Thursday 24 August 2017

Manchester attack: Everything we know so far, as Theresa May raises terror threat to 'critical'

The change means another attack is expected imminently.

By Edward Dracott

Theresa May has raised the terror threat level from severe to critical – indicating a further attack is imminent – in the wake of the Manchester attack which claimed the lives of 22 people.

Meanwhile the suicide bomber who carried out the attack on Manchester Arena on Monday night has been named as Salman Abedi.

Here’s what we know so far about the new developments.

What has May said?

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In a live televised statement from Downing Street, the Prime Minister announced the terror threat level has been raised to its highest possible rating.

She said this was because of the possibility a “wider group of individuals” could have been involved in the Manchester Arena attack – rather than just suicide bomber Salman Abedi.

She added as a reaction to the increased threat the military could be deployed to support armed police officers.

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Speaking at Number 10, May said: “The spirit of Manchester and the spirit of Britain is far mightier than the sick plots of depraved terrorists.

“That is why the terrorists will never win and we will prevail.”

Who was the attacker?

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Abedi, 22, is believed to have been born in Manchester and of Libyan descent. He studied business at Salford University but dropped out before completing his degree.

Abedi is thought to have attended the Manchester Islamic Centre, also known as Didsbury Mosque, along with his parents and siblings.

“He was always friendly, nothing to suggest (he was violent). He was normal, to be honest,” a family friend told the Press Association, who asked not to be named.

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Abedi was named after armed officers carried out a raid on the red brick semi in south Manchester where he was registered as living.

Residents were ordered to stay inside as around 20 police swooped on a house in Elsmore Road in Fallowfield carrying out a controlled explosion on the front door.

Who were the victims?

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Many of the victims of Monday’s attack are yet to be named. The first were confirmed as eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos from Leyland and teenager Georgina Callander from nearby Chorley.

The death of Saffie Rose Roussos, the youngest known victim of the attack, was described by her headteacher as “heartbreaking”. Chris Upton, of Tarleton Community Primary School, said: “Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word.”

Georgina Callander was studying health and social care at Runshaw College in Leyland, Lancashire – a gofundme page has been created to support her family.

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Tributes were also paid to 26-year-old John Atkinson from Bury, who was named by friends on Facebook as an apparent victim.

Meanwhile, fears were growing for Chloe Rutherford, 17, and Liam Curry, 19, a couple from South Shields, 15-year-old Olivia Campbell from Manchester, Eilidh MacLeod, from Barra in Scotland, Kelly Brewster from Sheffield, and Martyn Hett and Wendy Fawell.

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The attack is thought to have been made using a makeshift bomb, and a rough sleeper who rushed to help victims at the scene said there were “nuts and bolts all over the floor” and people with “holes in their back”.

Chris Parker added: “I saw a little girl … she had no legs. I wrapped her in one of the merchandise T-shirts.”

The 33-year-old, who has slept rough in the city for about a year, said he also tended a woman in her 60s with serious leg and head injuries who “passed away in my arms”.

Press Association

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