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Manchester concert bomber was known to UK security services

MANCHESTER, England (CNN) — The 22-year-old behind the deadly bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester was known to security services, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Wednesday, as the country elevated its terror threat to the highest level for the first time in a decade. Police have named Salman Abedi, a British-born national of Libyan descent, as the bomber in the attack on Manchester Arena, which killed at least 22 people, including children. Abedi died in the blast, in what appears to have been a suicide bombing. Rudd confirmed in an interview with the BBC that Abedi was on the radar of intelligence services and that he had recently returned to the UK from Libya.

Monday’s blast marked the deadliest terror attack on British soil since the 2005 London bombings.

“The intelligence services know a lot of people, and I’m sure we will find out more what level they knew about him in due course, but at the moment all they have confirmed is that they did know about him. And as I say, we will find out more when the operation is complete,” she said.

RELATED: Homeless man hailed for bravery during concert bombing[1]

Prime Minister Theresa May announced Tuesday night that Britain’s threat level had been raised from “severe” to “critical,” and warned that a “further attack may be imminent.”

The change in status suggests that Abedi may not have been acting alone. Rudd told ITV that police would be looking “for any known associates” Abedi may have had. Up to 3,800 military personnel are being deployed to British streets following the attack, the Home Secretary announced.

London’s Metropolitan Police service announced that military personnel would guard “key locations” as part of what’s been called “Operation Temperer,” and soldiers were seen at Buckingham Palace and extra police at train stations on Wednesday morning. The protected sites also include Downing Street, embassies and the Palace of Westminster. The deployments would free up armed police officers to carry out patrols of the city, the Met said in a statement.

“I would expect this to be temporary but we will keep a close eye to see how long we need them for and when it’s appropriate we end Operation Temperer and go back to our different levels,” Rudd said.

Attacker born in UK

The suspected attacker, Abedi, has not yet been formally identified by the coroner, Manchester police said. Abedi was of Libyan descent but born and raised in the UK, sources in Manchester’s Libyan community told CNN. He was a student at the University of Salford in Manchester.

The University told CNN that he was studying business and management but while he was enrolled for the current academic year he has not been attending classes. ISIS said on its Telegram channel Tuesday that a “soldier of the caliphate” was able to “plant explosive devices” at the arena, a US counterterrorism source told CNN. ISIS routinely claims attacks it has no proven connection to. Authorities have discovered no evidence of a link between the attacker and an established terror group, a British counterterrorism official told CNN.

Children among the dead

Six people who died in the horrific attack have been identified — they include an 8-year-old girl and two teenagers. Concertgoer Olivia Campbell, 15, whose mother spoke to CNN during an agonizing wait for news from her daughter, had gone to the concert with her friend Adam to celebrate his birthday.

“RIP my darling precious gorgeous girl Olivia Campbell taken far far to soon go sing with the angels and keep smiling mummy loves you so much,” Charlotte Campbell wrote, posting a Snapchat photo of her daughter. Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos from Leyland was also named as one of the fatalities, Lancashire County Council confirmed.

Chris Upton, the head teacher at the Tarleton Community Primary School, described her as “simply a beautiful little girl” who was “quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.”

Two Poles were also named among the dead, according to a tweet from Poland’s Foreign Ministry. No further details have been released. Georgina Callander, 18, a superfan who had met Ariana Grande, was killed, according to her school, and John Atkinson, a 26-year-old student from the Greater Manchester area also died in the attack, according to Ivan Lewis, a local politician. At least 12 victims aged 16 or under were being treated at a children’s hospital for serious injuries, some of them fighting for their lives, a Manchester health official said.


On Tuesday evening, hundreds attended a vigil outside Manchester City Hall in honor of the victims.

“We will stand together to say that this city is greater than the force that aligns itself against it,” David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, told the crowd.

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

The city remained defiant in the face of one of the deadliest terror attacks the UK has faced. Mayor Andy Burnham said Tuesday that it would be “business as usual, as far as possible, in our great city.”

A cafe owner who spoke to CNN said that the city’s sense of community was helping people come together during the difficult time.

“We’re only here to express some positivity and to be here for our community. We’re offering free food and drink, and shelter for all that are stranded that need help.”

The pop star has suspended her “Dangerous Woman” tour following the attack, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN. Grande was scheduled to perform in London and across Europe through mid-June.


  1. ^ RELATED: Homeless man hailed for bravery during concert bombing (

What’s on TV Wednesday: A ‘Dirty Dancing’ Remake and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

PhotoWhat's On TV Wednesday: A 'Dirty Dancing' Remake And 'The Handmaid's Tale' Colt Prattes and Abigail Breslin in Dirty Dancing. Credit Guy D’Alema/ABC

Frances Houseman and Johnny Castle have the time of their lives again in a remake of Dirty Dancing. And Luke resurfaces in The Handmaid s Tale.

What s on TV

DIRTY DANCING (2017) 8 p.m. on ABC. Abigail Breslin and Colt Prattes take on the roles made famous by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in this remake of the 1987 blockbuster about Frances Houseman (but everyone calls her Baby), an untraditional beauty who falls for the bad boy Johnny Castle during her family s Catskills vacation in the summer of 1963. The story is essentially the same the unwanted pregnancy and illegal abortion remain in this three-hour production, which adds singing to the mix. But it also aims for a more modern relevancy with a sexless marriage and looming empty nest for Baby s parents (Debra Messing and Bruce Greenwood) and an attempted date rape for her older sister (Sarah Hyland), followed by an interracial flirtation.

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT 9 p.m. on NBC. A hate crime is committed against a Muslim family and a daughter is killed. But when a witness is deported, Barba is forced to drop the charges against a suspect and protests turn violent, leading a desperate Benson to make an arrest.

EMPIRE 9 p.m. on Fox. The season wraps with an appearance by Demi Moore, and the promise of more of her to come.

Continue reading the main story[1]

What s Streaming

Photo What's On TV Wednesday: A 'Dirty Dancing' Remake And 'The Handmaid's Tale' Juliette Binoche Credit Laurent Thurin Nal/Sundance Selects

CERTIFIED COPY (2011) on Sundance Now[2]. Juliette Binoche won best actress at Cannes for Elle, a gallery owner and single mother in a Tuscan village who attends a lecture by a highhanded British author (William Shimell) on authenticity in art. Then she invites him on a tour of the countryside, during which he is mistaken for her husband and they keep up the pretense. The Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami s delicious brain tickler, Stephen Holden wrote in The New York Times[3], is an endless hall of mirrors whose reflections multiply as its story of a middle-aged couple driving through Tuscany carries them into a metaphysical labyrinth. Ms. Binoche s Elle, he added, brings it to intense, pulsing life.

Pair it with MUSEUM HOURS (2013), also on Sundance Now[4], in which Johann (Bobby Sommer), a security guard at the Kunsthistorisches Museum[5] in Vienna, and Anne (Mary Margaret O Hara), a Canadian who has come to Austria to sit at the bedside of a cousin in a coma, find refuge among Dutch and Flemish works. Though their relationship is seemingly not sexual Johann is gay it is deeply romantic. Jem Cohen s quietly amazing, sneakily sublime tale of cross-cultural friendship, A. O. Scott wrote in The Times[6], is rigorously and intensely lifelike, which is to say that it s also a strange and moving work of art.

Photo What's On TV Wednesday: A 'Dirty Dancing' Remake And 'The Handmaid's Tale' O-T Fagbenle, center, in The Handmaid s Tale. Credit George Kraychyk/Hulu

THE HANDMAID S TALE on Hulu. Offred (Elisabeth Moss) remembers life before Gilead and her family s daring attempt to escape as she and her husband, Luke (O-T Fagbenle), each learn that the other is alive.

Continue reading the main story[7]


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Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly concert blast in Manchester, monitoring group says

MANCHESTER, England The Islamic State claimed Tuesday that one of its soldiers carried out an apparent suicide blast in Manchester that killed at least 22 people, including teenagers and others streaming out of a pop concert.

The claim came as British investigators appeared to narrow their probe on one suspected assailant whose name was not made public and police teams fanned out around the northern city after the worst terrorist strike in Britain in more than a decade. The Islamic State did not give any details about the attacker or how the blast was carried out late Monday. Its statement was posted on the online messaging service Telegram and later noted by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant websites. The Islamic State often quickly proclaims links to attacks, but some previous claims have not been proven.

British Prime Minister Theresa May called the carnage a callous terrorist attack. Other condemnations from other leaders poured in from around the world.

This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice deliberately targeting innocent defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives, she said, speaking outside her Downing Street offices, where flags were lowered to half-staff. Authorities believe they know the identity of the assailant, she added, but at this stage of their investigations, we cannot confirm his name. The Greater Manchester Police said in a statement that they arrested a 23-year-old man in south Manchester in connection with the attack, as hundreds of police swarmed through the city in the aftermath of the blast.

In Washington, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said Tuesday that despite the Islamic State s claim of responsibility for the Manchester attack, we have not verified yet the connection. He noted in a Senate hearing that they claim responsibility for virtually every attack. The tally of the casualties carried ages as young as elementary school students. Police said that among the 59 people injured, a dozen were under 16 years old. Among those killed, Georgina Callander, an 18-year-old student, was the first victim to be named. British media also reported that an 8-year-old girl, Saffie Rose Roussos, could have been the youngest fatality.

We believe at this stage the attack last night was conducted by one man, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said at a televised news conference. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, causing this atrocity.

Islamic State Claims Responsibility For Deadly Concert Blast In Manchester, Monitoring Group Says

[The Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared[1]]

During a visit to the West Bank city of Bethlehem, President Trump pledged absolute solidarity with Britain and called those responsible for the attack evil losers in life. The bombing appeared intended to inflict maximum bloodshed on the young concert goers many of them in their early teens who were making their way out of the Manchester Arena, one of Europe s largest indoor venues, with a seating capacity of 21,000. The blast occurred about 10:30 p.m., minutes after pop star Ariana Grande [2]had finished her set and many fans were gathered in the foyer to buy concert merchandise.

The explosion set off a panicked reaction as fans struggled to flee and parents and teens searched for one another amid the carnage. Parents who had lost contact with their children posted desperate pleas for information on social media using the hashtag #ManchesterMissing. Charlotte Campbell told the BBC that she was phoning everybody, including hospitals, trying to locate her 15-year-old daughter Olivia. She last spoke to her daughter on Monday night at the concert.

She d just seen the support act and said she was having an amazing time, and thanking me for letting her go, she said in an emotional interview. The attack took place near one of the exits of the arena, in a public space connected to a bustling train station.

Jake Taylor, a former security guard at the arena, said its layout makes absolute safety impossible.

You can t stop people from getting through the train station, said Taylor. Mark Harrison, who accompanied his 12-year-old daughter to the concert from Cumbria in northern England, said there were no metal detectors or body checks at the arena s entrance, though bags were inspected and items such as water bottles had to be discarded.

There was definitely a security presence, but anyone can come through the train station, said Harrison, 44.

[In the midst of Manchester s terror, strangers reach out through Twitter[3]]

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, called it an evil act but praised the spirit of Manchester that will prevail and hold us together. Manchester is grieving today, but we are strong, he said.

It was the worst terrorist strike on British soil since 2005, when Islamist extremists bombed the London subway and a bus, killing 54 people[4]. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said late Monday [5]that there was no information to indicate a specific credible threat involving music venues in the United States, but added that Americans may see increased security [6]in and around public places and events as officials take additional precautions.

[Trump decries the losers who wage terrorism[7]]

In France, the scene of several terrorist attacks over the past year, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe called on people to be vigilant in the face of a threat which is more present than ever before. Organizers of the Cannes Film Festival denounced the Manchester bombing as an attack on culture, youth and joyfulness and observed a minute of silence Tuesday. Cannes is just 15 miles from Nice, where an attacker driving a truck plowed into crowds celebrating Bastille Day last July, killing 86 people.

Britain has been on high alert [8]for a major attack for several years, with authorities saying that a mass-casualty attack was likely. Grande, who is wildly popular both in Britain and the United States, was not injured in the attack. She expressed her sorrow in a tweet hours after the explosion, saying she was broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so sorry. i don t have words. A father told the BBC that he was leaving the arena with his wife and daughter when the blast blew him through a set of doors. Afterward, the man, identified as Andy, said he saw about 30 people scattered everywhere. Some of them looked dead.

Separated from his wife and daughter, he said, he looked at some of the bodies trying to find my family. He later found them, uninjured. Karen Ford, a witness, told the BBC that there were kids outside, crying on the phone, trying to find their parents.

The scenes of bloodied, panicked concertgoers running for safety brought to mind similar images at the Bataclan theater in Paris in November 2015. The concert hall became the scene of extreme carnage [9]after multiple gunmen burst in during a show by the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal and began shooting. That attack for which the Islamic State later asserted responsibility killed 89 people and injured hundreds more, becoming the deadliest event on French soil since World War II. In all, 130 people were killed that night in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks. Monday night s blast came two months after a speeding driver left four people dead on London s Westminster Bridge, then stabbed to death a police officer at the gates of Parliament.

Monday also was the fourth anniversary of the killing of Lee Rigby[10], a British soldier who was attacked with a machete on the streets of southeast London. Two assailants, who were convicted of murder, said they were acting to avenge the killing of Muslims by British soldiers. In just over two weeks, Britain is scheduled to hold a national election. Campaigning was suspended Tuesday, and perhaps beyond. Security has not featured as a prominent part of the debate, although that may change when campaigning resumes. Adam reported from London. Isaac Stanley-Becker James McAuley and Rick Noack in Manchester, Paul Schemm in Addis Ababa, Ethi o pia, and Brian Murphy and Ellen Nakashima in Washington contributed to this report.

Read more

Four killed, 40 injured in vehicle and knife assault near Parliament[11]

After privileged childhood, London attacker became a troubled loner[12]

What we know about the victims of the London attack[13]

Today s coverage from Post correspondents around the world[14]

Like Washington Post World on Facebook and stay updated on foreign news[15]


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