Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Britain raises terror alert to highest level after Manchester attack

Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Manchester to meet with police, the mayor and emergency services Tuesday.

He labelled the terrorist attack as an "unthinkable act" and went on to say "we must all live in harmony together".

She said: "It is now concluded on the basis of today's investigations that the threat level should be increased for the time being from severe to critical". But even if these processes yield vital clues and remove now unknown threats, we will remain under "severe" threat of attack.

More information on threat levels is available here. Islamic State claimed responsibility for what it called revenge against "Crusaders", but there appeared to be contradictions in its account of the operation.

British authorities identified Salman Abedi, 22, as the suicide bomber in the attack. It wasn't immediately clear, though, if the attacker was directly or indirectly supported by the militant Islamist group. A 23-year-old man was arrested in South Manchester in connection with the attack, but police released no other details.

Authorities reacted with horror and anger at an attack that appeared to have targeted adolescents and their families.

The first victim was named by British media as Georgina Callander, 18, from Tarleton in Lancashire, northern England.

The little girl's mother and sister were among the 59 wounded, which included at least 12 children under the age of 16.

Panicked spectators fled the arena after what several concertgoers described as a huge explosion after Grande's last song.

The "Problem" singer flew to Florida on Tuesday to spend time with her family, the Daily Mail website reported. "I don't have words".

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"It is now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester and of this country have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack". "We are sending our love to all of Manchester during this incredibly hard time". "We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity". Numerous injured have life-threatening conditions, she added.

After a meeting of her top security officials to consider intelligence after the attack in Manchester on Monday night that killed 22 people and wounded dozens more at a pop concert, May said that "it is a possibility we can not ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack".

Video from inside the arena showed people screaming as they made their way out amid a sea of pink balloons. May suggested Abedi could have been part of a bigger network.

As the vigil drew to as close the crowd chanted "Manchester!"

"It's frightening to think that it could have been any of us and it really shows that you never know what's around the corner", Murray added.

Police stood guard early Tuesday in Manchester in the wake of the attack.

It is no consolation right now, but attacks like the one suffered this week remain rare, considering how many soft targets there are in everyday life in Britain.

All campaigning ahead of the June 8 general election has been suspended. "He expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence".

"My heart is heavy today as I extend my prayers to the children and families affected by last nights disgusting tragedy in Manchester", she wrote.

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