into cold storage. Controversy over what should happen to his remains has lately been making headlines and poses an interesting question, What happens to a terrorist’s body after they die?
Just a week ago Sword and Scale writer Fiona Guy reported on a similar controversy involving the remains of Ian Brady who had been responsible for the Moors Murders. Brady requested for his cremains to be scattered in Saddleworth Moor, the same location he had buried a majority of his young victims. Many funeral homes had refused to provide cremation services for Brady and an agreement was later approved for Brady’s lawyer to handle the body and to hold services for the deceased child killer at an undisclosed location.
Unlike Brady, however, the solution to the problem of what to do with Abedi’s body may not be as simple.
Funeral homes around the Manchester area have publicly stated that they refuse to handle the remains of the suicide bomber and city authorities have assured the public that the attacker will not be laid to rest within the greater-Manchester city limits. Manchester Central Mosque, one of the largest providers of Muslim funerary services within the Manchester area, have also spoken out against handling Abedi’s body, according to The Telegraph.
Abedi’s family is also unable to receive the terrorist’s body since they are residing in Libya and both his father and brother are currently being detained for questioning. Currently, Abedi’s body is considered to be property of the coroner, who has assured the public that it is not nor will it ever be stored within the same location as his victims’.
An inquest hearing has been called to determine how to dispose of Abedi’s remains. Since these remains are considered property of the coroner, it will be the coroner who has the final word on what happens to the suicide bomber.