"No Fear Here" written on a wall in Manchester after the recent terrorist attack.
The man responsible for the deadly terrorist attack in Manchester, UK allegedly used his student loans to research how to make bombs as well as for purchasing bomb-making materials according to the New York Post.
Salman Abedi was responsible for the bombing that killed 22 people and injured 59 on May 23rd. Although he never held a job, Abedi was able to pay for his bomb-building studies and materials with the money he received for university. It has been reported that Abedi received almost $20,000 in taxpayer-funded financial aid.
He enrolled at UK’s Salford University in 2015 to study business administration and was handed about $9,000. One year later, he got another $9,000 despite the fact that he had already dropped out of the school.
As mentioned before, he used taxpayer student loan funding to pay for several trips to a terrorist training camp in Libya. The funding also covered materials used in the attack. Additionally, several house rentals were paid for in the UK with the funds.
Needless to say, the idea that a terrorist is using government education funding for illegal, heinous activities and crimes is extremely alarming, and it makes an already tough problem even worse. The United Kingdom has had several issues related to student debt over the past few months, affecting taxpayers directly.
For starters, interest rates rose in April by 33 percent, spelling bad news for student borrowers as well as taxpayers. Overall, UK student debt rose to £86 billion with an expected £10 billion to be added annually.
Logically speaking, an increase in student lending could indicate an increase in the number of student borrowers to some degree (keep in mind that heightened lending may also be an indicator of tuition hikes). With that in mind, more borrowers and loans could make it much harder for UK officials to track the funds, resulting in taxpayer dollars slipping through the cracks.
On top of this idea, the UK has already experienced significant trouble with recovering student debt from foreign EU students who study in the UK. A reported 25 percent of these foreign students fail to repay their student loans. The issue here is that funding is lost to the government, and thinking about the case with the Manchester bomber, there may not be an effective record of who received funding without attending school.
Image Copyright © Paul Edwards