Date
20 August 2017
Police officers look at flowers and messages in central Manchester a day after a suicide bomber killed 22 people including children at a concert venue. Photo: Reuters
Police officers look at flowers and messages in central Manchester a day after a suicide bomber killed 22 people including children at a concert venue. Photo: Reuters

Arrests in Manchester, Tripoli as police hunt bomber’s network

Police made arrests in Manchester and Tripoli on Wednesday as the investigation into a suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a concert venue packed with children focused on tracking down a network of accomplices who authorities fear could strike again, Reuters reports.

Manchester police made four new arrests and searched an address in the city center. A source said British investigators were hunting for anyone who may have helped build the suicide bomb and who could be ready to kill again.

“I think it’s very clear that this is a network that we are investigating,” police chief Ian Hopkins said outside Manchester police headquarters.

“And as I’ve said, it continues at a pace. There’s extensive investigations going on and activity taking place across Greater Manchester as we speak.”

British-born Salman Abedi, 22, blew himself up on Monday night at the Manchester Arena indoor venue at the end of a concert by US pop singer Ariana Grande attended by thousands of children and teenagers.

Police in Tripoli arrested a brother of Abedi and his father. A spokesman for the local counter-terrorism force said younger brother Hashem Abedi was arrested on suspicion of links with Islamic State and was suspected of planning to carry out an attack in the Libyan capital.

A man arrested on Tuesday was reported by British and U.S. media to be Abedi’s other brother.

Earlier, interior minister Amber Rudd said the bomber had recently returned from Libya. Her French counterpart Gerard Collomb said he had links with Islamic State and had probably visited Syria as well.

Rudd also scolded US officials for leaking details about the investigation into the Manchester attack before British authorities were ready to go public. The New York Times later published detailed photographs of the suspected remnants of the bomb.

The Manchester bombing has raised concern across Europe.

Cities including Paris, Nice, Brussels, St. Petersburg, Berlin and London have suffered militant attacks in the last two years.

The 22 victims in Manchester included an eight-year-old girl, several teenage girls, a 28-year-old man and a Polish couple who had come to collect their daughters.

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