UK BOMBING: Threat level critical, 5th arrested near Manchester

Published On May 23, 2017 | By Ryan Michael Wanzala | International, News

Police officers look at flowers and messages left for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester, U.K., May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples

By: Jane Burke and Sarah Watson

Three more suspects have been arrested by British security forces in connection with the Ariana Grande Manchester concert bombing. A fifth arrested Wednesday afternoon in Nearby Wigan after being seen carrying a mysterious package.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, of the Manchester Police, identified the bomber as British-born Libyan Salman Abedi, 22, on May 23. Hopkins says the investigation involves a “network”.

Hashen Abedi, the bombers younger brother was arrested in Libya, what role he might have played has not been disclosed.

What we know so far:

  • The families of all 22 victims have been notified and publicly identified following the attack. Victims range from eight year old Saffie-Rose Roussos to 50-year-old mother Michelle Kiss.
  • Five arrests have been made in South Manchester, one in Nearby Wigan.
  • Britain raised their threat level to critical. According to the MI5 Security Service website this means another attack is expected imminently.
  • The government deployed almost 1,000 soldiers, instead of police, on Wednesday to high-profile areas in London and other locations.
  • Buckingham Palace says it has cancelled Wednesday’s changing of the guard, a major tourist draw,  so officers could be re-deployed to other areas.
  • The Islamic State is claiming responsibility for the suicide bombing  on Monday night, the Associated Press is reporting. It is unconfirmed if ISIS organized the attack or if they are taking credit to use as propaganda.
  • Local hospitals attended 59 of the injured, while scores of others were treated by paramedics at the scene. The incident occurred at 10:30 p.m. UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) as most concertgoers were beginning to leave the venue.

Despite heightened security risk, Canadian band Broken Social Scene performed at nearby Albert Hall last night. Displaying on the screen behind were the words: “Tonight, we play for the hearts of Manchester.”

Concert goer: lack of security at venue ‘strange’
Threat levels defined

International Reaction:

Broken Social Scene are among many outside of the U.K. paying homage to the victims and the city of Manchester.

At Toronto’s British Consulate someone has painted “Strength to Manchester” on the sidewalk outside the building.

Sidewalk art outside the British Consulate, in Toronto. (Linda Kelly/CBC)

In New York, the Yankees baseball team held a moment of silence while God Save the Queen played prior to the game.

Manchester honoured at Yankees game. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Singer, Grande, 23, is putting a hold on remaining concert dates in her Dangerous Woman world tour. The American pop star tweeted her shock early Tuesday morning.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack as “callous” in a statement to the press.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement on Monday night in response to the incident.

“I was devastated when I heard about the victims who were killed or injured at the Ariana Grande concert,” he said. Trudeau offered condolences and reaffirmed Canada’s allied relationship to the U.K.

A vigil was held on Tuesday at Albert Square in Manchester to honour the victims.

“Manchester will not be defeated – the city is open for business,” said Manchester Police in a statement on Twitter.



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