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I did not want people to think I was racist: Security guard aged EIGHTEEN and earning

Kyle Lawler was security guard for Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

I did not want people to think I was racist: Security guard aged EIGHTEEN and earning

Kyle Lawler was security guard for Ariana Grande performance in Manchester

Colleague Mohammed Agha told him to radio in concern about Salman Abedi

But the 18-year-old struggled to radio control room and was ‘naive’ about likelihood of a terror attack

Minutes later Abide detonated his device killing 22 concertgoers in the foyer

A security guard had a ‘bad feeling’ as he looked at the Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi but did not come near him for fear of being branded a racist, a public inquiry has heard.

Kyle Lawler, who was 18 at the time was on duty when a partner  Mohammed Agha, told him a member of the public had raised concerns about Abedi, who was hanging around outside the Arena at an Arianna Grande concert.

Mr Lawler said he was stood 10 or 15ft away from Abedi, who had been reported to security by a member of the public who thought he looked ‘dodgy’.

The Showsec security guard,aged 18 at the time of the terror attack, told police in a statement read to the inquiry session in Manchester:  felt unsure about what to do.

It’s very difficult to define a fanatic. For all I knew he might well be an innocent Asian male.

I did not want people to think I am stereotype him because of his race. I was scared of being wrong and being branded a racist if I got it wrong and would have got into trouble.

Manchester Arena security guard Kyle Lawler who was 18 at the time told the inquiry into the arena bombing that he was naïve about terrorism and struggled to radio the control room over concerns about Salman Abedi

I wanted to get it right and not mess it up by over-reacting or judging someone by their race.’

Paul Greaney QC counsel to the inquiry said: If you were to approach him and he was some innocent kid, people might think you were racist?’

Mr Lawler replied: Yes.

The suicide bomber, dressed all in black and carrying a large, bulky rucksack, was reported by concerned parent Christopher Wild, who though it looked ‘dodgy’ and had asked Abedi what he had in his backpack.

Mr Wild told the inquiry he felt ‘fobbed off’ when he raised the matter to security, but Mr Agha said he could not immediately pass on the concerns as he was guarding a fire exit and it was practice never to leave those unattended.

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