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Manchester Arena Attack FULL STORY #ManchesterBombing

The Latest: Police Identify Bomber in Manchester Arena Attack

 

■ The police on Tuesday identified the bomber who carried out the deadly attack at the Manchester Arena as Salman Abedi, 22. The BBC reported that Mr. Abedi was born in Manchester.

■ The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Monday night bombing that killed 22 people and wounded 59 others after a concert by the American pop star Ariana Grande. View photographs from the aftermath of the attack.

Manchester Arena Attack

■ Children and teenagers who were attending a concert were among the dead, the police said, including an 8-year-old girl. Ms. Grande was not hurt.

■ The police said the bomber, later identified as Mr. Abedi, detonated an “improvised explosive device” and died at the scene. They were investigating whether he had any help.

■ Part of the investigation led police in Manchester to arrest a 23-year-old man Tuesday at a home southwest of the city center.

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Wounded people inside the Manchester Arena after a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert Monday evening. Credit Press Association, via Associated Press

What We Don’t Yet Know

The police have not provided any more details about the suspected bomber, Mr. Abedi, nor have they commented on his motive. It is also not clear whether he received help and whether he intended to kill himself.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, identifying the bomber in its statement as one of the “soldiers of the caliphate,” but the extent of the militant group’s connection is unclear.

We are also trying to find out:

■ Any information about Mr. Abedi, his family and his connection to the Islamic State or other extremist groups.

■ How many of the 22 victims were children.

Manchester Arena Attack

■ What gaps in security at the arena might have abetted the attack, and what could have been done to prevent it.

■ What effect the attack might have on the June 8 general election. Britain’s leading political parties agreed to suspend campaigning out of respect for the victims of the attack.

For the latest on the Manchester attack and other major news, sign up for our Morning Briefing newsletter.

The police have said they are following leads and poring over surveillance footage to determine if the assailant had help or was part of a wider network. Shortly before noon on Tuesday, the police announced that they had arrested a 23-year-old man in the Chorlton-cum-Hardy neighborhood, southwest of the city center.

Hours later, the police set off a controlled explosion and raided a house in Elsmore Road, in the Fallowfield district, about 3.5 miles south of the arena.

Read more about the investigation.

— Katrin Bennhold, Steven Erlanger and Ceylan Yeginsu

First Victims Are Identified

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Police officers moved flowers left at a makeshift memorial in Manchester. Credit Ben Stansall/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Saffie Rose Roussos, an 8-year-old from Lancashire in northwest England, was attending the Ariane Grande concert with her mother and older sister, the Lancashire County Council said on Tuesday. Saffie was killed in the attack. News reports said her mother and her sister, who is in her 20s, were being treated at a hospital for their injuries.

Earlier, Georgina Bethany Callander, an 18-year-old health and social care student, was the first victim of the Manchester attack to be identified on Tuesday. News reports said she had died with her mother at her bedside.

Read more about the victims who have been identified here.

— Dan Bilefsky

‘I Didn’t Know What to Do, I Just Ran and Left My Sister’

Elizabeth Hardy, 13, and her sister Amanda Hardy, 15, were singing their own rendition of their favorite Ariana Grande song, “Break Free,” when an explosion ripped through the foyer of the Manchester Arena, sending both of them to the ground.

Manchester Arena Attack

“I didn’t know what to do, I just ran and left my sister,” Amanda recalled hours later, as she sat huddled on a chair at the nearby Park Inn Hotel, still clutching a pink balloon she had caught during the concert. “It was my birthday, and the last thing I told Liz before the bang was that I had the best night of my life. Then I lost her.”

Their mother, Charlotte, followed the girls from a distance as they tried to get out of the arena. “There was a huge bang, followed by a stampede and then a burning smell,” she said.

Ms. Hardy found Amanda on the floor. “Her tights were ripped and blood was coming out of her legs,” she said. “I thought she was dying.”

Amanda survived and was in the hospital being treated for shrapnel wounds. Ms. Hardy brought Elizabeth to a local hotel to rest.

“When the police brought her to me she was terrified, shaking and didn’t understand what was going on,” Ms. Hardy said, adding that the explosion created mass confusion. “I thought the bang was special effects and Ari would come back onto the stage.”

Video from inside the arena showed a surreal scene of people scrambling for the exits amid pink balloons. The balloons were part of choreographed staging for Ms. Grande’s tour, after a segment with projections and lasers.

— Ceylan Yeginsu

Some Concertgoers Are Still Missing

Others in Manchester were still appealing for help locating loved ones who had attended the concert.

The soccer club Manchester City has opened part of its Etihad Stadium to be used as an emergency facility for families awaiting news of relatives still unaccounted for. Representatives of the Greater Manchester Police and the city council were on hand Tuesday, helping to direct inquiries.

Volunteers looking to help were also directed to the stadium, about a mile east of the Manchester Arena. A number of local shops have sent food and supplies to the families waiting there.

Dan Bilefsky, Philip Pan and Rory Smith

Theresa May Pledges British Way of Life Will ‘Prevail’

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Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain said on Tuesday that Britain’s way of life would “always prevail.” Credit Toby Melville/Reuters

Speaking outside her Downing Street office on Tuesday, the British prime minister appealed for anyone with information about the bombing to come forward, and she vowed that Britain’s way of life would “always prevail.”

Mrs. May said the attack Monday evening “stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice — deliberately targeting innocent, defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives.”

Queen Elizabeth II offered her “deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event,” and Prince Charles and his eldest son, Prince William, also issued their own statements of condolence.

The British government did not make any immediate comment on the claim of responsibility by the Islamic State.

President Trump, speaking in Bethlehem in the West Bank, where he was on his first foreign trip as president, condemned the bombing as a “very horrible morning of death,” and pledged “absolute solidarity” with Britain.

“The terrorists and extremists, and those who give them aid and comfort, must be driven out from our society forever,” Mr. Trump said after a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority. “This wicked ideology must be obliterated, and I mean completely obliterated.”

— Sewell Chan and Prashant S. Rao

False Reports Quickly Circulate

Manchester Arena Attack

Hours after the deadly attack in Manchester, false reports about the assailant and victims started to circulate across social media, often aided by Britain’s traditional news media.

Two of the country’s newspapers reported incorrectly that a gunman had been spotted near a hospital on the outskirts of the city in northern England. The local authorities quickly debunked that report through a tweet.

As in previous attacks across Europe, including those recently in France and Germany, false reports of people looking for victims of the attack also spread rapidly, racking up thousands of likes and retweets even though the information was incorrect.

Other posts included photographs of Ms. Grande, portraying her — falsely — in the aftermath of the blast.

— Mark Scott

The Terrorism Threat in Britain

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Armed police officers patrolled Albert Square in Manchester. Credit Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The attack at the arena was the worst terrorist attack in Britain since the 2005 bombings of London’s buses and subway, which killed 52 people.

British authorities, who say they have foiled numerous terrorist plots, have for months maintained the nation’s threat level, set by the domestic intelligence service MI5, at “severe,” the second-highest level. That means the authorities considered an attack “highly likely.” And counterterrorism officials have been warning that as the Islamic State comes under more military pressure in Iraq and Syria, it will try to strike abroad.

— Steven Erlanger

Blast Came After ISIS Plea

Last week, the Islamic State released a 44-minute video featuring fighters of different nationalities, enjoining their supporters back home to carry out acts of violence. Among them was a man identified as a British national, according to a translation of the video provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute, which tracks jihadist propaganda.

Besides the threat last week, the Islamic State has repeatedly targeted Britain in its propaganda, though with little visible effect until this year.

Rukmini Callimachi

Ms. Grande said after the attack that she was “broken.” She wrote on Twitter how sorry she was for the fans who were killed and injured in the bombing.

The 23-year-old singer and actress began her career on the children’s television network Nickelodeon. She played the character Cat Valentine — whom she once described as “simple” — on the hit shows “Victorious” and “Sam & Cat.”

Manchester Arena Attack

 

Ms. Grande has written in a Facebook post that playing Cat Valentine had helped her transition “from teenager to adult.”

The concert that was attacked on Monday was part of a tour to support Ms. Grande’s 2016 album, “Dangerous Woman.” Reviewing the tour’s February stop at Madison Square Garden, the New York Times music critic Jon Pareles called Ms. Grande’s performance “a show of confidence, prowess and aplomb.”

— Mike Ives

Reaction From Other Music Stars

Arena Largest Such Venue in Britain

The Manchester Arena is the largest indoor venue in Britain, with a capacity of 21,000, or 18,000 for concerts. It was constructed as part of Manchester’s bid to host the Olympic Games in 1996 and 2000. The venue is connected to the Manchester Victoria Station, which remained closed on Tuesday.

Continue reading the main story

Continue reading the main story

Location of the Blast

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Parking

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Blast is believed to have occurred in an area connecting the arena and the station.

Exit

A665

A56

Manchester

Arena

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Victoria

Station

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Music school

The Pennsylvania-based company SMG manages the arena, and Wes Westley, the president and chief executive of the company, described the precautions at the venue.

“It is obviously as tight security as anywhere in the states,” he said in an interview. “Backpacks are not allowed. Drinks are taken away from people. You have to go through very strict security to enter the arena.”

He explained that attendees arrive through a large public foyer, which is where the explosion occurred. The area is often where parents wait for their children after concerts.

— Ben Sisario and Gerry Mullany

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