By Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Global Editor and Nick Fagge and Paul Thompson and Inderdeep Bains and Emily Kent Smith and Julian Robinson for MailOnline
Lounging on the beach in Libya with friends and hanging out with his mates in Manchester, this is the teenage boy who became a suicide bomber.
Lounging on the beach in Libya with friends and hanging out with his mates in Manchester, this is Salman Abedi (circled) as a teenage boy before he became a suicide bomber. There is a no suggestion any of the friends he is pictured with have been involved in any wrong doing
Exclusive pictures show Salman Abedi as an innocent schoolboy, about seven years before he murdered 22 people including children as young as eight by detonating a bomb at Manchester Arena on Monday night.
According to schoolmates of the 22-year-old killer, the pictures were taken near his home in South Manchester and on a trip in his parents' home country of Libya when he was 14 or 15.
The 'ordinary' teenager posing in the new photographs was described as 'quiet' and 'not the sort of kid that stood out' and showed little interest in religion, friends told MailOnline, adding that he even smoked cannabis.
There is no suggestion any of the friends he was pictured with have been involved in any wrongdoing.
He went to Burnage Academy, a boy's school catering largely to Manchester's Asian community, and was a keen footballer, often playing at the ground at Whalley Range High School where the Manchester United Foundation held soccer sessions, they said.
Exclusive pictures show Salman Abedi (circled) as an innocent schoolboy, seven years before he murdered 22 people including children as young as eight by detonating a bomb at Manchester Arena on Monday night. There is a no suggestion any of the friends he is pictured with have been involved in any wrong doing
Salman Abedi (pictured) had only just returned from war-torn Libya before launching his horrific attack and is believed to have undergone secret jihadi training
'None of them were your typical Salafis or religious or extremists. No religion was involved,' a schoolmate said. A year ago, all of this changed when the killer started hanging out with 'people I hadn't seen before', one neighbour and schoolmate claimed.
'It was like a turning-point,' he told MailOnline. 'He suddenly started hanging out with people I'd never seen before and not his old friends anymore.'
A different schoolmate of the bomber, who was in the same class throughout secondary school, told MailOnline that Abedi had never shown any interest in religion.