UK authorities have arrested another suspect in the “fast moving investigation” into the terrorist attack on the Manchester Arena, bringing the total number of arrests to ten – with eight men still in custody.
Police also conducted a search at an address in the ”St. Helens area of Merseyside,” in North West England on Friday morning.
Two men were arrested in Manchester on Thursday morning. One of them was detained following searches of an address in the Withington area of the city, while the other was arrested in a part of Greater Manchester that was not disclosed. Raids across the area continue.
“I want to reassure people that the arrests that we have made are significant,” Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins told reporters Thursday.
“These searches will take several days to complete, as you would expect, therefore there will be some disruption. However, it is important that we continue with these searches,” Hopkins said. “We are now carrying out associated searches at a number of addresses.”
On Monday night, British-born Salman Abedi detonated a “highly sophisticated” nail bomb at Manchester Arena killing 22 people, including young children. Twenty people are still in a critical condition in hospital following Britain’s worst terrorist attack since the 7/7 atrocity 12 years ago.
Salman Abedi is understood to be a 22-year-old born in Manchester to parents of Libyan descent, and a former University of Salford student.
He attended Burnage Academy for Boys in Manchester between 2009-11.
Hamid El-Said, who worked for the UN on tackling radicalisation and who now works at the Manchester Metropolitan University, said Abedi had a “really bad relationship” with his family and his parents had tried but failed to keep him on the “right path”.
“Eventually he was doing very bad at his university, at his education, and he didn’t complete, and they tried to take him back to Libya several times. He had difficulties adjusting to European lifestyle,” he added.
Abedi blew himself up in Manchester Arena’s foyer shortly after 22:30 BST on Monday
Fans were beginning to leave a concert by US singer Ariana Grande
The arena bombing is the worst attack in the UK since the 7 July bombings in 2005, in which 52 people were killed by four suicide bombers
So-called Islamic State has said – via IS channels on the messaging app Telegram – it was behind the attack, but this has not been verified
A former classmate of Abedi’s told the BBC that he was a “very jokey lad” but also “very short tempered” and would get angry at “the littlest thing”.
The man, who did not want to be identified, said Abedi was “away at random times throughout the year” but he did not know if he was abroad or playing truant because he hung around “the wrong crowd and was very, very gullible”.
“You could tell him anything and he would pretty much fall for it.”
He said that, before leaving the school in 2011, Abedi became “more and more religious” and that this might explain why he cut ties with former classmates.
What’s happening with the investigation?
Apart from the three arrests in south Manchester on Wednesday, Abedi’s older brother Ismael was arrested in Chorlton, south Manchester, on Tuesday in connection with the attack.
On Wednesday afternoon, police raided a block of flats near Manchester Piccadilly station in the city centre, requiring them to briefly close the railway line.
Met Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, who is the national counter-terrorism policing lead, said the investigation was “fast-moving and making good progress”.
“However, a critical line of inquiry is whether the dead terrorist was acting alone or part of a group,” he said.
“We still have critical lines of inquiry they’re chasing down which has led to a level of uncertainty.”
Anyone with information about the attack can call the anti-terror hotline on 0800 789321.
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NOW PLAYINGMorrissey: Call Manchester attack Islamic extremism
Musician Morrissey ripped into British politicians for failing to say Islamic extremism was the motivation behind Monday night’s bombing outside of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
The UK singer, who grew up in Manchester and was celebrating his birthday in the city at the time of the bombing, did not hold back in a lengthy Facebook post in which he called out UK Prime Minister Theresa May and several British politicians.
“Theresa May says such attacks ‘will not break us,’ but her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues,” the former Smiths frontman wrote. “Also, ‘will not break us’ means that the tragedy will not break her, or her policies on immigration. The young people of Manchester are already broken – thanks all the same, Theresa.”
He then criticized Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham for calling the terrorist attack the work of an “extremist” but not specifying Islamic extremism.
“An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?” Morrissey questioned.
He also slammed London Mayor Sadiq Khan for “not condemn[ing the] Islamic State – who have claimed responsibility for the bomb.”
“In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private,” the 58-year-old concluded. “Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections.”
NOW PLAYINGBritish authorities identify concert bombing suspect
British authorities on Tuesday identified the suicide bomber who launched a deadly attack at a Manchester Ariana Grande concert, hours after the Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the blast.
Salman Abedi, 22, was identified as the man who detonated an improvised explosive device at about 10:30 p.m. local time Monday, killing more than 20 people, some of them children, and injuring dozens more, Manchester police confirmed in a news conference on Tuesday. At least 12 children under the age of 16 were injured, emergency responders said. An 8-year-old girl was among the dead.
A European security official told the Associated Press that Abedi was British. No additional details about Abedi were immediately available.
It was previously reported that Abedi was 23, but police clarified that another 23-year-old man was arrested. Two warrants have been issued at two separate residences. Officers used a police-controlled explosive device to gain entry into one home.
ISIS claimed on Tuesday that “a soldier of the caliphate planted bombs in the middle of Crusaders gatherings” then detonated them, but Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that the U.S. had not yet verified that the terror group was responsible.
The explosion unfolded outside Manchester Arena as Grande’s concert was coming to a close. The pop star, who wasn’t injured, reportedly suspended her Dangerous Woman Tour following the attack. She wrote on Twitter, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”
Officials believe the device was packed with shrapnel, built to inflict as much human damage as possible, according to U.S. law enforcement sources. Manchester police said one of their priorities is to investigate whether the attacker acted alone or had some kind of support.
Politicians both at home and abroad condemned the attack. British Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack “appalling, sickening cowardice.”
The door of an Islamic center in Oldham, outside Manchester, was set alight in an arson attack hours following the suicide bombing at the nearby Manchester Arena in which 22 people died.
“Last night at around 2am somebody has started a fire through our letterbox. The door is completely burnt down. Very soon after a member of the public was walking past and called the fire brigade. Thankfully nobody was inside at the time,” Mohammad Saddiq, the imam of the Qasmia Zahidia Islamic Centre told the Daily Mail. “We have no idea why somebody would target us. We are a religious and educational center. I’ve been involved her for three years and never dealt with anything like this.”
Police are currently examining CCTV footage from the arson site but Saddiq believes the attack may have been a response to what the government believes was a terrorist act perpetrated by UK-born Muslim man Salman Abedi, 22.
“People are upset,” said Saddiq. “There’s a possibility that it’s a retaliation to what happened in Manchester last night but we can’t confirm that. It’s sad to see more misery in Manchester. What happened last night was terrible but this is not the way to respond.”
In the wake of the deadliest terrorist attack on UK soil since the London bombings in 2005, police in Glasgow removed graffiti with the word ‘ISIS’ inscribed inside a heart and painted on the wall of the city’s central mosque.
Police said they were informed about the sign prior to the attack on Saturday May, 20, and “enquiries are continuing” concerning the defacers.
Authorities have warned of potential backlash against Muslims, who constitute around 5 percent of the UK’s population. Police reported a “slight uplift” in “Islamophobic incidents” following the previous notable terrorist attack at Westminster in March, in which five victims and the perpetrator, a Muslim man, died.
So far, most of the tension anger over the latest incidents has been expressed through social media, where accusations of “Islamophobia” and appeasement of Islamist terror have been traded in the aftermath of Monday’s deadly episode in Manchester.
Following the arrest, police carried out two separate raids on homes in suburban areas of Manchester.
A flat in Whalley Range and a house in Fallowfield were raided by armed police officers and examined by forensic teams. A controlled explosion was carried out at the Fallowfield address at 12:30pm to gain access to the home.
TRUMP’S BUDGET SLASHES $3.6 TRILLION FROM DOMESTIC PROGRAMS OVER 10 YEARS
The good ol’ American way……take from the poor and give to the rich.
EUROPEANS STILL BELIEVE US WOULD INTERVENE IN CASE OF CONFLICT WITH RUSSIA – SURVEY
Why in the world can someone call Russia a threat? Who has all the military bases on Russia borders?
WINNERS & LOSERS IN TRUMP’S $603BN NATIONAL SECURITY BUDGET
why not spend that massive amount on nationalising your health care, so all can benfit for free. backward people
MANCHESTER ARENA ATTACK: ‘WE CAUSED BLOODY CHAOS, NOT SURPRISING THERE’S BLOWBACK’
I made a similar point in another article stating that people in the west is living in a bubble and immune from the actions of their governments. Sooner or later, the daily bombing that takes place in non-western areas will come back to haunt Europe. I don’t condone violence, but we need to understand why it is happening. For example, Saddam was a bad person but at least Iraqis didn’t had to worry about car bombs and suicide bombers at their places of worship and markets. Now daily bombings is a fact of life for the majority of Iraqis.
MANCHESTER VIGIL: MEMORIAL HELD FOR VICTIMS OF CONCERT SUICIDE BOMBING (VIDEO)
When will people start to demand actions?
SECURITY TIGHTENED AT CONCERT & SPORTS VENUES WORLDWIDE AFTER MANCHESTER ATTACK
Soon we will have to take our shoes off and pass through a scanner to visit the Supermarket…
NATO FORCED TO CHANGE RULES AFTER TURKEY’S SPAT WITH AUSTRIA THREATENS TO PARALYZE ALLIANCE
NATO is an outdated disgrace. And Turkey is part of that disgrace. Also, I don’t forget nor forgive the criminal shooting of the russian jet by the turkish murderers.
UK PM: TERRORISM THREAT LEVEL RAISED TO CRITICAL, NEW ATTACK ‘IMMINENT’
Terrorism threat level raised to critical = CIA and MI6 organized a new terror attack on civilians, which they desire to launch on us ‘imminent’-ly.
‘WE NEED MODERN WEAPONS’: DUTERTE MEETS PUTIN, CUTS TRIP SHORT OVER PHILIPPINES TERRORIST CRISIS
US ISIS in the philippines immediately launch their terrorist attak in the south to tell Duterte we will destabilize your country using ethnic and religious hostility if you dont submit to us .
TRUMP DISCUSSES ‘MADMAN KIM & GOOD GUY XI’ IN LEAKED CALL WITH PHILIPPINES’ DUTERTE
We all know the real Madman is Jared Kuschner. If Drumpf really wanted to make America great again he would have met with Putin first not King Wahabism.
MOSQUE NEAR MANCHESTER SET ON FIRE IN ‘POSSIBLE RETALIATION’ AGAINST CONCERT BOMBING
Liberals will be more angry at this than at the actual terrorist attack where children died.
TRUMP’S ART OF THE DEAL IN THE MIDDLE EAST: SELLING WARS AND TERRORISM
Drumpf is just low-life garbage….a Pimp for that US Whorehouse……next.
MANCHESTER ARENA EXPLOSION
Killing children f**ing cowards
US & SAUDI ARABIA SAY IT’S NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN SYRIA WHOLE & UNITED – WHITE HOUSE
The US wants Syria’s territorial integrity maintained? Lmfao!! Isn’t it a little late for that?? US is supporting the breakup and partitioning of Syria by arming “moderate” rebels to overthrow the government and carve out parts of Syria as their own. The US ignores the elected government of Syria and instead installs its own.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned the attack on a concert in Manchester, calling it an act of “sickening cowardice.” Political leaders in Britain have agreed to suspend campaigning for upcoming elections.
May vows to defeat violent ‘ideology’
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the attack that killed 22 people in Manchester on Monday evening was “among the worst terrorism we have experienced in the United Kingdom,” adding that police believed they knew the identity of the suicide bomber.
The man behind the explosion that shook the Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert, aimed to cause “maximum carnage” by detonating his bomb outside one of the exits, May said. She condemned the “cold calculation” shown by the targeting of children and young people.
Political leaders spoke on Tuesday and had agreed to suspend their election campaigns “until further notice” following the attacks. National elections are scheduled in Britain for June 8.
Britain’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the blast in Manchester was “a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society – young people and children out at a pop concert.”
UK Home Secretary condemns ‘barbaric’ attack
Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham made a statement on Tuesday morning, saying the citzens of Manchester had experienced the “darkest of nights” and were “waking up to the most difficult of dawns.”
Burnham condemned the “evil act” that took place at the concert, but said “today it will be business as usual, as far as possible, in our great city.”
The mayor also praised citizens who opened their doors to people fleeing the attack in the immediate aftermath of the explosion. #RoomsForManchester was used on Twitter to provide people with no way of getting home with a place to stay after the explosion.
rc/rt (AP, Reuters)
WHAT WE KNOW: MANCHESTER BLAST IN PICTURES
Explosion hits concert arena
At around 10:30 p.m. local time, at the end of a concert by US pop singer Ariana Grande in Manchester Arena, an explosion shook what witnesses described as the foyer area of the venue where merchandise was being sold. The blast flung people to the ground and shattered glass in the foyer area.
The international community has expressed its solidarity after a suicide bomber struck a concert in Manchester. At least 22 people, including children, were killed one of the UK’s worst-ever terrorist attacks. (23.05.2017)
Manchester and the world show solidarity with concert attack victims
As the death toll rose early Tuesday following an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, the city pulled together online to help located the missing and offer beds and help to those in need. (23.05.2017)
Manchester police confirm ‘fatalities’ after blast reports
Nineteen people have been killed and dozens injured following an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. Political leaders agreed to suspend election campaigning after the ‘appalling terrorist attack.’ (23.05.2017)
Are Europeans getting used to terror attacks?
While terrorists continue their attacks in various European cities, ordinary people appear less and less fazed by the terror threat. Societies now have the chance to build up resilience to danger, experts told DW. (22.04.2017)
Madrid to Manchester: A chronology of terror in Europe
London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and now Manchester? European cities have been increasingly targeted by Islamist extremists in recent years. (23.05.2017)