Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Manchester Police Conduct Controlled Explosion During Search for Bombing Links


Interior minister Amber Rudd said the 22-year-old had been on the radar of the intelligence community before the massacre late Monday at a concert by USA pop star Ariana Grande.

At Manchester's Didsbury Mosque, where the Abedi family worshipped, the bombing was condemned and reports that the suspected bomber had worked there were denied.

British and French intelligence agencies have information that Abedi had visited Syria and had "proven" links with ISIS, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb reportedly said on BFM television Wednesday. Abedi's father is alleged to be a former member of an Al-Qaeda-backed Libyan Islamic Fighter Group.

This undated photo obtained by the Press Association on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, of Saffie Roussos, one of the victims of an attack at Manchester Arena, in Manchester, England, which left more than a dozen dead on Monday.

The country prepared to hold a national minute of silence Thursday at 11 a.m. London time for the 22 people killed in the suicide bomb attack.

The bombing, which took place at the Manchester Arena indoor venue just after the end of a concert by USA pop singer Ariana Grande, was the deadliest in Britain since July 2005, when 52 people were killed in attacks on London's transport network.

A United States intelligence official told NBC that Salman Abedi's bomb was "big and sophisticated" and used materials hard to obtain in Britain, which pointed to help from others.

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He said any information that is shared also needs to be cleared by the agency where the intelligence information originated. They're protesting what they say is Trump administration's slow cooperation on the Russian Federation investigations.

Security services were trying to piece together the last movements of Abedi, a Briton of Libyan descent, amid media reports he had travelled recently to Libya and possibly Syria. Courtney's mother, Deborah Hutchinson, said on Facebook, "My daughter Courtney Boyle and partner Philip Tron have gone missing tonight in a attack at Manchester tonight please share and help find them I need them home safe xX".

The images show a man dressed in black with a black and blue bag - similar to the one pictured blown to shreds in photos from the concert venue that were leaked to U.S. media. The victims of the attack were still being identified on Wednesday, and pictures of British troops deployed in the central government district in Westminster, armed with assault rifles, dominated the news.

Amid questions about whether there are enough armed officers to deal with incidents outside London, Rudd said she believed the police and security services have the right legislation and resources in place to tackle the threat facing the UK. But she did say it was possible the attacker wasn't acting alone. Rudd has said she expects such a measure to be temporary. A total of 59 people were taken to hospital, many with life-threatening conditions. Twelve of them are children.

Ramadan Abedi fled Tripoli in 1993 after Moammar Kadafi's security authorities issued an arrest warrant, and he eventually sought political asylum in Britain.

Eight men have now been detained in Britain connection with Monday's attack.

The Prime Minister said Operation Temperer - allowing military personnel to take to the streets - was now in force. The government said almost 1,000 soldiers were deployed Wednesday instead of police in high-profile sites in London and other locations.

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