Manchester Attack: Three Men Arrested in Connection With Bombing

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25 May, 2017

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the bomber, identified as British-born Libyan Salman Abedi, "likely" did not act alone when he killed 22 people and wounded dozens at an Ariana Grande concert Monday night in Manchester. Abedi died in the blast, in what appears to have been a suicide bombing.

Abedi's father said that his son visited Libya a month-and-a-half ago, telling The Associated Press by telephone from Tripoli: "We don't believe in killing innocents".

French Interior Minister GĂ©rard Collomb told BFM-TV that Abedi had "proven links to ISIS", though he did not elaborate.

"I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again", she said.

He told reporters he hoped that, as has previously been the case, the level would not stay at critical for a long period. Rudd said Britain's operational security could be harmed by the leaks, taking "the element of surprise" away from security services and police.

May on Tuesday placed the country on its highest level of terror alert - "critical" - meaning a new attack is believed to be imminent.

"Three police warrants were executed in south Manchester in connection to the ongoing investigation", a spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said. "There is a risk that military personnel deployed on the streets will themselves be targeted as has happened in France", says Kit Nicholl, security analyst at defense consultancy IHS Janes.

"In some of my conversations that I've had with people who are following this very closely, the feeling is that they were aware of the bomber, but they didn't think that he had the ability to pull off something like this, something of such sophistication and something so effective and deadly".

Protected sites in London also include Downing Street, embassies and the Palace of Westminster. Armed police also patrolled outside St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Meanwhile, the Palace of Westminster - the meeting place for both Houses of Parliament - was also closed to all "non-pass holders".

The three Abedi men were known to have attended the Didsbury mosque in Manchester.

In 2015, Pakistani student Abid Naseer was convicted in a U.S. court of conspiring with al Qaeda to blow up the Arndale shopping centre in the centre of Manchester in April 2009.

IS on Tuesday claimed responsibility through its social media channels, saying "one of the caliphate's soldiers placed bombs among the crowds", and threatening more attacks.

Rudd also scolded USA officials for leaking details about the investigation into the Manchester attack before British authorities were prepared to go public.

Exactly a year before this - March 22, 2016 - the Brussels suicide bombings took place.

Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussis is so far the youngest named victim.

Her partner, Ian Winslow, later wrote on Facebook: "Not sure how this works but it isn't good news".

Two Poles were also named among the dead, according to a tweet from Poland's Foreign Ministry. She said the investigation is continuing and declined to provide further details.

"We are sending a signal not just to Manchester, but across the world that you cannot defeat us because love in the end is always stronger than hate".

Among the scores of wounded who were treated at Manchester Arena after the attack, 59 people were taken to hospital, including 12 children under the age of 16. "We're offering free food and drink, and shelter for all that are stranded that need help".

The 23 year-old American singer has suspended the rest of her European "Dangerous Woman" tour and has returned home to Florida.

She had further live dates booked across Europe in the coming weeks, including two at the London venue on Thursday and Friday.


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