Live Updates: More People Arrested In Connection With Manchester Attack Are Released Without Charge
Twenty-two people were killed when a lone suicide bomber detonated a device in the foyer of Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert in May.
What We Know So Far:
- 22 people were killed in a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, on Monday, 22 May.
- Police said suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, detonated an improvised explosive device in the foyer of Manchester Arena at 10.30pm on 22 May, just as Grande was finishing her set. This is what we know about Abedi so far.
- Nearly two dozen people have been detained in connection with the investigation, including one of Abedi's brothers. All but three have been released without charge.
- Police have said it had "become clear" Abedi was "part of a network we are investigating."
- Britain's MI5 intelligence agency has launched an inquiry after it emerged several warnings from the public about Abedi had been missed.
- All of the 22 victims have been publicly identified. The youngest was an 8-year-old girl.
- For everything we know about the ongoing investigation, go here.
Map of raids and arrests around Manchester (tap the dots for more information)
There were arrests in Wigan, Nuneaton in the West Midlands, Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex, and at Heathrow Airport, plus searches in Bury, St. Helens, and Chester – zoom out to see details on them. All those arrested have now been released without charge.
Two more people released without charge in bombing investigation
Two more men arrested as part of the investigation into the Manchester suicide bombing attack have been released, police announced Friday.
The men, one arrested 2 June, the other on 3 June on Cheetham Hill Road, were released without charge, Greater Manchester police said.
So far, of the 21 people arrested, 18 have been released and three men remain in custody for questioning.
More people arrested in connection with bombing investigation are released
Police on Thursday announced the release of more people who were arrested as part of the investigation into the Manchester suicide bombing attack.
They included a 31-year-old man who turned himself in on 7 June and a 20-year-old man who was arrested a day earlier in Harpurphey. A 44-year-old man arrested on 26 May was also released without charge, police said.
In total, 21 people have been arrested in connection with the bombing investigation. Of those, six men remain in custody for questioning.
A 20-year-old man has turned himself into police and was arrested on suspicion of terrorism
A 20-year-old man turned himself in to authorities in connection with the Manchester attack, police said on Wednesday night.
The man showed up at the North Manchester police station and was arrested on suspicion of offenses agains the Terrorism Act.
He was the 21st person arrested in connection with the attack. Twelve people have been released without charges, and nine remain in custody.
— Claudia Koerner
This is where the investigation in the Manchester bomber is at
It's been 17 days since Salman Abedi attacked the Manchester Arena, and as yet nobody else has been charged in connection with the bombing.
Police are still working hard to gather evidence, and seven men remain in custody for questioning.
With just 14 days to charge suspects arrested under the Terrorism Act, police will be eager to close the net as quickly as possible. This is what we know about the investigation so far:
Most of the people arrested have since been released without charge. 19 people in total have been arrested in connection with the investigation, of which twelve have since been released without charge.
But police have just made another arrest, detaining a 38-year-old man at London's Heathrow Airport, on suspicion of offences contrary to the Terrorism Act. He remains in custody.
Officers are still trying to work out who was helping Abedi, appeal to the public for information, and have released CCTV images of Abedi taken on the night of the attack, and separate footage gathered of him in the days leading up to the bombing.
But they have found the car he was using, as well as "significant forensic evidence" inside the vehicle.
Police have finished searching some of the properties, at a dozen locations across the UK.
Many of Abedi's victims are still in hospital. On Friday, the inquests into the deaths of 22 people killed by Abedi will open, presided over by Senior Coroner for the City of Manchester, Mr Nigel Meadows. He is expected to adjourn the inquests until police have completed their investigations.
An inquest into Abedi's death will be held separately, and the details have yet to be confirmed.
– Hannah Al-Othman & Rose Troup Buchanan
22-year-old man released from custody, police confirm
A 22-year-old man arrested in connection with the Manchester Arena attack has been released from custody.
He was arrested on 27 May 2017 in Cheetham Hill, Manchester.
As it stands, 18 people have been arrested in connection with the investigation, of which twelve people have been released without charge.
A total of six men remain in custody for questioning.
Man arrested at Heathrow Airport in connection with the Manchester attack
Authorities arrested another man Tuesday in connection with the Manchester Arena attack. According to Greater Manchester Police, the 38-year-old man was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport on terrorism charges. Police say the arrest was planned beforehand, and was carried out without any threat to the airport.
It is the 19th arrest made in connection with the Manchester bombing, which left 22 people and more than 100 more injured. A total of seven men remain in custody, and 12 have since been released without charge.
Police have not released additional details about the identity of the man arrested Tuesday.
Police seek information about car suicide bomber Salman Abedi used prior to attack
British police are seeking the public's help in gathering more information about the small white car Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi used prior to the attack.
In a statement on Tuesday, police said they had seized a white "old-style" Nissan Micra with an "R" registration plate from Devell House in Rusholme, Manchester, on Friday. A forensic examination uncovered a "significant amount of evidence inside," Greater Manchester Police said.
According to police, Abedi made repeated trips to the car between 18 and 22 May to retrieve items to make his bomb.
"Abedi left the country on 15 April and it is vital that we understand what happened to this car during these few days between 13 and 15 April," police said.
If anyone saw that car, or any occupants in the car, police urged witnesses to call.
More people arrested in Manchester bomb attack are released, police say
Two men aged 20 and 22 who were arrested in Cheetham Hill as part of the investigation into the Manchester bombing attack have been released, police said on Tuesday.
So far, 18 people had been arrested as part of the investigation into the suicide bombing that killed 22 people and injured dozens more. Of those, only six men remain in custody for questioning, Greater Manchester Police said.
Brother of Manchester bomber is released, 10 remain in custody
Police released the brother of the Manchester bomber on Monday without charge.
Ismail Abedi was arrested May 23, the day after the bombing, in Whalley Range, Manchester, police said.
His brother, Salman Abedi, detonated the homemade bomb at the arena that killed 22 people and injured dozens more after an Ariana Grande concert.
Police have arrested 18 people as part of the investigation, eight of whom have been released without charge. Ten remain in custody for questioning, according to a police statement.
New arrest made by police in Manchester
A 24-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of offences contrary to the Terrorism Act by police investigating the Manchester bombing.
In a statement police said he was arrested in the Rusholme area of the city last night, which was where police evacuated an area around a car that was later seized.
Seventeen people have now been arrested in connection with the attack, with six released without charge, and 11 men still in custody.
Family pay tribute to 15-year-old bomb victim
The family Olivia Campbell, 15, from Bury, who died in the bomb attack have paid tribute to her and pledged to establish a trust in her name to allow young people to take part in the performing arts.
"Olivia was a much loved member of our large, close family," her family said in a statement.
"She was adored by her parents Andrew and Sharon and grandparents Sharon and Steve, all of whom spent Monday night and all day Tuesday desperately searching for her.
"She has beautiful sisters, Catriona, Seana and Chloe and a Great-grandma, Joan.
"She has so many Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and second cousins, it is difficult to keep count.
"Our memories are of happy times, of fun at family gatherings.
"The ones suffering most are the young people in our family. Their world has changed forever. Suddenly it is not so full of joy and possibility.
"With our love and care they will heal, so please don't hate in Olivia's name, we choose to love."
Read about all the victims of the attack here.
-- Patrick Smith
Police evacuate area as officers investigate "significant" car finding
Police have evacuated a 100-metre area surrounding a car parked in a south Manchester street they believe could play a significant role in understanding the final movements of suicide bomber Salman Abedi.
The car is parked outside Devell House, on the corner of Oxney Road and Rusholme Place, in Rusholme, and just metres away from near Banff Road, where bomb disposal experts were seen on Wednesday. Abedi is thought to have stayed in a house in Banff Road, where three Malaysian students live.
Detective chief superintendent Russ Jackson said: "This is potentially a significant development in the investigation. The car is a white Nissan Micra that has been located at Devell Court, not far from Banff Road.
"We are very interested in anything people can tell us about the movements of this car, and who was in it, over the past months. We are also interested in any information about who may have had access to the car or who may have gone to and from it.
"We are really grateful for the public's continued help in what is a very fast moving investigation and again we appeal for the public to contact us with any information, however small you believe it may be, about Abedi's movements."
-- Patrick Smith
Police release new images of Manchester bomber
Pictures of suicide bomber Salman Abedi walking the streets of Manchester in the days leading up to the concert terror attack have been released by police.
Officers are desperately trying to piece together Abedi's movements in the days prior to the attack as they work to build up a picture of the terrorist and establish whether he was acting alone.
Police have revealed that Abedi left the UK for Libya, where his parents are, on 15 April, returning just over a month later, on 18 May.
Just five days later, he carried out the deadly attack, killing 22 people outside an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena and injuring dozens more, authorities say.
Read more here.
Bomb disposal team sent to south Manchester address
Bomb disposal experts were sent to an address in south Manchester on Wednesday as searches continued as part of the vast investigation into the Manchester Arena attack.
A Royal Logistic Corps bomb disposal van was seen driving into Banff Road in the busy suburb of Rusholme. It is thought that Banff Road contains the home of three Malaysian students who were arrested as part of the investigation earlier this week but then released without charge.
The site is close to Wilmslow Road, where police say Salman Abedi was spotted several times in the days leading up to the bombing, carrying a blue suitcase which is yet to be recovered.
Greater Manchester Police said in a statement: "We are currently searching a property on Banff Road in Rusholme in relation to last Monday's attack at Manchester Arena. There is a cordon in place. Please avoid the area."
– Patrick Smith
The Manchester terror attack investigation is narrowing its focus to the bomber's last movements
The hunt for clues to understand how and why a terrorist murdered 22 adults and children in the Manchester Arena suicide bomb attack last week has narrowed down to his movements in the days before the attack.
Police are urgently poring over CCTV footage of Salman Abedi in the week leading up to the attack on 22 May, as they continue to establish whether he was part of a wider terror network.
They have seized almost 300 digital devices, including phones, and have made more than 7,000 lines of enquiry since the attack. And detectives now believe that in the four days between arriving from Libya and carrying out the attack Abedi bought the bomb's components himself and was, for at least the most part, acting alone.
But 11 of the 16 people arrested since the attack remain in custody on suspicion of terror offences and are still being questioned.
— Patrick Smith
A police leader quit after being banned from making "reassuring" media appearances after the Manchester attack
The head of one of the UK's most influential policing bodies has resigned after a row with senior colleagues over his media appearances in the wake of the Manchester terror attack.
Nazir Afzal OBE announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he has resigned as CEO of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), an umbrella group that supports the UK's 40 independent elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs).
He added on Wednesday that he was banned from doing media appearances at a time when he felt the public needed reassuring.
— Patrick Smith
These are some of the 50 people still being treated in hospital after the Manchester Arena attack
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, 116 people required hospital treatment but more than half of these have been discharged. For many of those still in hospital recovery could take years. Read more about some of the people still receiving hospital treatment following the Manchester attack here. — Emily Dugan
Police release three men without charge
Authorities have released three men arrested in connection with last week's concert attack, Greater Manchester Police announced late Tuesday.
Those released included two men, aged 20 and 24, from the Fallowfield area, and a 37-year-old man from the Blackley area, according to a statement from Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, the head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit.
A total of 16 people have been arrested in connection with the terror probe. Five people of those detained have now been released, while 11 remain in custody.
"The release of some people can be expected in investigations of this nature as we corroborate accounts that have been provided," Jackson said. "There has been huge progress made over the week and the speed of the inquiry remains the same. It will be a long investigation and it will take considerable time before we fully understand what has happened."
More than 1,000 officers have been involved in the investigation, while over 300 digital items, such as phones, have been collected, police said.
Jackson said authorities now have "a good understanding of the likely components parts of the bomb" that killed 22 people.
"Our enquiries show [Salman Abedi] himself made most of the purchases of the core components and what is becoming apparent is that many of his movements and actions have been carried out alone during the four days from him landing in the country and committing this awful attack," Jackson said.
"It is vital that we make sure that he is not part of a wider network and we cannot rule this out yet. There remain a number of things that concern us about his behaviour prior to the attack and those of his associates which we need to get to the bottom of," he added.
Authorities are continuing to investigate why Abedi repeatedly returned to the Wilmslow Road area and are continuing to search for the blue suitcase he used to make the trips.
Ariana Grande will return to Manchester to headline a star-studded benefit concert on Sunday
Ariana Grande will return to Manchester this weekend to perform a benefit concert in the city's Old Trafford cricket ground.
Big names including Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Usher, Take That and Niall Horan will join Ariana Grande on the star-studded "One Love Manchester" lineup.
All proceeds from Sunday's concert will go to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, which was set up by Manchester City Council in partnership with the British Red Cross.
The fund will support those who have been injured or bereaved by the attack and has already raised in excess off £6 million.
— Hannah al-Othman
Bomb disposal squad arrive at property in Wigan
An area of Wigan has been cordoned off this afternoon as police continue their investigation into the terror network behind last week's Manchester Arena attack.
The cordon is in place around Springfield Street, and appears to centre around the same property that police were searching last week.
Roads in the area have been closed and residents have once again been asked to leave their homes, as a bomb disposal squad is on the scene.
The property was first searched on Thursday last week, when a huge cordon was put in place and neighbouring homes were evacuated.
The news of the latest incident came as it was revealed that the location targeted by police in Chester over the weekend was university accommodation.
The raid was linked to the ongoing investigation being carried out by Greater Manchester Police.
Eyewitness Sharmine Miah told BuzzFeed News: "I left the library at Chester University at around 4.20am, I have to walk through the city centre to get home – upon passing Tesco in Delamere Street at around 4.25-4.30 I spotted two police vans outside Sumner House student accommodation.
"In light of the Manchester bombing I immediately suspected that this was potentially in connection with the incident especially because a blue van, unmarked but had a CCTV logo on the rear, was next to the marked police van."
"The scene itself was calm, there was two police men outside looking at the Sumner House building and I think they had got into the entrance of the building."
The University of Chester is making no comment but referred all enquiries to Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
— Hannah al-Othman
The army is standing down in its role supporting the police after the Manchester attack
The army has started to reduce its role supporting police in the wake of the Manchester attack, Scotland Yard has confirmed. The move comes after the national threat level was lowered from critical to severe on Saturday, meaning an attack remains likely but may not be imminent.
The military involvement was part of the Operation Temperer protocol, which places soldiers at key sites in UK cities. The operation will end in the next three days.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the national lead for terrorism policing, said: "I'd like to thank military colleagues for their assistance and the public for their continued support during this challenging time.
"The extra resources that were in place over the last week are being phased out. However, military personnel will remain in readiness to support the police should it be necessary."
This weekend hundreds of people got tattooed with Manchester worker bees
Tattoo parlours across the country are fundraising money for the victims of last week's terror attack. So far the effort has yielded tens of thousands of pounds.
People are spending the holiday – some waiting in line for as long as 15 hours – to be inked with a worker bee, a symbol of Manchester's hard-working identity.
All different sorts of people received the tattoos. Those who spoke to BuzzFeed News had different reasons for what prompted their participation, but most saw the insect as a gesture of love to their city after a time of loss and mourning.
Read more here.
Salman Abedi was pictured pulling this suitcase through Manchester the day before the attack
Salman Abedi was seen the day before his attack on Manchester Arena dragging a large blue suitcase through the city centre, new images released by police show.
Officers have urged anyone who may have seen Abedi with the suitcase to come forward, stressing that the case was different to the one used during the blast.
Police have not revealed exactly where the image was taken, or what they believe may have been inside the case. But they said they believe it was in his possession in the days leading up to the attack.
Abedi was also pictured with the suitcase in the Wilmslow Road area of south Manchester, which is close to where several subsequent police raids have taken place.
Police are trying to pinpoint Abedi's movement between 18 May, when he returned from a trip to Libya, and 22 May, when he carried out the deadly attack, which killed 22 people and injured dozens more.
Read more here.
Police search landfill site in Bury as part of Manchester attack investigation
John Legend has paid a moving tribute to one of the victims of the Manchester attack
Fifteen-year-old Olivia Campbell, one of the 22 victims killed at the Manchester concert attack last Monday, was a huge fan of John Legend's music, and sang his massive hit "All of Me" at a talent show.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Monday, Legend sent his condolences to Olivia's parents and told them that he was moved after watching her performance of "All of Me".
"I can't imagine the pain you are going through. I have a young daughter and I can imagine the feeling you must have to go through right now to have to bury your own daughter," the singer said.
"I understand she was a fan of my music and she sang my song 'All of Me' for a talent show, and that it was played at her memorial service, and I want to thank you for playing the song and let you know that I was so moved by your daughter's performance of the song.
"I want to send you as much love from far away, and as much sympathy and condolences I can send you. I know it won't make up for the loss you're feeling right now, but any love we can send, I want to send you right now. Wish you the best. Take care."
Family and friends remembered the life of Manchester attack victim Martyn Hett during an emotional vigil in Stockport
Hundreds gathered to celebrate the life of Martyn Hett in Stockport's Heaton Moor Park on Sunday night.
The 29-year-old PR manager, who was among the 22 killed in Monday's attack in Manchester, was a well-known Coronation Street superfan and online personality.
His partner, Russell Hayward, made an emotional and witty tribute to their life together. Recalling the moment they first met on Stockport viaduct, Hayward said: "As soon as I saw him mince around the corner in a hideous shirt and threw his arms around me I felt such enormous warmth and love."
Hett, who had a large social media following, was such an ardent "Coronation Street" fan that he had stalwart character Deirdre Barlow tattooed on his leg. Hayward said: "He was the extrovert to my introvert. The Deidre to my Ken."
Hett's brother Dan wore a specially designed T-shirt emblazoned with tributes – including from Mariah Carey – and a cartoon of his brother. "I look like I'm going on a fucking hen do. Thanks, bruv," he quipped on Twitter.
MI5 has launched an inquiry into missed warnings from the public about Abedi
The security services have opened a "post-incident investigation" into the missed opportunities to identify Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi.
MI5 was tipped off at least three times about Abedi's extremist views before Monday's attack, the BBC reported. The inquiry will look at whether those warnings were ignored.
Home secretary Amber Rudd told Sky News: "There's a lot of information coming out about what happened, how this occurred, what people might or might not have known. I think it's right that MI5 takes a look to find out what the facts are. We shouldn't rush to make any conclusions at this stage."
The inquiry comes as it emerged that special powers to ban British jihadis from returning to the UK have only been used once. Abedi is thought to have received terrorist training in Libya before returning to the UK just days before killing 22 people.
Rudd has confirmed a report in today's Times that temporary exclusion orders – available since they were passed into law in February 2015 – have only been used once. This is despite an estimated 350 people returning to Britain after fighting for Islamic State.
Temporary exclusion orders can be used to ban a British citizen suspected of fighting abroad from returning home for up to two years. They can also be used to negotiate conditions of re-entry, such as enrolling into a compulsory deradicalisation programme, or reporting to the police.
A 23-year-old was arrested in Sussex, bringing the total number of arrests to 16
Police investigating the Manchester Arena attack have arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of terrorism offenses, bringing the total number of arrests made in connection to the bombing to 16.
The arrest was made early Monday morning in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, a small town along England's southern coast that is more than 260 miles from Manchester. A crime scene remains in place at the address, police said.
It was just the second arrest to take place outside of Greater Manchester, and seemed to mark a geographical expansion of the investigation in England.
A total of 14 men are now in custody in connection with the arena bombing. Two individuals have been released without charges. The suspect's father and one of his brother's have also reportedly been detained in Libya.
In Manchester, authorities searched an address in the Whalley Range area early Monday but have not made any additional arrests.
Police arrest 19-year-old man on suspicion of terrorism offenses
Police have arrested a 19-year-old man after raiding two more houses as part of investigation into Monday's attack.
This evening officers executed two search warrants in different parts of the city; one in Rusholme in south Manchester, and one in Gorton, east of the city centre.
The men was arrested at the Gorton address on suspicion of offences contrary to the terrorism act.
Residents described hearing loud bangs, believed to be controlled explosions, as police vehicles lined the street, with "dozens of officers" currently on the scene.
Police dogs are being used to help with the searches that being are carried out at both properties.
As it stands, 15 people in total have been arrested in connection with the investigation, of which two people have since been released without charge.
A total of 13 men remain in custody for questioning.
Police carry out two more raids
Police in Manchester have raided two more houses as part of investigation into Monday's attack.
This evening officers executed two search warrants in different parts of the city; one in Rusholme in south Manchester, and one in Gorton, east of the city centre.
Residents described hearing loud bangs, believed to be controlled explosions, as police vehicles lined the street, with "dozens of officers" currently on the scene.
Police dogs are being used to help with the searches that being are carried out at both properties.
A statement from Greater Manchester police said: "Today officers investigating the attack on the Manchester Arena have executed two warrants; one in Rusholme and one in Gorton.
"Searches are currently ongoing." –Hannah Al-Othman
Police make first arrest and carry out first raid since threat level reduced
Police have arrested a 25-year-old man in the Old Trafford area of Manchester on suspicion of offences contrary to the Terrorism Act, it has been announced.
His arrest means 14 have been made in total, and 12 men remain in custody.
Greater Manchester police also confirmed a warrant had been executed at an address in Moss Side. Both the arrest and the raid, which are being described as separate incidents, are the first to take place since the UK threat level was reduced from "critical" to "severe" on Saturday.
The address in Moss Side is close to the Fade'Away barber shop that was raided earlier this week.
Residents reported hearing a large bang as dozens of officers entered the residential street, half a mile away from the barber shop.
The road has been completely sealed off at both ends, while officers with dogs search the property.
Home secretary says the country is prepared for acts of terrorism
Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "I believe there is information we can gather and there's steps we can take to improve the countries security."
"But be in no doubt, this is something this the country has been prepared for, the threat level has been severe now since 2014, which is that an attack is highly likely.
"There will be as many armed police by the end of this year as there has ever been. We are stepping that up all the time. This hasn't come out of the blue, very sadly. This is something we have been prepared for.
"One other thing I would like to say is that the reason why the handling of this terrible atrocity was done so well in Manchester by the emergency services, which I would like to thank, and by everybody involved, by the people who volunteered, is because we had rehearsed for it.
"It's an ongoing investigation there are 11 people in custody. The operation is really at full tilt in a way. Until the operation is complete, we can't be entirely sure it is closed."
Police release images of Manchester bomber on the night of the attack
Police have released pictures of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, taken hours before before an explosion killed him and 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert.
Greater Manchester Police did not release details on where the pictures were taken, but the closely cropped images were taken from CCTV stills of Abedi, who is seen carying a rucksack and wearing a jacket.
Police also revealed they learned Abedi's identity two hours after Monday's attack.
As Chris Greenhalgh walked towards his office in central Manchester on Friday morning, an extraordinary thing happened. Wearing a T-shirt which said "I MCR" on it, the 32-year-old found that he couldn't go more than a few streets without being stopped.
"It's a half hour walk, and I must have hugged about four strangers on the way. People would stop with a smile and a tear," he said.
Greenhalgh is the man behind the logo which has become one of the emblems of the city's refusal to bow to hatred in the wake of Monday night's terror attack. As Manchester mourns the 22 people killed, a spirit of dogged unity, kindness and civic pride has come to define its response.
A graphic designer, Greenhalgh made the logo in the aftermath of the riots in 2011, "to harness the energy of people who love Manchester and create something positive" from it. Now as the city rebuilds from the country's worst terror attack in a decade, the slogan is once again fitting for its determination not to be defined by hate. Since Tuesday morning Greenhalgh's company has distributed more than 10,000 items of "I MCR" merchandise to raise money for the victims fund.
"The city is already starting to bounce back; you can't keep Manchester down for too long," Greenhalgh told BuzzFeed News. "There's a real sense of togetherness and unity. It's beautiful.
"People should be proud of the way we've reacted. The lord mayor called it Manchester's darkest day, and while we'll never forget what happened and we'll never forget the victims, we also saw some of Manchester's brightest and best qualities come out of it."
Read the full story on how the people of Manchester supported each other in the wake of the concert attack.
Terrorism threat level reduced from "critical" to "severe"
The UK's terrorism threat level has been reduced from critical to severe, Prime Minister Theresa May said Saturday morning.
The change indicates an attack is highly likely, rather than imminently expected.
The Prime Minister said members of the armed forces will begin withdrawing from UK streets from midnight on Monday. She made the announcement following a meeting of the government's emergency committee Cobra.
"The public should be clear about what this means. A threat level of severe means an attack is highly likely. The country should remain vigilant," May said.
She said significant activity by the police during the last 24 hours had led to the threat being reduced but added that armed forces would be present at hundreds of events across the Bank Holiday weekend.
Police evacuate large area of Manchester suburb for search
Police evacuated a large section of Moss Side in Manchester while they searched a property in the area.
In a statement, police said they had set up the large cordon as a "precaution" during the search of the site on Saturday morning.
Residents in hundreds of homes inside the cordon were told to stay indoors, while those living closest to the house in question were asked to leave.
Police were on the scene from about 9am, and started cordoning houses off about an hour later.
Harriet Cutchie, 24, a sweet shop manager who lives in the street, said: "There were just lots of police around. We were just told to stay indoors but the top side was evacuated.
"We heard a bang about half past six, quarter to seven. It's quite a scary situation to be in. You never thought it would be on your own street.
"It's quite a quiet street, lots of families lots of children. Nothing really goes on, I never would have thought.
"Our neighbour woke up at half six and heard 'police, police, police!'. There was a bang.
Her partner Christopher Ntiamoah, 24, added: "Obviously with everything that's going on [we felt] panic. Everyone is as confused as we are. It's really, really confusing at the minute."
Robert Tate, a 57-year-old cook who lives nearby, said: "I was going back to my house but I've not been allowed in. They said it's just a precaution."
Another neighbour, Tim Wilcox, also 57, added: "I went out early to get my newspaper. It's on Boscombe Street, the next street, my mate lives there.
" I went to walk through as I normally do and they had that street taped off and CID were there. My mate lives there and they've been told that if you leave your house you can't go back for the day.
"At about half nine the bomb squad truck with the army turned up and they've got the military guys there. About an hour the tape was moved back."
—Alicia Melville-Smith & Hannah Al-Othman
Neighbours describe fear as police raided yet another house in Manchester
Police raided a house in Cheetham Hill overnight, making two further arrests in relation to Monday's terror attack.
Two men have been held, aged 20 and 22, Greater Manchester police confirmed.
Aftab Aslam, 30, an MOT tester who has lived in the street with his family for nearly two years, witnessed the raid in the early hours of this morning.
He saw a bomb disposal truck arrive on scene as police swarmed the street.
He told BuzzFeed News: "At about 2 o'clock in the morning there was a very loud bang. Everyone on the street came out. They said nobody was allowed to come out, everybody was watching from the window.
"There were about 12 or 15 vehicles. Police were everywhere, everywhere. I thought a car was going to explode or something like that.
"It was about 2 o'clock or half two, there was bang and police were shouting 'go, go, go, go, go'. The police were everywhere, everywhere. I didn't know what was going on.
"Everything is safe and calm here, just normal. Nothing like this has ever happened before."
Val Jones, a 59-year-old grandmother of seven, said: "Last night it woke me up at about 2.30am. I heard a loud bang and shouting.
"I looked out the window and there were a convoy of cars coming from the bottom right of the street. There were soldiers getting out in their combat gear with rifles. That's when I knew it was serious.
"I didn't think it was connected to terrorism, I thought it was a drugs raid.
"There was a real commotion. I didn't know what was happening. I thought it was a door getting kicked in. It's frightening. We're only round the corner from the Arena.
"I've seen some of the younger kids knocking about at the end of the street but I don't know the families."
Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, added: "I heard a loud bang and saw police vehicles in the middle of the road, probably about four cars.
"I couldn't see that much, it was dark. The bang was scary at first, it was a very loud, very loud bang. I thought somebody had got shot or it was an explosion."
Two more arrests made early Saturday morning in connection to bombing attack
Law enforcement officials continued conducting a series of searches and raids early Saturday morning, leading to the arrest of two men suspected of terror acts, Greater Manchester Police said.
Saturday's arrests took place in Cheetham Hill, where police said a controlled explosion was set off to gain entry to the home.
The two men taken into custody were identified only as being 22 and 20 years old.
A total of 11 people remain in custody for questioning in connection to Monday's attack.
Ariana Grande says she's returning to Manchester to honor bomb victims
In her first extensive statement since 22 people were killed at her Manchester concert on Monday, singer Ariana Grande offered her condolences to the victims and pledged, "We will not let this divide us. We won't let hate win."
Grande said she plans to return to Manchester to spend time with fans and perform in a benefit concert to remember the victims and raise money for their families.
She also shared a link to a fundraising campaign organized by the Manchester Evening News to support the families of those killed and injured.
Read more here.
A ninth man was arrested in connection to the deadly Manchester Arena bombing
A 44-year-old man was arrested by Greater Manchester Police Friday night, bringing the total number of people detained in connection to the deadly bombing to 11.
The man, whose name was not immediately released, was taken into custody in the Rusholme area, officials said.
Of the 11 people detained so far, two have been released without charge and nine remain in custody, according to police.
"This is a fast moving investigation and we're keeping an open mind at this stage," authorities said in a statement.
The Friday night arrest appeared to be connected to a bus that was stopped by what witnesses described as heavily armed police officers on Oxford Road.
A store manager nearby told a Manchester Evening News reporter police in armored cars responded quickly to the area, blocking off roads near the bus.
The Manchester Evening News reported some of the police officers were wearing masks when they boarded the bus.
One witness told the paper police wrestled someone to the floor.
A few minutes later, police announced the arrest.
"Immense" progress made in investigation, says senior terror officer
The mother of a Manchester attack victim says she has "no hate and anger" for the attacker
The mother of Martyn Hett, who was one of 22 people to lose their lives following a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday, has said she will not invest time in feeling hate towards the attacker.
"I have no feelings of hate and anger at all because I don't think this person deserves any of those emotions that I should invest in," Hett's mother, Figen Murray said in an interview with BBC Northwest.
"I'm staying with my positivity for Martyn and that's what I'm going to hold on to," she added.
You can read more about Hett's mother's interview here. —Laura Silver
Libyans in Manchester say the attack has shocked their community to its core
Though the Libyan community in Manchester is one of the UK's largest, it's still small enough for most people to know each other, if not by face, then by name.
And no name is more recognisable right now than that of British-born Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber behind the attack at Manchester Arena on Monday night, which claimed the lives of 22 people.
Many people in the city's close-knit Libyan community told BuzzFeed News they knew of the 22-year-old and the Abedi family, but were reluctant to say anything beyond that, seemingly fearful of the scrutiny – and possible repercussions – that could follow.
Younger members of the Libyan diaspora said they were left reeling in shock and disbelief when they learned the attack was carried out by one of their own, and expressed concern that his actions would have a negative impact on the wider community.
IT consultant Mohamed Fadil, 25, said: "What Salman did he did by himself, and his actions will only represent himself. It does not represent his family, it does not represent the Libyan community, it does not represent Islam."
Other members of the Libyan community were concerned that the attack could deepen divisions within their community.
"Everyone's been really split in terms of their politics and views on things," Amna, 33, a community worker said.
When she saw some of the comments being made by other Libyans, her heart sank. "I thought, Oh god, your own community is already selling you out," she said. "So it's probably better that they don't speak."
—Aisha Gani, reporting from Manchester
How the threat level being at critical will affect events this weekend
In the wake of the Manchester attack this week the threat level in the UK was raised to critical – meaning an attack could be imminent – for only the third time since the system was introduced in 2006. On both previous occasions, the critical threat level was lifted within four days.
Here's what it means for cities across the UK:
The Great Manchester Run will go ahead as planned on Sunday, organisers announced after talks with police and the council, with a full security review being undertaken.
Entrants have been told to expect a detailed email explaining plans for Sunday, which may differ from those previously issued, and that additional security measures will be in place.
The Great CityGames will also take place on Friday at a purpose-built sprint track on Deansgate, and a pop-up athletics arena in the city centre.
The Metropolitan police said policing operations for all major events taking place in the capital this weekend had been reviewed, with extra measures and officers in place.
This weekend is Birmingham Pride, and police have reassured people the event is still going ahead, and they will be doing all they can to keep people safe.
The Radio 1 Big Weekend festival is going ahead as planned, with police reassuring people that there is "no information suggesting an imminent threat to our area at this time".
A Take That gig due to take place at the Liverpool Arena the day after the bombing was postponed until today (Friday), and the band cancelled three concerts scheduled for the Manchester Arena this week.
As of yesterday, specialist firearms officers from the British Transport police are patrolling on board trains for the first time ever.
You can read more about what that means for the weekend here. —Matthew Champion
Katie Hopkins to leave LBC after Manchester attack tweet
Katie Hopkins has left LBC, it was announced on Friday morning.
It comes after, in a now-deleted tweet, Hopkins called for a "final solution" in response to the Manchester attacks. Some people reported her for being abusive, and called on others to do the same.
Eight arrested suspected of "terror offences", reports say
The eight men remaining in police custody are being held on suspicion of terror offences, Greater Manchester police have told the Press Association.
All are aged between 18 and 38.
Two individuals, a man and woman, who were arrested earlier this week have been released without charge.
—Rose Troup Buchanan
Police search address in Moss Side
Officers are searching a property in Moss Side, Manchester, in connection with Monday's attack.
A statement from Greater Manchester police confirmed a search was underway, and said the property was a different address to one also in Moss Side where a man had been arrested in the early hours of Friday morning.
—Rose Troup Buchanan
Tenth person arrested in connection with investigation
A man was arrested Friday morning in the Moss Side area in connection with the Manchester attack, police said.
He was the tenth person taken into custody in the investigation. One man and one woman have so far been released without charges, and the other eight are still being questioned, police said.
The UK is sharing intelligence again with the US after "fresh assurances" against leaks
The UK is again sharing intelligence with the US after receiving "fresh assurances" against leaks to the press.
Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Service, released a statement on behalf of the National Police Chiefs Council.
"While we do not usually comment on information sharing arrangements with international law enforcement organisations, we want to emphasise that, having received fresh assurances, we are now working closely with our key partners around the world including all those in the 'Five Eyes' intelligence alliance," he said.
The statement comes after UK prime minister Theresa May said she would warn US President Donald Trump that all information shared between the countries must be secure, and the US-UK relationship must be built on trust.
"Part of that trust is knowing that intelligence can be shared confidently," May said.
In response, Trump said he would launch an investigation on the leaks.
Libyan authorities say Manchester bombing suspect called mother to say goodbye just hours before deadly attack
The suspect in the Manchester bombing called his mother in Libya just hours before the attack to say goodbye, a spokesman for Libya's anti-terrorism force told the Associated Press.
Salman Abedi's mother and three siblings were questioned by Libya's Special Deterrent Force, spokesman Ahmed bin Salem told the AP, revealing the call from the suspected bomber to his mother.
During the call, the 22-year-old apparently told his mother, "Forgive me."
"He was giving farewell," bin Salem told the AP.
Abedi's mother also told Libyan officials her son had left for England four days before the deadly bombing.
Libyan authorities believe Abedi learned how to make explosives online and "acted alone."
Residents describe explosion in Blackley as authorities carry out raid at high-rise flat
Neighbours at a block of flats raided by police yesterday evening in north Manchester described hearing a loud bang and smelling sulphur before they saw a young woman being led away in handcuffs.
Forensics officers were still at the scene today in Blackley as the investigation continued.
Police disabled the lifts and blocked the stairways before raiding the 12th-floor flat.
"It was about half past six, I was going out to work. The lifts weren't working, which was unusual. I went to the stairway and there were people with their hands pressed against the door, so I couldn't get out. It was the police," a neighbour on the floor below told BuzzFeed News. "A policeman opened the door and said 'get back in your flat'. I ran back in the flat and locked the door, and then two minutes later we heard a bang upstairs and smelled sulphur.
"The past few months we've heard a lot of noise up here and I said to my wife it's a lot of DIY work for a little flat...and little did I know this flat would get raided."
Another neighbour added: "I heard a bang, but I didn't know what it was. It sounded like someone with a hammer. I looked out my window and saw her in handcuffs."
The neighbour, who declined to be identified, described the woman as a "white girl" who looked about 30 years old.
"The lad who lives up there he works at night, he's from Afghanistan I think," the neighbour added. "What he told me is he has a wife and she's gone home and she's waiting for a visa. He's been in there about eight years now."
The father of the Manchester suicide bomber praised jihadi groups online
ISTANBUL — The father of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi praised Libyan and Syrian jihadi groups, including al-Qaeda affiliates, in his social media posts, boasting that his youngest son, Hashem, now arrested as a suspected ISIS militant, was "training" alongside a picture that shows a young man holding a mounted machine gun.
"My greetings of peace to [Jabhat] al-Nusra," Ramadan Abedi, the father of the man accused killing at least 22 concertgoers, wrote in one post, using the former name of al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria. "[May they be] victorious against the infidels."
The elder Abedi, now in the custody of a powerful UN-affiliated militia in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, has been described as a veteran of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), a jihadi organization that fought the Soviets alongside Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in the 1980s and later staged operations against the late Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi. In an interview earlier this week before his arrest, he insisted he was not a current member of the LIFG but supported the group. "I am not part of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group but I commend them," he said in a video interview.
Read the full story here.
Police raided a home in Withington and detained a man in connection with the Manchester Arena attack
A family was dragged out of a house in Withington, south Manchester, at around 4am on Thursday morning as police detained a man in connection with Monday's attack at Manchester Arena.
Neighbours told BuzzFeed News that the family, who are Libyan, had moved into the rented flat a few months previously, and the children attended the local primary school around the corner. The family's surname is Abedi but it is not clear if or how they might be related to the suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedi.
One neighbour, who wished to be named only as Andrew, said: "I just saw armed police and dogs and heard an explosion. I just came running out, all of us did, to have a look."
"They told me to piss off after a minute, pointed a gun at me and told me to move. I walk past here every day and they were always out here, the kids out here, the parents out here," he said.
"They were in their fifties, there were quite a few kids, two teenagers at least and at least two little ones, and a baby. They were proper polite, the little kid was polite, nice, always apologising for no reason. They were well-mannered, well brought up."
Describing the raid, he said: "The girls, the women were screaming and crying, and they had social workers or translator or whatever calming them down.
"They were taken round the corner and put in a van, it was all pretty surreal, there were at least three or four women.
"I think one of the kids was handcuffed, 13 or 14 years old. He was sitting against the wall on the floor with his hands behind his back."
Another neighbour, Norma Meredith, 71, added: "It was at five past four, all the flats shook. I was a bit scared, I saw it outside. It's terrible, you don't know what's going to happen next, it's not safe.
"He had to bang the door to go in and get him, they got him. They rent it, but I don't know who the landlord is."
A third neighbour, who did not want to be named, added: "It's very shocking, it's terrible because I just moved in here. I think between three and four in the morning I noticed some people were screaming, shouting, and I noticed that the police were along this road. There were guns, I was really scared.
"I had to pray, I was scared, I was praying it wasn't another bomb."
Neighbours describe “terrifying” moment police raided next door property
Neighbours of a terraced house in south Manchester that was raided by police overnight said they were "terrified" when armed officers ordered them to stay inside.
Those living on Linden Street, Moss Side, described hearing a loud bang before armed officers carried out an operation lasting more than an hour. Police confirmed the explosion and raid just after 2.30am.
Neighbours said the house was empty at the time but that an elderly couple was most recently seen living in the property, about four to five weeks ago.
On Thursday, as police continued to search the house, what looked like an Islamic scripture was visible on the wall of the living room.
"I heard it and I live two streets down, I heard a bang. I definitely thought it was a bomb at first," said one neighbour, who asked not to be named.
"I don't think there was a anybody in it at the time. You just don't know who your neighbours are at all these days.
"It's an elderly couple. It was an old man, about 65, and a woman. He had a beard. I said 'it's an old couple, that's strange, it's usually young ones'. There's different people all the time, just different people coming and going – they don't stay long, just a few weeks, one week, two weeks.
"They [the police] couldn't get the door off quick enough. It must have lasted a good hour, hour and a half. It was terrifying. I thought, I don't believe this. They were pointing guns and lights at us, shouting 'get back from your window, close the door!'. I didn't know what it was.
"I heard a commotion and thought it was young boys playing out. I'm just glad they got the right house. We got told to get back from the windows so I stayed back. I went for a fag, I was shaking that much I couldn't do my lighter."
32 people, including 14 children, remain in hospital
Five children and five adults remain in critical condition in hospital, following the attack in Manchester on Monday night.
In total, 32 people, including 18 adults and 14 children, continue to be treated by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Professor Bob Pearson, director of Central Manchester University hospitals, speaking to reporters outside on Thursday afternoon, said staff were hopeful that a number of those injured would be able to return home over the bank holiday weekend. However, he cautioned that a number – refusing to be drawn on exact injuries or numbers – would require "extensive rehabilitation".
He said the wounds were "different from the normal injuries" that NHS staff treat. "They are complex, and they are challenging."
But, he continued that while it was a "challenging time for staff", he was "enormously proud" of their efforts.
—Rose Troup Buchanan
Manchester victim Martyn Hett's family have thanked well-wishers for their support
The family of journalist and LGBT rights advocate Martyn Hett, who was killed in Monday's attack in Manchester Arena, have thanked the public for their support.
In a new statement issued via Greater Manchester police, they said that their "beloved son Martyn just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"Words cannot describe the generosity and kindness our families have received over the last few days," they added. "We are overwhelmed with the amount of lives he has touched and the kind words that are being said about him."
"Martyn was the icon of all our lives. His infectious laugh and his niche sense of humour will stay with us forever. He lived for every moment of every day and fitted an entire lifetime of memories into his 29 years."
"Whilst they have taken the life out of Martyn, no-one can, and ever will, take Martyn our of our lives," the statement concluded.
US superstar Mariah Carey — of whom Hett was a huge fan — paid tribute to him on her Instagram account earlier on Thursday.
"Devastated to learn that one of the victims in Manchester was part of the #Lambily," she said.
"RIP Martyn Hett," she continued, "we will cherish your memory forever."
Hett's friend Russell Hayward, who described Hett as a soulmate, also tweeted about a vigil taking place in his hometown of Stockport this weekend.
—Francis Whittaker and Ellie Bate
The New York Times has defended its decision to publish crime scene photos of the Manchester attack scene
In a statement issued to the Press Association, the New York Times stood by its decision to publish leaked photographs from the scene of Monday's Manchester bombing.
"The images and information presented were neither graphic, nor disrespectful of victims, and consistent with the common line of reporting on weapons used in horrific crimes," the statement read.
"We have strict guidelines on how and in what ways we cover sensitive stories. Our coverage of Monday's horrific attack has been both comprehensive and responsible."
Speaking to reporters earlier, Greater Manchester police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said the victims' families had been told of the leaked images, and it had caused "much distress." —Francis Whittaker
The Queen calls the Manchester attack "wicked" and "dreadful"
The Queen made a surprise visit to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital on Thursday, to visit young people injured in the arena bomb attack on Monday night.
She met a number of patients, telling them that the attack was "dreadful. Very wicked, to target that sort of thing." She added: "It's very interesting how everybody has united."
The Queen also took some time to meet and thank hospital staff.
And Queen Elizabeth also reportedly told the girls that she was an admirer of Ariana Grande.
Nicola Sturgeon pays tribute to 14-year-old victim from Scottish island
Nicola Sturgeon opened the weekly First Minister's Questions session in the Scottish parliament by paying tribute to 14-year-old Scottish schoolgirl Eilidh MacLeod, who died in the Manchester attack.
The session, which is usually the most combative event in the weekly diary of Scottish politics, was instead a sombre affair where members offered their thoughts and prayers to the family of MacLeod who lived on the Scottish island of Barra.
MacLeod went missing alongside her friend Laura MacIntyre after the attack. Following appeals for information from their families, MacIntyre was discovered severely injured in hospital, but MacLeod's family announced her death on Thursday morning.
"Members will be aware of the heartbreaking news today that 14-year-old Eilidh MacLeod from Barra was amongst those killed in the Manchester Arena on Monday night," said Sturgeon.
"I know we will all want to send our love and thoughts to Eilidh's mum and dad and to all of her family and friends at this dreadful time for them. Our thoughts are also with Eilidh's friend Laura MacIntyre, who remains in hospital."
Sturgeon's political opponent, Ruth Davidson from the Scottish Conservatives, forfeited her usual right to grill the first minister and instead had asked the Scottish youth parliament what they would like to ask Sturgeon.
"It would not be right in my judgment to use today to indulge in the knockabout of an election campaign, but I also believe we that best show our contempt for the tactics of by going about our business of practising the very democratic values that bombers seek to destroy," said Davidson.
The Scottish Conservative leader went on to ask about provisions for mental health case for young people in Scotland – an issue on which the Scottish youth parliament has been campaigning in recent months.
Theresa May is going to warn Donald Trump about US leaks on the Manchester investigation
Theresa May has said she will be warning Donald Trump that information shared with the US must be "secure", following a series of leaks of information on the Manchester bombing from US intelligence sources.
In a short statement ahead of travelling to a NATO summit, May said the UK's threat level remained at critical, and that she would be discussing terrorism with other national leaders at the meeting of the defence alliance.
"Shortly I will be travelling to a NATO summit where I will be working with international colleagues on defeating terrorism," she said.
"I will make clear to President Trump that intelligence that is shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure."
UK police and security services have expressed anger and frustration at a series of detailed leaks of information relating to the ongoing investigation into the Manchester bomber Salman Abedi and his possible associates. Eight people are currently under arrest as the investigation goes on.
US intelligence figures have leaked information including the name of the bomber – while police were still asking media to keep this confidential – as well as details of his possible routes, his history, and even detailed photographs and information from the scene of the bombing.
People broke into a spontaneous rendition of Oasis's "Don't Look Back in Anger" in Manchester following a minute's silence
The end of the minute's silence honouring the victims of the Manchester attack in the city's St. Ann's Square was followed by the crowd spontaneously singing "Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis — one of the city's most famous bands.
Guardian reporter Josh Halliday filmed the crowd quietly joining in with the song, which was followed by applause and chants of "we love Manchester". You can read more about the crowd singing the song here.
—Matthew Champion and Hannah al-Othman
Eight arrests so far "significant", Manchester police chief says
The arrests made so far in connection to Monday's attack are "significant", Greater Manchester police confirmed in a press conference this afternoon.
"The arrests that we have made are significant, and initial searches of premises have revealed items that we believe are very important to the investigation," Manchester's Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said.
The eight men – a woman who was detained earlier has subsequently been released – were arrested in Manchester, Wigan, and Nuneaton, and Hopkins confirmed that officers were carrying out searches at a number of addresses in those areas.
Hopkins said the searches would take several days to complete, but officers had already found "items that we believe are very important to the investigation".
He also went on to address the controversy caused by the leaking of UK police findings by US officials to American media outlets. Hopkins said the families of victims were informed of that leak last night. He continued: "It is absolutely understandable that this has caused much distress for families that are already suffering terribly with their loss."
—Rose Troup Buchanan
Seventy-five people were hospitalised after Monday's attack
A total of 75 people were treated in eight hospitals following Monday night's attack on Manchester Arena, NHS England said in a statement.
Of those, 23 remained in critical care as of Thursday morning. A total of 118 people received NHS inpatient treatment.
Theresa May is under pressure to review an anti-extremism strategy that has alienated many Muslims
The government's controversial strategy for preventing the spread of violent extremism has become so distrusted within the Muslim community that it needs to be reviewed after the general election, the UK's former senior prosecutor has told BuzzFeed News.
Speaking in the wake of the Manchester attack, Lord Ken Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions (DPP) said the Prevent strategy, which aims to stop people supporting terrorism, was well-intentioned but had been undermined because many Muslims believe that it discriminates against them.
"You have to query whether it's working. It needs to be looked at as a strategy," said Macdonald, who was DPP when a group of suicide bombers murdered 52 people in London in July 2005.
Prevent is one of the main pillars of the UK's approach to counterterrorism, providing government funding for community-based initiatives designed to combat the spread of violent extremism. A long-running debate about the scheme reignited yesterday, as security experts and politicians began debating the implications of the Manchester suicide bombing. You can read more about the controversy surrounding the government's Prevent scheme here.
Minute's silence held across the UK
Manchester fell silent today to remember the victims of Monday's terror atrocity.
Crowds of thousands gathered in St Ann's Square, where hundreds of floral tributes have been laid to remember those killed in the attack.
The sun shone down on Manchester as the bells of St Ann's Church rang out the hour to mark the beginning of the silence.
Men, women, and children from all walks of life came together to pay their respects, and many were visibly moved, wiping away silent tears or openly crying.
As the silence came to an end, people queued to leave tributes of flowers and balloons or light candles, while others gave out free food and drink to their fellow Mancunians.
After the silence concluded, an impromptu chorus of Oasis's "Don't Look Back In Anger" started up, with the crowds singing together in unison.
Army and bomb disposal unit deployed in false alarm to southwest Manchester
The army, police, and a bomb disposal unit have been deployed to an address in southwest Manchester in what turned out to be a false alarm.
Police initially confirmed that Limby Street had been cordoned off this morning in response to an incident. Jackson Street and Chorlton Road were also been cordoned off, encompassing a "huge" area, according to a Guardian reporter in Manchester. Officers told the BBC they were were "assessing the situation".
However, a later statement from Greater Manchester police clarified that there was a cordon in Hulme, not Trafford, correcting an earlier police statement, and said officers had been called because of a "possible suspicious package".
The statement confirmed that the package was subsequently "deemed safe" and the cordon had been removed.
—Rose Troup Buchanan
Mum of 15-year-old Olivia Campbell makes emotional tribute and appeal for unity
The mum of a teenager who was killed following an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester has made an heartbreaking speech at a vigil on Wednesday night.
Olivia Campbell, from Bury, Manchester, was one of 22 people killed in the attack.
The 15-year-old attended the concert with her friend Adam Lawler for his birthday. At a vigil in the family's hometown on Wednesday evening, Charlotte urged the community not to let the attack beat them.
"From myself, Paul, Olivia's stepdad, from all my children, and Olivia's dad who's not here, I can't thank you enough for all you've done for us, for being here, giving us your support, for sharing her everywhere.
"This is such a hard time for us. I had to come, I didn't know what to do, I don't know where to be, I don't know what to do. I just knew – something told me I had to come here. I can see Olivia's friends there.
"As a family, we're united and we're standing strong. I ask friends, strangers, relatives, neighbours to do the same – please stay together, don't let this beat any of us, please. Don't let my daughter be a victim."
Off-duty police officer named as victim of Manchester attack
Elaine McIver, a police officer from Cheshire, was the 19th person to be named as a victims of Monday's attack. She was off-duty at the time and was attending the concert with her husband and two children, all of whom are injured but have survived.
"Elaine was a much loved daughter, sister, Auntie, friend and colleague, the best we could ever have wished for," her family said in a statement confirming her death.
"She was everyone's friend, thoughtful beyond belief with an effervescent and outgoing personality," her family said in a statement given the Greater Manchester Police, and confirming her death.
"Although we will all miss her beyond belief, we absolutely know she will live in our hearts forever."
Read more about the victims of the Manchester attack here. –Laura Silver
Greater Manchester police will stop sharing information with US authorities after leaks, reports say
Police in Manchester have stopped sharing information around the attack in the city with their US counterparts after a series of damaging leaks by American officials, the BBC understands.
British officials working on the case were appalled and apparently "furious" when photographs of debris from the arena appeared in the New York Times on Wednesday.
Greater Manchester police hope to resume information sharing – usually standard practice between Britain and America – soon.
But the second leak of the debris photos has been labelled "another level" a Whitehall source told the BBC, while the UK's National Police Chiefs' Council commented that the unauthorised disclosure of information could impact a serious counterterrorism investigation.
—Rose Troup Buchanan
Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham says US leaks on Manchester attack are "unacceptable, arrogant, and must stop immediately"
Andy Burnham, the recently elected mayor of Greater Manchester, has spoken to the US ambassador and released a strongly worded statement condemning the US leaks of information about Monday's attack, saying they're "unacceptable, arrogant, and must stop immediately".
"These leaks are unacceptable, and must stop immediately," Burnham said. "This behaviour is arrogant and is undermining the investigation into the horrific attack on the city of Manchester."
"I have told the US ambassador that it worries me greatly that information from a British investigation is being leaked, seemingly out of the United States. Clearly we all want international cooperation, and the confidential sharing of intelligence information is an important principle which must not be undermined."
Eilidh MacLeod, 14, has been named as a victim of the Manchester attack
Eilidh MacLeod, 14, was from the Isle of Barra in Scotland's Western Isles and attended Monday's Ariana Grande concert with a friend.
Her family has released a statement confirming her death via Greater Manchester police.
"Our family is devastated and words cannot express how we feel at losing our darling Eilidh," the statement read. "Eilidh was vivacious and full of fun. She loved all music whether it was listening to Ariana or playing the bagpipes with her pipe band.
"As a family we would like to express our thanks and gratitude for the support and kind messages we have received at this difficult time."
Eight men are now in custody in connection with Monday's arena attack
Police carried out another round of searches in Manchester early Thursday morning, and arrested another two men in connection with Monday's arena attack.
With those arrests, and the release of a woman who'd been arrested Wednesday, the police now have eight people in custody in connection with the bombing.
But Greater Manchester police cautioned Thursday that the investigation is "fast moving," and said they are "keeping an open mind at this time."
A woman arrested in connection with the bombing has been released
Police conduct search in Moss Side
Police carried out searches in the Moss Side area in the early hours of Thursday, deploying at least one controlled explosion.
People in the area reported hearing a loud boom around 1:45 a.m.
No one was arrested in connection with the Moss Side searches. Six men and one woman remain in custody for questioning, police said. —Claudia Koerner
US lawmaker says sophistication of Manchester bomb indicates possible foreign training
A US lawmaker told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the sophistication of the bomb used in the Manchester attack indicates the maker may have acquired expertise abroad.
Texas Rep. Mike McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the bomb contained the same explosive, TATP, used in the deadly attacks in Paris and Brussels that were carried out by Islamic extremists.
McCaul also said that the evidence he'd been briefed on so far suggests Manchester was not "a lone wolf situation."
"There's a network — a cell of ISIS-inspired terrorists," he told the AP.
British police decry breach of trust amid leaks by US counterparts
British police on Wednesday issued a terse statement amid leaks of information connected to the Manchester investigation by their counterparts in the US.
American authorities have been revealing tidbits of information related to the probe to US media, causing great distress in European intelligence circles.
"Unauthorised disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major CT investigation undermines our work & confidence of victims," tweeted the Counter Terrorism Policing agency.
The National Police Chiefs' Council went further, issuing a statement from a spokesman that suggested trust had been breached:
We greatly value the important relationships we have with our trusted intelligence, law enforcement and security partners around the world. These relationships enable us to collaborate and share privileged and sensitive information that allows us to defeat terrorism and protect the public at home and abroad. When that trust is breached it undermines these relationships, and undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families. This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorised disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter terrorism investigation.
Some officials in Washington have also been left frustrated by the fact that the information was coming from the US rather than the UK, calling it "unprofessional."
Prime Minister Theresa May, meanwhile, was reportedly expected to raise the issue with US President Trump at a NATO summit on Thursday.
Read more about the leaks here. —David Mack
Manchester United wins Europa League final
Manchester United beat Amsterdam's Ajax 2-0 on Wednesday, winning the Europa League final, boosting the spirits of the English team's hometown.
That puts Manchester United in the Champions League next year. The victory was an emotional one for the team, its manager, and their families.
"We know things like this are very sad all over the world, not only in Manchester but also in Paris," team member Paul Pogba said, according to the Guardian. "We won for them. We played for the country. We won for them. We played for them, the people who died."
—Claudia Koerner and Rich James
Woman, another man arrested in connection with attack
Police announced Wednesday night that seven people have been arrested in connection with the attack and are in custody for questioning.
A woman was arrested on Wednesday after police searched an area of Blackley. Then a man was arrested after a search in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
She was the sixth person arrested in connection with the attack, and he was the seventh. Police did not identify them or what the potential connection was.
"This is a fast moving investigation and we are keeping an open mind at this stage," police said.
Abedi's friends tell of his nights out and weed smoking
Salman Adedi used to spend his days smoking weed and going on nights out with his friends, those who knew him in his younger days have said.
His younger brother, Hashim, was close friends with Abdul Wahab Hadifah — who died last year after he was attacked by a group of men in Moss Side.
Abdul Wahab's brother, Abdulmalik Hafidah, said he had met Salman because their brothers were friends.
"I've not seen him for four or five years. He was a normal teenager, he just liked to smoke weed, to chill with people. He loved to party", he told the Times.
"I've not seen him since then, I can't remember the people he was hanging round with", he added.
"I think last time I saw him was five years ago near my friend's house. I spoke to him, he was going on a night out.
"Obviously I'd heard he'd turned religious before this at the Arena."
Abdulmalik Hafidah said he had "no idea" that Hashim had also been arrested in Libya.
Abdulmalik's father said he had met Salman before, but knew his brother much better. He was also unaware that Hashim had been arrested.
He told BuzzFeed News: "I knew Hashim, when my son was killed he came to the hospital.
"After my son died Hashim came to visit me, but the other one, I didn't know him.
"I heard all the whole family were in Libya. The father lived there since Gadafi was gone."
Ariana Grande cancels tour through June 5
Pop singer Ariana Grande has canceled her tour through June 5 following the deadly terror attack outside her concert in Manchester late Monday, her team announced.
Twenty-two people were killed and more than 50 others injured, many of them young fans, in a suicide bomb attack just outside Manchester Arena as her concert was wrapping up.
Hours after the attack, Grande tweeted: "Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don't have words."
A statement from her management team Wednesday said the "Dangerous Woman Tour" had been suspended "until we can further assess the situation and pay our proper respects to those lost."
"We ask at this time that we all continue to support the city of Manchester and all those families affected by this cowardice and senseless act of violence," the statement added. "Our way of life once again has been threatened, but we will overcome this together."
The cancellation includes dates in Belgium, Poland, Germany, and Switzerland.
The London red carpet premiere of the upcoming Wonder Woman movie has also been canceled for May 31.
"Our thoughts are with those affected by the recent tragedy in the UK," Warner Bros. said in a statement Wednesday. "In light of the current situation, we will not be proceeding with our plans for the Wonder Woman premiere and junket activities in London."
Salman Abedi's father has been arrested in Tripoli
The father of the suspected Manchester suicide bomber has been arrested in Tripoli, a spokesman for Libya's anti-terrorism force told the Associated Press.
Ramadan Abedi had given an interview to the AP earlier Wednesday, saying that his son, Salman, was innocent.
In addition to the father, two of Salman's brothers have also been arrested.
Manchester remains tense as armed police hunt terror attack accomplices
Arndale shopping centre in the centre of Manchester is usually a hub of activity, even on a weekday morning. But on Wednesday, the place was almost deserted.
"It's not like it usually is," said Lisa Gaffney, 50, who was with around 20 colleagues from an office in the Arndale building carrying flowers add to the tributes to the victims in Albert Square. "Manchester Arndale has always got a buzz and there's usually lots of people talking but it's very quiet."
Michelle Farraker, 57, said: "It's quite edgy and emotional really. We were told not to come in yesterday. We set off to work and got half way and were then told to go home. There was a lot of police on my way in this morning."
Almost 36 hours after the suicide bomb attack that killed 22 on Monday night, Manchester remained uneasy and subdued as residents tried to carry on with life under a heavy police presence and the highest terror threat level for a decade.
Read more here.
Here's how Manchester residents are feeling after the concert terror attack
"It's terrifying. It's not right to do something like that to kids," Chloe, 18, said. "I never would have thought that that could happen here. Those kinds of things happen in London. When I heard the helicopters circling, I thought, 'Oh my god, this is real.' I still can't quite believe it."
Read more reactions here.
—Gabriel H. Sanchez
Miley Cyrus dedicated a song to the victims of the Manchester attacks
During a Tuesday night performance of The Voice USA, Miley Cyrus dedicated her song to Ariana Grande, with whom she has had a long friendship, and the victims of the attack that took place during her concert Monday night.
"I want to dedicate this song to my good friend Ariana Grande and everyone who experienced that horrific attack yesterday," Cyrus said. "Our hearts are with you."
Cyrus received a lot of praise on social media for her thoughtful tribute.
— Ellie Woodward
Greater Manchester Police say another suspect has been arrested
Police arrested a suspect in connection with the Manchester bombing in Wigan on Wednesday. This brings the total number arrested to five.
Greater Manchester Police said that they are also assessing a package that the suspect had been carrying and a police cordon would remain active while they evaluate the package.
Among those arrested since Monday's attack were two brothers of the suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedi.
Kim Kardashian deleted her message about the Manchester attacks after an intense backlash
People on Twitter have been criticizing Kim Kardashian for tweeting a photo of herself with Kendall Jenner and Ariana Grande at a concert along with words of condolences about the Manchester attack.
The image has since been removed from social media, but that did not stop people from calling Kim "narcissistic" for posting a photo of herself.
When some pointed out that Ariana Grande was also in the photo, others responded by saying that the photographic "rule of thirds" would direct people's eyes to Kim.
— Kim Kardashian
Many outlets are reporting that Ariana Grande will pay for the Manchester victims' funerals
Many news outlets have been reporting that singer Ariana Grande has reached out to the families of the victims of the Manchester attack and offered to pay for their funerals.
Most of these reports say their source is the singer's fan Twitter account which has around 3,000 followers.
The star and her team has not made any comments since the Manchester attack, beyond a message she shared on Twitter on Tuesday morning.
Read the full story here.
People are praising the homeless men who rushed to help those injured in the Manchester attack
Several homeless men told media outlets that they rushed to the aid of the Manchester attack victims, providing care by cradling the wounded and pulling nails from children's eyes after the blasts that killed 22 people.
"They needed the help and I'd like to think if I needed the help someone would come look after me," a 35-year-old named Stephen Jones told ITV News.
"It was a lot of children with blood all over them, crying and screaming," he added.
Jones described how he held a woman's legs up after she had been left with wounds following the blast. "We just held her legs up because we thought she was just going to bleed right out," he said.
"It had to be done, you had to help – if I didn't help I wouldn't be able to live with myself."
— Brad Esposito
Salman Abedi's younger brother was arrested in Tripoli
Hashem Abedi, a younger brother of the Manchester bomber, Salman Abedi, has been arrested by counter-terrorism police in Tripoli, Libya, on suspicion of having links to ISIS, according to a report from Reuters.
Another brother, Ismail Abedi, was reportedly arrested by armed police in south Manchester on Tuesday as part of Greater Manchester Police's investigation into Monday's deadly attack and he remains in custody.
The general election campaign will resume by Friday after being suspended following the Manchester attack
Labour and the Conservatives will restart general election campaigning on Friday, as the political world prepares to return to normal business following the Manchester terror attack.
Both parties independently confirmed that national campaigning in the media would resume on Friday, although local candidates will be authorised to begin knocking on doors and attending constituency events from Thursday onwards.
"The British people are united in their resolve that terror will not prevail," said Jeremy Corbyn. "It will not prevent us going about our daily lives or derail our democratic process. Resuming democratic debate and campaigning is an essential mark of the country's determination to defend our democracy and the unity that the terrorists have sought to attack."
Conservative campaign sources said they would ask their candidates to wait until after a national minute's silence, expected to take place on Thursday morning, had been observed before starting door-to-door campaigning. Read more here. — Jim Waterson
A crowdfund for the families of Manchester attack victims has now raised more than one million pounds
The Manchester Evening News launched a crowdfunding effort for the families of Monday's attack victims. So far, they have raised more than £1,000,000.
The paper has formed a partnership with the British Red Cross who will make sure they money donated goes to the people who are affected by the devastating events of Monday night.
"We have been completely overwhelmed by the support the people of Manchester have offered since the devastating news broke on Monday," the spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in a statement.
"The fact that Mancunians have shown such strength, warmth and support to each other during this extremely difficult time is really heartening," the spokesperson added.
— Victoria Sansui
Two people who knew Salman Abedi had concerns about him and reached out to authorities five years ago
Two people who knew Salman Abedi at college made separate calls to authorities several years ago, the BBC has reported, citing an anonymous community worker in his local area.
The calls were reportedly made around five years after Abedi allegedly remarked that he believed suicide bombing was morally acceptable, and spoke of the "value of dying for a cause", according to the BBC's source.
Greater Manchester Police declined to comment to the BBC on the anonymous claims.
– James Ball
Manchester Islamic Centre has called the arena attack "an act of cowardice," and strongly denied media reports the bomber had worked there
Manchester Islamic Centre — located at the city's Didsbury Mosque — has condemned Monday's attack on an Ariana Grande concert as a "horrific atrocity."
Outside the centre on Wednesday, trustee Fawzi Haffar told the assembled press in the strongest terms that the bomber did not work at the mosque.
"The horrific atrocity that occurred in Manchester on Monday night has shocked us all. It has indeed shocked us all. This act of cowardice has no place in our religion or any other religion for that matter," he said, reading a prepared statement.
"We encourage anyone who may have information about the individual involved to contact the police without any delay."
Haffar added: "This centre has been part of our fine and great city and the Didsbury community... since the 1960s. The doors of this centre are open to all. They are open to all. As a centre, we serve all people from all backgrounds and faith from our food and cloth banks to all our inter-faith dialogues."
Addressing newspaper reports speculating about Abedi's links to the mosque, Haffar said: "Some media reports have reported that the bomber worked at the Manchester Islamic Centre... This is not true."
"I assure everyone — listeners, viewers in the UK, around the UK — this bomber has never worked in this centre. We express concern that a small section, a very small section, of the media are manufacturing stories and making unfounded points without any verification or context or corroboration. We are concerned about reports we are receiving, reports we are receiving, about anti-Muslim acts."
"These are terrible anti-Muslim acts ranging from verbal abuse to acts of criminal damage to mosques in the area and outside the area. We encourage, again we do encourage, any incidents to be reported as a hate crime," Haffar said.
— Francis Whittaker, James Ball, and Aisha Gani
Twitter used to find missing friend after Manchester attack
Since Monday's attack, many posts have circulated on social media from people desperate for information on their missing loved ones.
They have not all had happy endings.
But one pair of friends were able to reconnect thanks to help from the Twittersphere.
Read more here. —Ikran Dahir
A serving police officer was among the victims of the attack
A serving police officer was among those killed in the concert attack, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins confirmed Wednesday.
During a press conference, Hopkins said: "Very sadly I can confirm that one of the victims is a serving police officer.
"In respecting their family's wishes I will make no further comment at this stage."
The father of the alleged Manchester attacker says his son is not affiliated with militants
The father of alleged Manchester attacker Salman Abedi said that his son is not linked to militants or the suicide bombing responsible for the massacre on Monday.
"We don't believe in killing innocents," Ramadan Abedi told the Associated Press from Tripoli. "This is not us."
Ramadan noted that his son had traveled to Libya a month and a half ago. He spoke to Salman five days ago, before he was scheduled to take a trip to Saudi Arabia, and said he sounded "normal."
After fleeing Tripoli in 1993 and eventually seeking asylum in the UK, Ramadan now works as an administrative manager of the Central Security Force in Tripoli.
— Tamerra Griffin
Manchester police say it has become "very clear this is a network we are investigating"
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins has said officers believe the bomber behind Monday's attack was part of a network.
In a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Hopkins said: "It is very clear that this is a network we are investigating."
He added three arrests had been made on Wednesday, bringing the total to four. He also confirmed police had raided a centre city property.
"This afternoon we entered an address in Manchester city centre using a controlled explosion," Hopkins said.
"Officers are currently at the scene, but in order to do this safely we briefly had to close a nearby mainline railway, which has now been reopened. Those extensive searches will now continue."
"In total we currently have four people in custody."
"People will have seen a significant increase in the number of armed officers in Greater Manchester. We have been supported by forces in the North West and beyond in order to do this and this all forms part of our tried and tested plan for a major terrorist incident.
"With the threat level being increased to critical you will be aware that military are supporting policing across the country. This is about using the military across sites in London and elsewhere to free up armed police officers to support police forces.
"There are no military personnel patrolling Manchester but we are therefore able to receive additional armed policing support because of this plan. We are using this to help in our efforts enable the Manchester Games and Manchester 10k to go ahead."
"We are working with event organisers and Manchester City Council to review and enhance our safety and security."
Mourners have been leaving flowers, signs, and other tributes across Manchester
Since the attack on concertgoers at Manchester Arena on Monday night, flowers and messages of condolence have been left in the city centre, including in Albert Square and outside the town hall.
Here are some photos of the touching messages that have been left in the city centre.
Charity worker says attack has left many people in Manchester traumatised
A charity working with traumatised people caught up in Monday night's attack at the Manchester Arena has spoken to BuzzFeed News about the impact on families affected.
The Foundation for Peace, the national organisation that works with government and police to help victims of terror, has been putting families in touch with psychologists and councillors, as well as taking school assemblies for bereaved pupils.
Nick Taylor, chief executive of the foundation, said: "We started in the early hours of yesterday morning. We're only based 15 miles from Manchester so were were able to get there quickly.
"It's 21,000 people so this is not just Manchester affected, we're helping people as far afield as Leeds and Liverpool.
"We spoke to the family of a girl who has lost one of her fingers to the bomb. She's dealing with the physical impact of that but also the effect of the trauma.
"We've had to be deploying into schools where someone didn't come back. We've been holding assemblies."
Those seeking help in the last two days have also included people with post-traumatic stress from terror attacks that happened decades ago.
"There are a huge amount of people coming to us from other incidents who couldn't cope. A guy that lost his wife 20 years ago in an IRA bomb who'd never needed support just broke down yesterday and couldn't work. We've also been helping people involved in 7/7. They're really feeling this because it's a bomb attack."
Nell Jones, 14, has been confirmed as one of the victims of the Manchester attack by her school.
Police confirmed that she died at the scene of the attack, Denis Oliver, the headteacher at her school, Holmes Chapel Comprehensive and Sixth Form in Cheshire, said in a statement.
"We are all devastated by the loss and as a school community we must now come to terms with what has happened," Oliver said. "Nell was a very bright and popular student."
Jones' form tutor, David Wheeler, described her as a very popular girl, who was always smiling and positive. "Her tutor group have been together since the transition from primary school. It feels like they have lost a sister not a classmate," he said.
And Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 50, from Blackpool, has also been named.
Tweddle-Taylor, a receptionist at South Shore Academy School, was at the arena with a friend, who was there to collect her daughter.
Jane Bailey, the principal of South Shore confirmed Tweddle-Taylor's death in a statement from the school, describing her as a "wonderful friend and colleague".
"We have received numerous messages of condolences from parents, students, community members and colleagues across Blackpool for which we are very grateful," Bailey said. "All of them say the same things about our lovely Jane… bubbly, kind, welcoming, funny, generous… the list goes on.
"Our thoughts are also with her family at this dreadful time and in particular her three daughters. In our school family and theirs… she is irreplaceable, much loved and will never be forgotten."
Twelve of the 22 victims have now been publicly identified. A full list of who they were is here.
Police raid house in central Manchester as part of investigation
Manchester police have just finished a raid of a flat in the city centre as part of their investigation into Monday's attack.
In a statement the force said: "Officers have this afternoon carried out a search at an address in Manchester City Centre as part of the investigation into the horrific incident at Manchester Arena.
"That search is ongoing. In order to do this safely we briefly closed a railway line, but it has now been reopened."
Eyewitness Louise Bolotin, a director of the residents association for the building and a freelance journalist, told BuzzFeed News: "I live in the building, on the top floor. The fire alarm went off and I grabbed my jacket and phone and ran down the staircase.
"There was an armed officer at the door with a helmet and face mask carrying a machine gun. It was a big shock to see the police, I was expecting to see the fire brigade.
"I came out and stood on the other side of the street. I don't think many of us actually came out of the building. Some military were coming out, police were coming out, fire brigade were coming out. I've not seen any people being brought out.
"I was scared. It's not even two days since the attack on the arena. You never expect it to be your own home. I'm still shocked by it, I'm literally shaking."
She said there are 62 flats in the building, about half of which are owner-occupied. She said block is popular with students due to its proximity with both the universities and the city centre.
"There's a transient student population," she said. "I know it's a flat on the third floor. I've been told by my one of my neighbours it's been rented out as an Airbnb recently."
—Alicia Melville-Smith & Hannah Al-Othman
A former school of the Manchester attacker has offered its condolences to the victims
Burnage Academy for Boys — the former school of Manchester attacker Salman Abedi — has condemned Monday night's events and offered its condolences to the victims and their families.
"We can confirm that Salman Abedi attended Burnage between 2009-2011. As this is an ongoing police investigation, we know that the press will understand that it is in the public interest for us to say no more at this time," the school said in a statement published on its website.
"We are a Manchester school. We feel the pain that Manchester feels. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Mancunian's against terrorism in all forms. Our deepest condolences go to all who have been affected by this outrage."
Police say they are confident all victims of the Manchester attack have now been identified
Greater Manchester police say they have now identified all 22 victims of the concert attack and notified their families.
"Due to the number of victims forensic post-mortems are likely to take four to five days. After this we will be in a position to formally name the victims with guidance from the coroner," the force said in a statement.
"We have made contact with all the families and our specially-trained officers are supporting them."
The first image of attacker Salman Abedi has been released and new information about him has begun to emerge.
A member of the local Libyan community in south Manchester, Entisar Halab, told BuzzFeed News that the Abedi family were of good standing. Salman's father, Ramadan Abedi, came to England in 1990 as a 19-year-old asylum-seeker, she said, four years before Salman was born.
"He is a well-respected person in the Muslim community, who performed the call to prayer frequently," she said. "He was quiet and humble continuously, and he constantly condemned acts of terrorism and educated the people at the mosque about peace in Islam, and its zero tolerance to terrorism."
Both parents were well-educated. Salman Abedi's mother, Salma Eltabal (also reported as Samia Tabbal), is an engineer who obtained a degree in nuclear science in Tripoli, according to Halab. It's thought that the whole family moved back to Libya in 2011, but the boys returned to Manchester.
"The family tried their hardest to remove ideas of extremism in Salman," Halab said, "but he was evidently uncontrollable. Salman was an uneducated person, and was considered ignorant, empty-minded, irresponsible, and even insane by his family. He was arrogant with his parents.
"Whoever saw him would tell you that he had the character of an empty-minded person, but no one thought his mental instability would reach this extent."
Their older son, Ismail, who was listed as living at the same address on Elsmore Road, was reportedly arrested on Tuesday and remains in custody.
—Patrick Smith & Hannah Al-Othman
First image of Manchester Arena attacker Salman Abedi released
Three more victims of concert attack identified
Stockport man Martyn Hett, 29, has died following Monday's attack, friends and family have confirmed.
"He left this world exactly as he lived, centre of attention," Russell Hayward, who described himself as Hett's "soulmate", wrote on Wednesday morning. "I love you Martyn, I always will," he added.
Hett's brother Dan, who had been leading the search for the missing 29-year-old also confirmed his death. "They found my brother last night. We are heartbroken," he wrote on Twitter.
Tributes for Hett, who was a prominent figure on social media, and once won television cooking game show Come Dine With Me, quickly poured in following the announcement.
Friends Lisa Lees and Alison Howe, from Oldham, who were at Monday night's concert with their young daughters, have died following the attack. Their deaths were confirmed by Lees' brother and Howe's stepson on Facebook.
"For those who don't know Lisa is gone but never ever forgotten I love you Lisa I'll miss you so much," her brother wrote.
Alison's stepson Jordan said: "They took a caring beautiful mum and step mother away from us all she was amazing to us all x love you loads Alison Howe."
Ten of the 22 victims have now been publicly identified. A full list of who they were is here.
Police make further arrests in Manchester
Three men have been arrested in relation to the concert attack after police executed warrants in South Manchester, Manchester police said Wednesday morning. They are have provided no further details on the arrests.
A 23-year-old man was arrested in the South Manchester area yesterday.
Palace of Westminster closed to non-passholders
In light of the attack in Manchester and the raising of the national security threat level to critical the Palace of Westminister will be closed to all non-passholders today, Wednesday 24 May.
In a statement it was announced that "all tours, events and banqueting will be cancelled with immediate effect. This arrangement will remain in place until the advice changes."
Olivia Campbell (left) and Kelly Brewster
Bury teen Olivia Campbell has been confirmed among the victim's of Monday's attack by her mother.
Olivia, 15, attended the concert with her friend Adam Lawler for his birthday.
On Facebook, her mother Charlotte wrote: "RIP my darling precious gorgeous girl Olivia Campbell taken far far to soon go sing with the angels and keep smiling mummy loves you so much."
Sheffield woman Kelly Brewster has been confirmed dead by her partner. Brewster was attending the concert with her sister Claire and her niece Hollie.
Her boyfriend Ian Winslow posted a tribute confirming her death on his Facebook. He wrote: "Kelly really was the happiest she has ever been and we had so many things planned together. My daughter Phoebe will be absolutely devastated like we all are. Love you loads."
York couple Angelika and Marcin Klis, who were originally from Poland, have also been confirmed among the dead by Poland's foreign minister.
The couple leave behind two daughters, Alex and Patrycia. Speaking to local media, Polish foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski said: "The parents came after the concert to collect their daughters and unfortunately we have information that they are dead. The children are safe."
UK home secretary says it's "likely" attacker was not acting alone
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, UK home secretary Amber Rudd said attacker Salman Abedi "likely was not doing this on his own."
She added up to 3,800 troops could be deployed in UK as part of Op Temperer. However, she emphasised it would only be a temporary measure.
Rudd also commented on the leaking of Abedi's name by US officials, calling it "irritating." She said the US had been informed "it shouldn't happen again" but that it hadn't compromised the investigation.
Monuments around the world go dark to show solidarity with Manchester
Historic monuments and other buildings around the world dimmed their lights Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning in honor of the victims of the Manchester suicide bombing. At least 22 people died in the attack, which took place at an Ariana Grande concert.
At midnight, the lights of the Eiffel Tower were turned off.
According to the Associated Press, several monuments in Rome including the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain also went dark at midnight.
New York City's Empire State Building announced that it would remain dark Tuesday as well.
Officials in Dubai took a different approach, lighting the Burj Khalifa — currently the world's tallest building — to look like the UK flag in solidarity with the victims of the attack.
—Jim Dalrymple II
Prime Minister Theresa May raises UK's terror threat level from "severe" to "critical"
Prime Minister Theresa May announced Tuesday night that the UK's terror threat level has been raised from "severe" to "critical."
The announcement came less than 24 hours after a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester left at least 22 people dead and dozens more wounded.
May explained that raising the terror threat level to critical means that officials believe that "a further attack may be imminent."
"It is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to the attack," she said.
Still, May said she did not want the public to feel "unduly alarmed."
"We have faced a serious terrorist threat in our country for many years and the operational response I outlined is a proportionate and sensible response to the threat our security experts judge we face," she said.
The last time the UK raised the terror threat level to critical was in 2007 in response to an attack on Glasgow Airport.
Read more about the threat level here.
—Jim Dalrymple II
Muslim leaders in Manchester fear community backlash after attack
Imams from mosques in Manchester, after gathering Tuesday to offer prayers for the families and victims of a terror attack in their hometown, have expressed fears of a backlash on Muslim communities.
With images of a suspected arson attack on a mosque circulating on social media in the wake of the suicide bombing that killed 22, Nazmul Hussain, principal of Oldham Islamic College, told BuzzFeed News they were anticipating a rise in hate crime.
Hussain, who confirmed the attack with Imam Faruq Noorani of Willow Street Mosque, said: "I feel shocked."
He said that before Monday's attack, "hate crime is increasing now, graffiti, small leaflets." He added, "When terror attacks happen, mosque attacks happen. There's correlation."
Read more here.
Thousands crowd emotional vigil for Manchester attack victims in show of solidarity
Thousands of people gathered in Manchester's Albert Square on Tuesday for a vigil to honour the 22 people killed and 59 wounded in the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena.
After a tense day in the city centre, the crowd roared its defiance at terrorism, applauding the emergency services and standing in a minute's silence to remember those who lost lives. Albert Square outside the town hall was packed, with many people spilling out onto neighbouring streets.
The lord mayor of Manchester, Eddy Newman, opened the vigil by reiterating the city's gratitude to the emergency services, prompting prolonged cheers and applause.
"The people of Manchester will remember the victims forever and we will defy the terrorists by working together to create cohesive, diverse communities that are stronger together," he said. "We are the many, they are the few."
Read more here.
Newsround, the BBC's news show for children, is being praised for how it is handling the Manchester attack
Many people have been praising Newsround, the BBC's news show for children, for its coverage of the Manchester concert attacks, which included a guide for kids who were concerned about the news.
As well as its usual bulletins on the CBBC channel, aimed at 6-13-year-olds, the long-running show has been sharing animations about the story on social media. Their coverage has resulted in thousands of retweets.
"I think today has been enormously challenging," Lewis James, Newsround's editor told BuzzFeed News. "It's hard to think as anything that can be more challenging than trying to explain to children about this attack, really. An attack that specifically seems to have targeted children and young people."
He said the key was to provide an "honest reassurance" to children.
Read more here.
People are chanting "Long live Manchester" at the vigil for victims of the concert attack
Albert Square in Manchester was packed long before the vigil for victims of the concert attack was scheduled to begin. Several attendees told BuzzFeed News that despite the circumstances, the outpouring of support in the wake of tragedy gave them hope.
"I think the expression 'Keep calm, carry on' is the best thing we can do at this point," one said. "It's incredible hearing the waves of clapping and cheering."
A few people had friends and family members who attended the concert, but returned home safely. Two women who attended the vigil, who both described themselves as musicians, said they were there to stand in solidarity with people whose loved ones weren't so lucky.
"We're grieving, but we're not broken," one woman said.
BuzzFeed News is live at the vigil.
There's been an incredible response to a crowdfund for the families of Manchester attack victims
The Manchester Evening News set up a crowdfunding campaign for the families of those killed or injured in the terror attack. It says fashion retailer Boohoo made the biggest donation with £100,000.
Check the full story here.
Manchester mayor: "This was an act of extremism. It doesn't represent any religion."
Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is urging people not to blame the Islamic community for Monday's night deadly concert attack.
"This was an act of extremism," he told the BBC. "It doesn't represent any religion. It doesn't represent any community. It certainly doesn't represent Greater Manchester."
Burnham said the city was best represented by those residents who opened their doors to terrified concertgoers.
The mayor said his constituents were grieving but adamant that they would not let terrorism divide the city.
"There are those who will like to make it all the responsibility of the Muslim community," he said. "Well, I'm afraid that is wrong. This is an extremist act, and the person who did it in no more represents the Muslim community than the person who killed Jo Cox represents the white Christian community," he said.
Cox, a former Labour member of parliament, was shot dead by white supremacist Thomas Mair in June 2016.
"It's an act of extremism," Burnham said of Monday's attack, "and people need to remember that at all times."
US officials keep talking about the Manchester attack and it’s freaking out European allies
BRUSSELS — UK and European intelligence officials are expressing concern over the fact that much of the information that emerged in the wake of the Manchester bombing has been sourced back to US officials.
The information first came in the hours after the attack — including a US official saying that the leading theory was that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber — and culminated in report by CBS News and the Associated Press that cited US officials claiming to identify the suspect who is believed to have blown himself up during an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, killing at least 22 people.
One Belgian counter-terrorism official who spoke with BuzzFeed News between a series of meetings about the Manchester attack confirmed the discomfort felt in European intelligence circles.
"It happens sometimes when a larger partner like America assists on an investigation like this one," said the official, who asked not to be identified because he lacks permission to speak with the press. "You know you are trading the additional resources they bring for a chance of increased leaks. In this case, I suspect the Brits are livid — I know we would be — to have a suspect ID'd before they're ready and obviously the recent performance of the Trump administration on leaking sensitive information can't be far from anyone's mind if they examine [the situation]."
Read the full story here.
—Mitch Prothero, Nancy A. Youssef, and James Ball
Police identify the attacker as Salman Abedi
Police have identified the Manchester Arena attacker as Salman Abedi, 22, Manchester police told reporters Tuesday.
"I can confirm that the man suspected of carrying out last night's atrocity has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi," Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said. "However, he has not yet been formally identified and I wouldn't wish, therefore, to comment further."
"The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or part of a network," Hopkins said.
CBS News was first to report the identification and said Abedi was known to British authorities.
Neighbors told BuzzFeed News that the family was from Libya and were referred to as the Libyans. They also flew a big Libyan flag from the house.
The Telegraph reported that Abedi was born in Manchester to Libyan parents and grew up in the Whalley Range district in the south of the city.
Electoral roll searches show that a man called Salman Abedi lived at 21 Elsmore Road in Fallowfield, south Manchester – which appears to be the same address where police carried out forensic searches and a controlled explosion earlier on Tuesday.
Police confirmed that a controlled explosion took place in Fallowfield on Tuesday morning and local people confirmed hearing a loud bang on social media. Car alarms were set off by the noise and a heavy police presence was shepherding bystanders away. A separate raid took place in Carlton Road in nearby Whalley Range.
Armed police arrested a 23-year-old man in south Manchester in connection with the operation on Tuesday although police have yet to confirm his identity.
Speaking outside 10 Downing Street earlier, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that the police and security services were working on the basis that the attack was carried out by a sole assailant, but police are still working to confirm he was working alone.
Read more about Abedi here. —Hannah al-Othman and Patrick Smith
Here is all the fake news about the Manchester terror attack
Here are the claims you should not believe about the terrorist attack that has claimed the lives of at least 22 people and injured dozens of others.
—Jim Waterson, Brad Esposito, and Victoria Sanusi
Ariana Grande fans are sharing videos dedicated to her love of them
Videos that illustrate Ariana Grande's close relationship to and deep appreciation of her fans have begun to circulate widely on social media after the fatal attack at her concert that left 22 people dead.
Ariana Grande fans are rallying behind her in support after a deadly attack on her concert
Ariana Grande's fans and other celebrities have taken to social media to support the singer in light of the deadly attack during her Manchester concert that left 22 dead.
Man ran toward the panic after hearing the explosion and helped injured woman
Patrick Agnah was on his way from work Monday when he heard a loud noise close to Victoria station but it didn't even cross his mind that the sound could be a bomb. It wasn't until the tram operator refused to travel any further and wouldn't let anyone leave the carriage that he realised that something terrible might've happened.
Agnah, who works in private security and is trained in first aid, told BuzzFeed News that he knew something was wrong. He left the tram through the emergency exit and walked towards the noise and panic ahead of him to see what was going on.
"I saw this lady on the floor at the entrance to the tram station, she was covered in blood," he said. "I couldn't go, I knew I had to do something to help."
He said he stayed with the woman, made a makeshift bandage for her leg, and waited with her until the ambulance arrived.
"And then a man came to me literally crying and he asked me, 'Do you know where they sent the children? … I'm looking for my daughter.'"
A police officer tried to help, he said, but the father's phone wasn't working and he couldn't remember his daughter's number off the top of his head.
"I felt the pain for them," he said. "They were just going out to a concert, they were happy".
Families are looking for these people who are still missing after the Manchester attack
Family members and friends of those still unaccounted for in the wake of the Manchester attack are making public appeals on social media to help find their loved ones.
Charlotte Campbell, mother of Olivia Campbell, pictured above, told the Manchester Evening News that she has not been able to speak with her daughter, and that her phone has been turned off.
Olivia, she said, had attended the Ariana Grande concert with her friend, Adam Lawler. Adam is currently being treated at a nearby hospital.
"I know where Adam is and I know that Olivia isn't with him," Charlotte said. "I've been told by the police that she's registered as a missing person."
The worried mother added that Olivia "had her phone with her but it's dead, I don't know whether she's lost it in the stampede to get out of there, but she knows by number off by heart so I know she can contact me if she's able to."
Read more about the families still searching for their missing relatives here.
—Kassy Cho and Laura Silver
The 1975 interrupted their concert to make impassioned speech about the Manchester attack
Matt Healy – lead singer of Manchester-born band The 1975 – interrupted their concert in Denver, Colorado last night to make an impassioned speech about the attack at the Ariana Grande concert.
"I'm fucking pissed off," he began, speaking to the crowd between songs. "I'm bored of nationalism, racism – it's over."
Read more here.
An eyewitnesses describes the moment six masked cops arrested a man in connection with the Manchester bombing investigation
An eyewitness has described how armed police surrounded the 23-year-old man who was arrested earlier on Tuesday as part of the investigation into Monday's bomb attack.
A local woman who asked not to be named told BuzzFeed News that she saw six masked men standing around a man on the floor.
She said: "There's not much to say since everything happened so fast, but basically when I arrived the man was on the floor surrounded by at least six men with masks on their faces. I was told there were two men in the car when it was stopped by at least two or three [unmarked] police cars.
"The men with the masked faces stepped outside these cars screaming 'Police, police!' to the driver and put him to the floor whilst allowing the passenger, who was an old man, to leave. After a while a police car with 2 officers arrived and took the suspect."
The arrest, which was confirmed by police just before midday, took place outside the Morrisons supermarket on Wilbraham Road in Charlton, south Manchester.
People think this performance on the night of the Manchester attack now has a new meaning
Ariana Grande fans have been sharing their thoughts and condolences in light of the Manchester attack, and have assigned a new meaning to one of the songs she performed, "One Last Time."
This is what it's like to have people think you're the victim of a terror attack
Following the Manchester attack, a picture claiming to show people who were missing after Manchester incident circulated on social media.
But versions of the collage actually contain a mix of missing persons and fake victims.
While it remains unclear where the collage originated, many of the fake victims included in it are known to 4chan and right-wing trolls.
The photos were discussed on /pol/ shortly after being shared. Users made suggestions for people who should appear in the faked images.
Read the full story here.
UK security forces are working to establish whether the Manchester attacker had help
UK security experts told BuzzFeed News that the Manchester attack demonstrated a degree of planning and expertise that suggests the assailant had wider assistance.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced Tuesday that the attack was carried out by one man, but now security forces are tasked with figuring out whether or not he acted alone.
"The police and security services believe the attack was carried out by one man. But they now need to whether he was acting alone, or was part of a wider group. It will take some time to establish these facts, and the investigation will continue," May said. "The police and security services will be given all the resources they need to complete that task."
ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre later in the day; however, similar announcements in the past have functioned more as publicity stunts and are sometimes found to be false.
Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, a former chair of the UK's joint intelligence committee and security minister under David Cameron, told BuzzFeed News the use of an explosive device suggested a "reversion" to previous terrorism tactics, away from that of recent attacks that have focused on low-sophistication attack methods using vehicles and knives in so-called lone wolf attacks.
"It is the biggest attack for 12 years," she said. "It is not so difficult to build a body IED – but it does require knowledge and expertise and thus some organisation. I don't think the lone wolf thesis has ever been espoused by the security services or police.
Read more from the security experts BuzzFeed News spoke to here.
—James Ball and Alberto Nardelli
Controlled explosion detonated near a primary school panics parents
Parents of children at a primary school near the scene of the Fallowfields raid said they panicked when they heard the controlled explosion.
St Kentigern's, about 300 metres from the scene of the police operation, was placed on lockdown when teachers heard the blast.
Usha Pregash, 37, who has two children at the school, told BuzzFeed News: "I was very nervous, very panicked, I felt worried. I heard the blast, I was sitting in the garden and heard an explosion, a very loud bang. It scared me.
"Immediately I came to the school and saw what was going on. I saw many parents gathering here. I wasn't happy my kid would be safe here so I took her home.
"The school was on lockdown and the parents tried to push their way in so they had to send the kids out."
Rachael Burns, 35, who lives close to the scene of the controlled explosion, initially thought she had heard a traffic accident, and rushed outside to see what had happened.
"We were in our home and heard a big loud bang," she said. "There've been numerous car crashes at the junction of the school.
"I heard the window rattling and thought it was a crash but saw no vehicles had collided. Then I thought it was a gunshot.
"Loads of places had heard it and I knew it was something more serious than a crash or a gunshot.
"Then we looked further down the road and saw all the riot vans and tactical aid units. We've heard it was a controlled explosion, or uncontrolled explosion."
She added: "We're all shocked, very shocked, everyone's supporting everyone. It's just tragic following the events that happened last night as well."
James Corden paid a heartfelt tribute to the people of Manchester following the attack
Late Late Show host James Corden recorded a touching tribute to people in Manchester after the attack that has killed 22 people.
The incident took place as he was taping Monday night's episode.
"It shocks me every time I hear this sort of news, that attacks like this can happen, but especially when there will be so many children at this concert tonight," Corden said.
He described Manchester as a place "famous all over the world for so many wonderful things," and added that "the spirit of the people of Manchester will grow even stronger this evening."
Watch the full message below.
Theresa May calls attack "barbaric" and says police will evaluate security practices at venues to ensure safety this summer
The prime minister said the bombing was "absolutely callous."
"It is an absolutely barbaric attack which has taken place, to cut off young lives in this way," May said.
In addition to investigating the incident, law enforcement will be evaluating the security of venues ahead of the busy summer season.
"The police and others will be looking at the security of venues so that people can continue to enjoy summer events and feel secure," she said. "We will not let the terrorists win. Our values will prevail."
Third victim identified as 26-year-old man from Bury
Local police have confirmed John Atkinson was one of the 22 people killed in Manchester. Atkinson was 26 and from Bury, according to the Manchester Evening News.
In tributes on Facebook, he was described as a "beautiful soul" and a "wonderful man."
"Heartbroken for the Atkinson family at this sad time, never would I imagine this happening so close to home.. 💔💔💔," Taliè Andrèa, who appeared to be a friend of Atkinson's, wrote.
"Rest in paradise John you beautiful soul.. 🙏🏾"
Manchester Arena crew member describes confusion and terror of attack
A crew member who was working at Manchester Arena during the bombing has spoken of the panic and confusion in the aftermath of the attack.
The crew member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told BuzzFeed News that he didn't hear the explosion, as he and his coworkers had already started dismantling the set.
"When all the crowd were running out all the crew was still in there," he said. "You see all this footage of everyone running, but we were still in there. It wasn't until moments later we got the call [to evacuate].
"We were rushing trucks and flight cases up a ramp onto the stage to pack up to take down again, so that rumble on this metal ramp with plastic wheels is quite loud and you've got echoey 22,000-seat arena in front of you and people screaming to get out and the sound of a bomb, it all kind of... I wouldn't have known.
"And then everyone is rushing around, everyone is screaming 'get outside', blue flashing lights, riot police nearly knocking me down as I walk past. Moments before this, I'm walking out the door, Ariana is walking with her backing singers and dancers, they got into the tour bus and fired off straight away so they can get out the equation."
—Patrick Smith and Patrick Strudwick
Eight-year-old girl identified as second victim of concert attack
Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos was killed in Monday's attack, Tarleton Community Primary school, which she attended, has confirmed.
"Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair," headteacher Chris Upton said in a statement to The Guardian. "The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking."
Roussos had attended the concert with her mother Lisa and her sister Ashlee Bromwich, who are understood to be receiving treatment for shrapnel wounds at a hospital in nearby Bolton.
Roussos was the second victim to be publicly identified, following 18-year-old Georgina Callander. —Laura Silver
Police carry out controlled explosion in south Manchester
Greater Manchester police confirmed that they carried out a controlled explosion in Fallowfield, south Manchester, as part of their investigation into Monday's arena attack.
Neville Edwards, 32, told BuzzFeed News his mother heard the explosion.
"My mum backs onto the house. Just after 12.30 they arrived en masse and carried out a controlled hard entry and blew the front door off. The blast was heard almost a quarter of a mile away. My mum said it shook the ground beneath her.
"It scared the living daylights out of her and my nephew. Everyone was told to go into the house. A police convoy was seen speeding someone away after. It's completely sealed off and there's an ongoing forensic search."
Officers also executed a separate warrant in nearby Whalley Range.
The force said it would not confirm any reports relating to the possible identity of the attacker and that it would only confirm this once formal identification had taken place.
"Any speculation is unhelpful and potentially damaging to the investigation," it said in a press release.
—Patrick Smith & Hannah Al-Othman
The people of Manchester are responding to the concert attack with acts of kindness
People in Manchester left reeling after last night's attack are now rallying together with small acts of kindness.
As soon as Jackie Goodwin heard the news of the attack she opened her sandwich shop to offer hot drinks and sandwiches to police officers and ambulance staff who had been working through the night to help the victims.
Goodwin told BuzzFeed News that the ambulance station is just around the corner from her sandwich shop, which means she regularly gets members of the emergency services popping in for a cup of tea.
"I know all their faces, and I know they must've been up all night, and I know they would've normally come into my shop," she said.
"I want people to spread the word and let them know that they can stop in and have a brew, or even take it away. Hopefully my message will get through to the people who have not had a brew or a break all night."
Locals have also rushed to donate blood, delivered hot food and drinks to emergency service workers, and offered free transportation and accommodation to those affected.
Muslim charities and community leaders in Manchester have condemned the attack on their city
Qadir Cohan, the chair of Manchester Council of Mosques, a network of 70 mosques attended by more than 80,000 people, said: "Today, we wake up to the sad news of an terror attack at the heart of our city that has killed many innocent individuals, tragically some are our very young who were at the concert with friends and families.
"Manchester communities are strong and resilient and will no doubt deal with this latest tragedy in the usual Mancunian way working together and not allowing anyone to hijack this tragic event for their own agenda."
Cohan urged people to be vigilant over the coming weeks and to support police services.
In a joint public letter signed by Mosque Councils of Manchester, Bolton, Rochdale, Oldham and Stockport Muslims, community leaders wrote: "This is and will always be a mindless and unjustifiable act, targeting the innocent and young in this indiscriminate manner. The perpetrators, whoever they may be, must bear the full consequences of their actions."
Human Appeal, one of the UK's largest Muslim humanitarian charities, has set up a "crisis fund" for victims of the attack, and said Manchester's Muslims were united with everyone in the city "to tell these terrorists 'you won't win'."
All funds will go directly to the victims and their families, the charity said.
Local businesses have also lent support, including Bukhara restaurant, which was close to last night's bomb attack and is offering packaged hot meals to emergency services, police, and local reporters this afternoon.
ISIS has now claimed responsibility for the attack
ISIS has said one of its members carried out the attack on Manchester Arena last night.
The Associated Press and monitoring agency SITE Intelligence Group are reporting that the group has claimed responsibility for the bombing. The group has not provided any evidence to support that claim.
In a statement released online, the group said an ISIS "soldier of the Khilafah managed to place explosive devices in the midst of the gatherings of the Crusaders in the British city of Manchester."
The statement said the attack was "in response to their transgressions against the lands of the Muslims."
The statement makes no mention of the attacker being killed in the bombing and implies bombs were planted at the scene.
Police, however, have said the attacker was killed after using an "improvised device."
This is the reaction to the Manchester attack in the Middle East
Leaders across the Middle East have voiced outrage over the Manchester attack, while some enemies of the West cheered it.
The attack was covered heavily by television stations, including Gulf-based Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera, in the online press, and on social media.
Cairo's al-Azhar Mosque, considered the Sunni Islamic world's highest place of learning, "lashed out at such vicious criminal act that contradicts all religions and humanitarian norms," according to a statement carried by Egypt's official MENA news agency.
Egypt's Foreign Ministry said the attack, coming the on heels of a Middle East summit focusing on terrorism, "reflected the urgent need to swiftly act on setting up effective mechanisms and taking clear-cut measures to uproot terrorism and dry up its sources", according to MENA.
The Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia, which hosted the summit that included US President Trump and many Muslim world leaders, also condemned the attack.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he "strongly condemned" the attack during a speech Tuesday at Istanbul University.
"We share the grief of the British government and its people," he said, according to the website of the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak. "Like every country, I would like to stress that we stand with Britain in the fight against terrorism."
The prime minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, voiced "total solidarity with the people of Britain in the face of the cowardly terrorist attack in Manchester," in a statement distributed by his office.
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi described the attack as "inhumane" and a result of "extremist and terrorist ideology," according to the semiofficial Tasnim news agency.
But the secretary of Iran's powerful Expediency Council, Mohsen Rezai, blamed the attack on Western policies. In a Twitter post, he called the Manchester attack "the result of the sword dance between Trump and the head of the terrorists," in reference to the US president's recent summit with Saudi King Salman.
Online supporters of ISIS cheered the attack, sending posts celebrating "lone wolf" terror operations and voicing hopes the jihadis would claim it. ISIS has repeatedly called for attacks in public spaces in the West, notably through its online magazine Rumiyah, which published a video in November giving step-by-step instructions on making a bomb using household goods.
Queen Elizabeth releases statement on Manchester attack
Queen Elizabeth has released a statement expressing "deepest sympathy" to those affected by the bombing.
In a written message, she said: "The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert.
"I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured.
"I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care.
"And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity."
— Alicia Melville-Smith
The first victim of the concert attack has been named
Georgina Callander, an 18-year-old student from Lancashire, is the first victim of the Manchester attack to be identified.
In statement on Wednesday, Runshaw College in Leyland, where Callander was studying health and social care, confirmed she had died in the attack: "Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to all of Georgina's family, friends, and all of those affected by this loss.
"We are offering all available support possible at this tragic time, including counselling with our dedicated student support team."
Callander died in hospital after being injured during the explosion, a friend told the Evening Standard.
Friends shared messages of condolence. Sophie, who said she was Callander's best friend, tweeted: "To my beautiful best friend I hope you rest in peace my darling I love you so much and will always miss you."
Liana, who tweeted a picture of herself alongside Callander, also shared a tribute. "Rest in peace Gina. I love you so incredibly much, you deserved the world & more. I'm so lucky to have met you and known you," she wrote.
Manchester police have arrested a 23-year-old man over the Manchester Arena attack
Nearby Arndale centre in Manchester evacuated sparking panic among shoppers
Panicked people sprinted down the street shouting "run, run" outside Manchester's Arndale centre after it was evacuated shortly before noon on Tuesday.
The cordon was lifted within minutes and Manchester police confirmed a man had been arrested at the centre. Police said the incident was "not currently believed to be connected" to the concert attack.
Caroline, 32, who works at Selfridges was eating in the M&S canteen when the scare started. "I was just eating breakfast in the canteen and all the M&S staff said we had to evacuate immediately," she said. "The alarm went off as we were coming down the fire escape."
She said the rest of the Selfridges team had been told to stay in the building.
In a measure of how tense the city centre is following the incident, staff at Arthur Kay's jewellers opposite the Arndale have just been frantically shutting up shop.
"We just don't feel safe," one saleswoman said. "We think it's the best thing to do. With what's happened at the Arndale and the package found we just don't feel safe. It's so sad."
Prime Minister Theresa May condemns "appalling, sickening cowardice" of Manchester Arena attack
Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack on Manchester Arena in a statement delivered outside Downing Street on Tuesday morning, delivered after she chaired a meeting of the government's COBR emergency committee.
She said the bombing late on Monday night was a "a callous terrorist attack" and the worst to ever hit the north of England.
"All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people. But this attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice — deliberately targeting defenceless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable evenings of their lives," May said.
"We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees the scene of a room full of young children not as something to cherish, but an opportunity for carnage."
May added that security services believe one man carried out the attack, but it would take some time to establish whether he acted alone or as part of a wider group.
She said that police believed they knew the identity of the attacker, but cannot release his name at this point.
May also paid tribute to the some 400 police officers who responded to the attack, as well as the paramedics, doctors, and nurses who worked in "traumatic and terrible scenes."
"They acted with great courage, and we want to express our gratitude," May said.
"The cowardice of the attacker met the bravery of the emergency services and the people of Manchester. The attempt to divide us met countless acts of kindness that brought people closer together," she added.
"We all — every single one of us — stand with the people of Manchester at this terrible time. Let us remember those who died, and let us celebrate those who helped, safe in the knowledge that the terrorists will never win — and our values, our country, and our way of life will always prevail."
Mancunians banding together to support emergency service workers
Rabbi Shneur, from Chabad Lubavitch, was handing out coffees to police at the cordon around the arena.
"We are Manchester, we stand together," he said. "Today we're going to stand stronger and taller and get out and do that extra bit of kindness."
He said of the attack: "It's devastating. There's terrorism going on across the world and it's only through standing together and standing up for what's right that we'll have a world that's beautiful."
He added: "Every race, every religion, every colour, we stand together for kindness and goodness and denounce this terrible act."
Teenagers who attended the concert last night are still coming to terms with what happened
At the Renaissance hotel, just round the corner from the arena, families who had travelled to Manchester for the gig were climbing into taxis on Tuesday morning to start the journey home.
Twins Elise and Megan Bowman, 15, had come from Redcar with their friend Sophie Bullock.
Elise said: "The concert had just finished and everyone was just going towards the stage and the doors. There was a massive bang and I just thought the microphone had been dropped. Then people were running to the door and there was another bang. We grabbed each other's hands and ran.
"There were loads of parents at the door crying because they'd lost their kids. These two were crying but I was just thinking I know that was a bomb.
"Five minutes before, everyone was singing along having a good time. Families and teenagers. It's hard to believe it will happen to you."
Sophie Bullock, also 15, added: "When we were coming out we saw all the mums lined up crying. We were in a rush and didn't know what happened."
The twins' mother, Alexis, was waiting for them in the Renaissance hotel round the corner when the bomb detonated. "I heard sirens and thought, Oh well, it's the city centre and there's bound to be idiots causing trouble, so I ignored it.
"Then the girls were banging on the hotel room door. They nearly took the door off. I thought they'd lost their key and they came in in tears. I went downstairs to see what had happened and by the time I got back to my room it was all over the news.
"I'm just heartbroken for the people that have lost their kids and grateful that wasn't me, because it very nearly could've been."
Rebecca West, 12, had travelled down from Aberdeen specially. Her mother Alison said: "It was such a great concert and everyone was having fun. Rebecca loves Ariana Grande and it was a Christmas present.
"We heard a loud bang and the security guard said it was a balloon that had popped."
The pair were taken out of an emergency exit around the back and didn't see the carnage unfolding at the entrance to the arena.
"Everyone was quiet and I was holding her hand very tight," Alison said. "We're just devastated for people. I just can't believe it cause the place was just full of girls her age."
Rebecca said: "It was a horrible way to end a magic night... when I woke up this morning my phone was just pinging and pinging. My friends were saying, 'Is Rebecca dead?'"
Former intelligence officer says bombing unlikely to have been carried out by lone attacker
A former intelligence officer has told BuzzFeed News that it's highly unlikely this attack could have been carried out by anyone acting alone and instead would have required wider assistance.
"Explosives are sophisticated and prone to failing, so whoever prepared the device knew what they were doing," the source said.
They also suggested that one avenue investigators are likely be looking into is how the attacker entered the area with an explosive device. "The attacker only detonated at after 10pm when the concert had finished or more likely had IDs, perhaps as a casual member of staff, an usher or security who would not necessarily be subject to the same security checks."
He said police will be looking at the possibility that they had assistance from outside the country. "Don't assume co-conspirators have to be in the UK. The web has rendered physical cells redundant in modern-day terrorism."
Manchester celebrities are sharing condolences online
Celebrities who hail from Manchester, or have links to the area, have expressed their shock and sadness on social media after the arena attack.
Oasis star Liam Gallagher was among the first to make tributes, along with a number of other local musicians such as Johnny Marr, the Wanted, and Simply Red.
Manchester-born actors, presenters, and sporting personalities also posted condolences. BBC Radio 1 presenter Nick Grimshaw wrote: "Just woke up and saw the news about Manchester and just can't believe it. Sending all my love to everyone there."