A missing blue suitcase seen with Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi

Police tracking the final movements of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi have released a new image of him carrying a bright blue suitcase in the days before the attack.

Officers have urged anyone who may have seen him with the distinctive bag between May 18 and 22 to come forward.

They say he was seen in Manchester city centre with the case, but stress it is a different item to the one used in the attack.

The image was released as a man believed to be Salman Abedi was captured on CCTV shopping just hours before the Manchester attack which killed 22 people.

Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit said: “We continue to track the final movements of Salman Abedi and are particularly interested in his whereabouts between 18 and 22 May 2017.

“Today, we are releasing an image of carrying a distinctive blue suitcase and an image of a replica of the case. We know he visited the Wilmslow Road area of Manchester and was also seen in Manchester city centre with the blue suitcase.

“Did you see Abedi with this suitcase between the 18 and 22 May 2017? Where did you see him with it during that time? You may have seen him in the Wilmslow Road area or Manchester city centre with the suitcase or know where the suitcase has been. If you have any details about the suitcase we need you to get in touch and let us know.”

The statement continued: “We believe Abedi was in possession of this case in the days before the attack at Manchester Arena on Monday 22 May. I want to stress that this is a different item than the one he used in the attack. This image was taken from CCTV in the city centre on 22 May.

“We have no reason to believe the case and its contents contain anything dangerous, but would ask people to be cautious. Anybody with information about the whereabouts of the case between 18 and 22 May should call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline in confidence on 0800 789 321.

“The public should not approach the case if they see it but contact police immediately on 999.

“This remains a live investigation and if you have any images or footage you believe can assist us then please upload them to UKpoliceimageappeal.co.uk or UKpoliceimageappeal.com as soon as you can.”

The CCTV footage which has also emerged today shows a man believed to be Salman Abedi in a convenience store walking among the food aisles, shortly before the arena explosion.

The BBC, who released the video, say they have passed the footage on to investigating officers.

It was reportedly recorded in a shop near the flat where Abedi was just hours before the atrocity.

A man wearing a black hooded top with a grey cap underneath the hood covering part of his face, grey trousers and chunky trainers is seen strolling along the aisles of a convenience store in the clip.

He is seen picking up a few items from the shelves but it is unclear from the footage what these products are.

He continues walking up and down the aisles, appearing to be searching for something.

The CCTV then shows him queueing and paying before casually walking out of the shop with a carrier bag of goods.
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