Authorities identified the suicide bomber in the deadly Manchester blast as a local university student, but it's not clear whether he acted alone or with support from a terror network.
Authorities identified Salman Abedi, 22, a British-born college student, as the suicide bomber in the attack at the Ariana Grande concert that killed 22 people and injured dozens.
While the Islamic State quickly claimed credit for the attack, both British and U.S. authorities say they have yet to determine whether the terror group was involved.
Late Tuesday, Prime Minister Theresa May said authorities were trying to determine if Abedi was part of a bigger network. "It is a possibility that we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack," she said.
May's comments came as Britain raised its terrorism threat level to critical — meaning an attack may be imminent. The elevated threat status means armed soldiers may be deployed instead of police at public events such as sports matches.
Abedi was known to British authorities prior to Monday night’s attack, CBS News reported. The Washington Post and The Telegraph reported he was of Libyan descent.
Neighbors said Abedi lived in Manchester with his siblings and family for years. Salford University in the Greater Manchester area said he was a student there.
"We have now learnt that the suspect named by Police, Salman Abedi, was a student of the University," Neil Fowler, the university's dean of students, wrote in an e-mail distributed to students. "This is a further shock to all of us, and we understand how this will affect all members of our University community."
Farazana Kosur, who lives around the corner from Abedi's family, told The Guardian that the attacker's mother was a “very nice woman” and taught her friend’s daughter to read the Quran.
“It’s terrible,” Kosur said. “I hate the bombing and everybody is scared. It’s a nice area. We’ve had no problems.”
Police in Manchester said they executed two warrants as part of the investigation, including a raid at the home of Abedi that involved a controlled detonation. Officials said a 23-year-old man was arrested in South Manchester in connection with the attack, but did not divulge further details.
In taking credit for the attack, the Islamic State claimed a “caliphate soldier managed to place a number of devices among a gathering of crusaders in Manchester, and detonated them." But authorities say there was a only single explosion and have not reported the discovery of any other devices.
ISIS has repeatedly urged its supporters in the West to carry out attacks on soft targets. The attack underscores terror threats on Western targets remain real, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a Senate panel Tuesday. “It’s not going away and it needs significant attention,” Coats said.
The Manchester bombing is the worst terror attack in the United Kingdom since the London bombings in 2005 that killed 56 people. It comes just two months after an attack near Parliament in London killed five people.
This post was created with our nice and easy submission form. Create your post!