Manchester Police Arrest 3 Men In Connection To Arena Bombing

The man police have identified as the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and injured 64 at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on May 22 had returned from Libya just days before the attack.

The new arrests came as the injured toll doubled from 59 to 119.

The father of both young men, Ramadan Abedi, 51, was detained on Wednesday shortly after telling The Associated Press in a phone interview from Tripoli that his son Salman, who British officials said died in the Manchester attack, was innocent and had been planning a religious pilgrimage to Mecca.

Salman Abedi, the man who carried out the deadliest terror attack to hit the United Kingdom in 12 years, grew up in Manchester with parents who had fled Libya under Moammar Gadhafi.

With the new arrests, the total number of persons in custody rose to four.

So far, the Home Office has only said that security services knew of Abedi "up to a point".

"It was...more sophisticated than some of the attacks we've seen before", Rudd said.

The UK terror threat level is now up to its highest level of "critical", meaning more attacks may be imminent. Prime Minister Theresa May announced late on Tuesday that intelligence analysts had raised the United Kingdom terrorism threat from "severe" to "critical" - the highest level - for the first time since 2007, meaning another attack may be imminent.

The suspect, Manchester-born Abedi, went to school locally and then studied business management at Salford University, before dropping out from the course.

Mohammed Saeed El-Saeiti, the imam at the Didsbury mosque where Abedi's brother Ismail had been a Quran teacher, branded the attacker as someone filled with hate.

"The investigation into the terrorist attack in Manchester is large-scale, fast-moving and making good progress", Rowley said.

Muye Li, a 23-year-old student who lives on the third floor, said he heard an explosion as police stormed an apartment on his floor.

The identities of those men and the charges against them were not announced; they were arrested "after police executed warrants in South Manchester", the Greater Manchester Police department says.

British authorities were probing whether Abedi had ties to other cells across Europe and North Africa, according to two officials familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the ongoing investigation.

The singer's manager, Scooter Braun, wrote in a public statement: "We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act..."

Meanwhile, eight of the 22 victims of the attack are known to be eight-year-old Saffie Roussos, Lisa Lees, 50- year-old Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 29-year-old Martyn Hett, 15- year-old Olivia Campbell, 32-year-old Kelly Brewster, 28- year-old John Atkinson, and 18-year-old Georgina Callander. "The children are safe". The company says "he was taken from this world too soon, by forces we will never truly understand".

For a second night, a throng of people filled a Manchester square for a vigil for the victims.

Security forces rounded up more suspects Wednesday in the deadly Manchester concert blast and soldiers fanned out across the country to national landmarks as an on-edge Britain tried to thwart the possibility of additional attacks. "I haven't seen police come to his house", he said.

  • Jack Mann