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Manchester police hunt 'network' behind bomber

25 May 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May announced late on Tuesday that intelligence analysts had raised the United Kingdom terrorism threat from "severe" to "critical" - the highest level - for the first time since 2007, meaning another attack may be imminent.

Two days after 22 people were killed and 119 more were wounded in an apparent suicide bombing following an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, U.K, details are beginning to emerge about the 22-year-old suspect and his family's alleged ties to extremist groups in Libya.

The Libyan anti-terror force that arrested the men said in a statement that the brother, Hashim Abedi, 18, confessed that he and his brother were linked to the Islamic State group and that he was aware of the arena bombing plan.

Such redundancy could give the bomber or a cell more than one option for deploying the device, and further suggests that the bomb was not as simple in design as many terrorist devices, which often are crude and prone to failure or haphazard effect. British soldiers have been deployed in place of police officers to guard high-profile sites such as Buckingham Palace and Parliament.

"We didn't really believe that this could happen", he told Sky News.

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Asked if the leaks from United States officials had compromised the ongoing investigation, Rudd said she "wouldn't go that far".

Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Abedi.

There is such anger in Government about USA leaking of information about the Manchester bomb investigation that I understand Theresa May is expected to raise the issue directly with President Trump at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit on Thursday. "We recite Quran, but not that".

AEG Live, the promoter of her tour, together with her record label, Universal Music Group, have not said whether the canceled shows will be rescheduled or if ticket holders will be reimbursed.

The man, who did not want to be identified, said Abedi was "away at random times throughout the year" but he did not know if he was overseas or playing truant because he hung around "the wrong crowd and was very, very gullible".

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He said Salman was planning to head from Saudi Arabia to Libya to spend the holy month of Ramadan with family.

Abedi has been working as the appointed administrative manager of Tripoli Central Security forces, which answers to the United Nations -backed government.

The senior Abedi fled Tripoli in 1993 after Moammar Gadhafi's security authorities issued an arrest warrant for him and eventually sought political asylum in Britain.

In yesterday's raid on an apartment building in Manchester, heavily armed police blasted an apartment door open with a controlled explosion. Although the LIFG disbanded, Haroun says the father now belongs to the Salafi Jihadi movement, the most extreme sect of Salafism from which al-Qaida and Daesh both hail.

British Prime Minister Theresa May chaired a meeting Wednesday of her emergency security cabinet group to talk about concerns Abedi might have had outside support.

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The head teacher, Chris Upton, said her death was "a tremendous shock to all of us". Asked by a reporter whether police had found the "bomb factory", Hopkins replied that police are "carrying out extensive searches against properties across Manchester for bomb making".