Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Local | By Vivian Poole

Manchester terror attack probe widens as US leaks grate

Manchester terror attack probe widens as US leaks grate

Manchester police said on Wednesday they're investigating a network they think orchestrated the bombing, and the suspected perpetrator's father and brother were arrested in Tripoli.

The strongly-worded rebuke came after the New York Times published photographs of the crime scene and after Home Secretary Amber Rudd openly criticized USA officials for sharing details with American media organizations before British security services were ready to do so.

Two men have been arrested by counter-terror police in Greater Manchester in connection with Monday's attack, bringing the number in United Kingdom custody to eight.

Abedi also said he was certain Salman had not been in Syria. He said Salman, who was in his second year of studying economics, was planning to return to Libya to spend the holy month of Ramadan with the family.

When arrested he is reported to have told Libyan authorities: "I have ideology with my brother".

The Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace, a draw for tourists, was cancelled because it requires support from police officers, which authorities decided was not a good use of resources given the threat level.

Abedi's younger brother Hashem has also been arrested in Libya, on suspicion of having links to ISIS, who claimed responsibility for Monday night's atrocity.

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The meeting between Mrs May and Mr Trump, at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, will take place as British police continue to investigate an alleged "network" linked to Abedi.

Investigators are focused on tracking down associates of Abedi, a British-born national of Libyan descent, saying it is clear they are investigating a network.

His uncle was detained yesterday in Manchester, while there are conflicting reports that the killer's mother is also in police custody.

The 23-year-old pop megastar had just finished performing at the Manchester Arena when a suspected nail bomb exploded, killing 22 people and injuring 59 others, and the star is believed to have spoken to the families of those who lost their lives to offer her condolences by way of paying for the cost of laying them to rest.

Interior minister Amber Rudd had described the leaks as "irritating" early on Thursday, after details about bomber Salman Abedi, including his name, first appeared in USA media, adding that Britain's allies were perfectly clear that it "shouldn't happen again".

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It was also claimed the Salford university drop-out had travelled extensively in the Middle East and received terror training in Syria.

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The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said on Wednesday that as many as 119 people had been injured in the attack, 64 of whom remain hospitalised, 20 of them critically. An initial deployment of 984 had been ordered, first in London and then elsewhere.

Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins declined to comment on whether police had found the alleged maker of the explosive device but the BBC reported that security services thought the bomb was too sophisticated for Abedi to have built by himself.

On Wednesday, a series of raids were executed across Manchester, Wigan and Nuneaton, Warwickshire, while relatives of bomber Salman Abedi were detained in Libya.

Authorities say 22 people died and almost 120 were wounded in the bombing of the arena where American pop star Ariana Grande was performing.

Britain also has a national election scheduled for June 8.

The government said a minute's silence would be held at all official buildings at 1000 GMT on Thursday.

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