Here’s the singer’s statement:
Here’s what we know on Thursday, May 25:
—While ten suspects have been arrested, two have since been released. Ian Hopkins, the Manchester police chief, says the arrests made so far “are significant,” adding authorities have recovered “items that we believe are very important to the investigation.”
—Police say they won’t share any information about the inquiry with their U.S. counterparts following leaks to the media that Hopkins said caused the families of the victims “much distress.” Prime Minister Theresa May said she’ll raise the issue today with President Trump.
—German media are reporting Salman Abedi, the bomber, traveled to Germany at least twice.
—All 22 victims of the attack have been named.
—The U.K.’s terror-alert level is at critical—the highest possible level—for the first time in more than a decade.
—All updates are in Eastern Standard Time (GMT -4).
Ariana Grande to Perform Manchester Benefit Concert
10th Suspect Taken Into Custody
A 10th person has been arrested in connection with the deadly bombings in Manchester, the Greater Manchester Police announced late Thursday night. According to police, an unidentified male suspect was detained in Moss Side, an inner-city area in Manchester. The police also announced that one man and one woman were released without charge, leaving eight men in custody. According to The Guardian, one of the men still in custody is believed to be the attacker’s older brother, Ismail Abedi. Earlier in the day, the Greater Manchester police chief called the recent string of arrests “significant,” adding that searches had produced items that are “very important to the investigation.”
Manchester Police Call Arrests 'Significant'
Ian Hopkins, the Greater Manchester Police chief constable, said eight people have been arrested so far in connection with Monday’s attack on the Manchester Arena. “The arrests we have made are significant and initial searches of premises have revealed items that we believe are very important to the investigation,” he said.
Hopkins said the leaks of details of the investigation to the U.S. media had caused “much distress” to the families of the 22 people killed in the attack. As I reported this morning, Manchester police said they will stop sharing information pertaining to the investigation with their American counterparts. Prime Minister Theresa May, in a statement, said she’d raise the issue of the leaks with President Trump at their meeting today in Brussels.
The Prime Minister has made a statement following the latest COBR meeting on the terrorist attack in Manchester. pic.twitter.com/kY4pID6ffG— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) May 25, 2017
Meanwhile, German news organizations, citing German authorities, reported Abedi had been in Germany at least twice: once in 2015 (in Frankfurt) and once last week (in Dusseldorf) where he may have been in transit on his way back to Manchester. U.K. authorities have said it appears Abedi was part of a wider network. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the extent of their involvement is unclear.
Separately, authorities have named all 22 people killed in the attack. Here are their names: John Atkinson, 28; Courtney Boyle, 19; Kelly Brewster, 32; Georgina Callander, 18; Olivia Campbell, 15; Liam Curry, 19; Wendy Fawel, 50; Martyn Hett, 29; Alison Howe, 45; Megan Hurley, 15; Nell Jones, 14; Angelika Klis, 40; Marcin Klis, 42; Michelle Kiss, 45; Sorrell Leczkowski, 14; Lisa Lees, 47; Elaine McIlver; 43; Eilidh MacLeod, 14; Saffie Rose Roussos, 8; Chloe Rutherford, 17; Philip Tron, 32; Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 51.
U.K. Police Chiefs' Council Condemns U.S. Leaks
A counter-terrorism policing spokesperson for the U.K.’s National Police Chiefs’ Council issued a statement Wednesday evening condemning the “unauthorized disclosure of potential evidence” related to the Manchester bombing. The statement was likely directed toward U.S. officials, who leaked sensitive information regarding the attack to local news outlets. After receiving the information, U.S. news organizations were quick to release the name of the attacker, forcing the Greater Manchester Police to do the same. On Wednesday, The New York Times also published a detailed description of bomb, along with images of its component parts, just hours after U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd instructed U.S. officials not to release sensitive information.
The statement from the National Police Chiefs’ Council reads:
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 unauthorized disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter terrorism investigation.
The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, expressed similar disapproval Wednesday night, telling The BBC’s Newsnight that the leak was “not acceptable.” “It worries me greatly,” Burnham said, adding that he had already shared his concerns with the U.S. ambassador.
Seventh Person Arrested in Connection with Bombing
Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET
U.K. authorities have arrested a seventh person in connection with Monday’s deadly bombing in Manchester, the Greater Manchester Police announced Wednesday. The latest suspect is an unidentified male, who was arrested following a search in Nuneaton, a town in Warwickshire, England.
Earlier in the evening, the BBC reported that a woman was arrested following an armed raid in Blackley, a neighborhood in northern Manchester. Although they did not provide the woman’s name or a reason for her arrest, the police issued a statement confirming the raid was indeed related to Monday’s attack. “This is a fast moving investigation and we are keeping an open mind at this stage,” the police said in a statement.
On Wednesday, U.K. Home Secretary Amber Hurd said the attacker, Salman Abedi, was “likely” not acting alone, while Ian Hopkins, the chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police, said police were investigating “a network.” Here’s a list of all the people who we know have been arrested so far in connection to the bombing, which includes six men and one woman:
—Abedi’s older brother, Ismail
—Abedi’s younger brother, Hashem
—Abedi’s father, Ramadan
—An unidentified man in Wigan
—An unidentified woman in Blackley
—An unidentified man in Nuneaton
According to the Greater Manchester Police, all seven suspects remain in custody and are being questioned.
Attacker's Brother, Father Arrested in Tripoli
The father and the younger brother of Salman Abedi, the man authorities say carried out the deadly Manchester attack, have been arrested in Tripoli by Libyan authorities. Hashem Abadi, Salman’s 20-year-old brother, was reportedly arrested by counter-terrorism forces for alleged ties to the Islamic State. Their father, Ramadan Abedi, was also arrested by counter-terrorism forces. He had previously confirmed that his other son, 23-year-old Ismail Abedi, was arrested by U.K. police in Manchester. Ramadan Abedi told The New York Times after the attack he did not believe his son could be responsible, adding “his ideas and his ideology were not like that. He was born and raised in Britain. He’s a British citizen and he does not hold such ideologies.” Though it remains unclear if Salman Abedi was connected to ISIS, which claimed the attack, authorities said they are “investigation a network.”
Police Say They Are 'Investigating a Network'
Ian Hopkins, the chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police, held a news conference where he said: “I think it’s very clear that it is a network that we’re investigating.” That reiterates U.K. Home Secretary Amber Hurd’s remark earlier today that Salman Abedi was “likely” not acting alone when he carried out Monday’s bombing at the Manchester Arena.
When asked if authorities had found a bomb factory, Hopkins said: “We are carrying out extensive searches across Manchester, but it would be ill-advised of me to comment on the investigation to that detail.”
Other highlights from Hopkins’s appearance before the media:
—He confirmed that one of the victims was a police officer, but declined to name her or any of the other victims. Police say though they have identified all 22 people who died in the attack and have notified their families. Their names are expected to be officially released in four of five days, Hopkins said.
—Commenting on the deployment of more than 800 troops across the U.K., Hopkins said: “The military are supporting policing across the country ... this frees up armed police officers to then give the police service capacity to deploy them to places like Manchester as part of plans for keeping the country safe.” He added: U.K. troops were not “controlling the streets of Greater Manchester, nor are there any plans to do so.”
—Four people have been arrested so far in connection with the attack, Hopkins said.
Manchester Police 'Confident' They Have Identified All Victims
Greater Manchester Police said Wednesday they are “confident” they have identified all 22 people who died in the bombing Monday at Manchester Arena. “We have made contact with all of the families,” the police said in a statement, adding the victims will be formally named after all of the forensic post-mortems have been conducted. Some victims have already been identified. As The Guardian reports, a dozen victims ranging between the ages of eight and 47-years-old have been named by their families or, in the case of a Polish couple that had been living in York at the time, by their country’s foreign ministry.
Bomber Was 'Likely' Not Acting Alone
Amber Rudd, the British home secretary, said Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old Manchester bomber, might not have been acting alone.
“It was more sophisticated than some of the attacks we’ve seen before, and it seems likely—possible—that he wasn’t doing this on his own,” she said.
The BBC added that Abedi, a Manchester-born son of Libyan immigrants whom authorities identified as the attacker Tuesday, may have been acting as a “mule,” carrying a bomb built by someone else. That line of thinking is believed to have been why the U.K. raised its terror threat Tuesday to critical—signifying an imminent attack—for the first time in more than a decade. Security has been bolstered across the country in the wake of the attack that killed 22 people, many of them children, and injured 64 others, following an Ariana Grande concert Monday at the Manchester Arena.
U.K. authorities arrested a 23-year-old man on Tuesday in connection with the attack. The BBC identified him as Abdei’s brother. Three other men were arrested in Manchester on Wednesday in connection with the attack.
U.K. Sets Threat Level to Highest Category
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced Tuesday that the U.K.’s terrorism threat level will be raised from “severe” to “critical,” its highest level. May said that the recommendation by Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), which sets the threat level based on the intelligence available to them, means “not only that an attack remains highly likely, but that a further attack may be imminent.” May added that the threat level increase will allow for the allocation of increased resources to police. The last time the JTAC set the threat level to critical was in June 2007 after an attempted car bombing of Glasgow airport.
Ariana Grande Will Likely Suspend Her Tour
Ariana Grande has decided to suspend the European leg of her “Dangerous Woman” tour, anonymous sources told both TMZ and CNN. Following her performance in Manchester, the singer was scheduled to perform in 11 more European locations, including London, Belgium, Poland, Germany, and Switzerland. Grande was also expected to tour throughout Latin America, Asia, and Oceania. TMZ reports that Grande, who was unharmed by the attack, is “inconsolable” and “in hysterics” in the wake of the incident. The news outlet also said that Grande’s team is concerned about safety at future concerts.
According to E! News, Grande and her mother boarded a private plane to their hometown of Boca Raton, Florida following her Manchester concert. A source told the news outlet that Grande “looked exhausted and like she didn't get much sleep. She seemed like she just wanted to get home and be with her loved ones.” The source also said that Grande’s team has not made a decision about whether to continue her tour, which is scheduled to last until September 2017.
Grande’s next performances are slotted for Thursday and Friday at London’s O2 Arena. A representative for the arena issued a statement on Tuesday, but did not confirm the tour’s suspension:
We are shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy in Manchester. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected and their families. We are in contact with the promoters of Ariana Grande's tour and will update as soon as we have further information regarding the planned dates at The O2.
Authorities Identify Suspected Attacker
Updated at 4:00 p.m. ET
Ian Hopkins, Greater Manchester Police's chief constable, identified the suspect as Salman Abedi, 22. The confirmation comes after U.S. officials named Abedi as the attacker. Separately, Greater Manchester Police announced that a 23-year-old man was arrested in connection with the attack.
As The Guardian reports, Abedi was known to British security services but was not the subject of any active investigation or regarded as a high risk. Authorities are still trying to determine if he was alone in conducting the attack or if he had a wider network supporting him. Though the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the deadly blast, it did not name the attacker and police have thus far found no evidence connecting the group to the attack.
A Vigil for Those Killed
U.K., European Officials Express Concern Over Leaks by U.S. Officials
Some U.K. and European officials have expressed concern over information emerging about the attack in Manchester that has been sourced back to U.S. officials, according to Buzzfeed News. This information includes early reports that cited senior U.S. law enforcement officials saying the attack was the result of a suicide bombing, as well as recent reports of U.S. officials identifying the suspected attacker as 22-year-old Salman Abedi (a name that British authorities withheld, but later confirmed following the reports citing U.S. officials). As one Belgian counterterrorism official told Buzzfeed News:
"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]."
Another American expert questioned why the U.S. would willingly release information about an attack in the U.K. ahead of their British counterparts in the first place.
“Why get in the way of what they are trying to do?” asked Thomas Joscelyn, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Follow their lead unless there is some good reason not to. The UK made a conscious decision to not release the suspect’s name. They have a good reason for doing that and US officials should probably wait for the UK to come out with specific details.”
Theresa May Visits Victims of the Attack
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is visiting the victims of last night’s attack. Here’s a video of her arriving at Manchester Children’s Hospital, where many of the teenagers and preteens who were injured after the Ariana Grande concert were taken.
The prime minister, Theresa May, arrives at Manchester children's hospital, where she is to visit victims of the arena bomb attack. pic.twitter.com/vYuVM6YMPx— Jamie Grierson (@JamieGrierson) May 23, 2017
May is expected to meet with hospital staff treating the patients, as well as the patients themselves.
Earlier, when asked what sort of measures would be put in place at venues like the Manchester Arena following the attack, May said: “What is clear is that we are ensuring that resources are available for the police in order to be able to do the job that they need to do,” she said. “This was a horrendous attack, absolutely horrific, barbaric in its nature, but what I’m also clear about is that we will not let the terrorists win. Our values will prevail.”
Security is also being bolstered in other cities, including London.
The Metropolitan Police Service said it was increasing the number of officers on duty in the city.
Whilst all policing operations in London are currently planned to the backdrop of a severe threat level from terrorism, specialist officers from our event planning teams and protective security experts are now reviewing in detail all the plans for upcoming events in the Capital,” the statement said. “This includes smaller events which may not have had a police presence seeing a greater focus; an increase of armed and unarmed officers on highly visible reassurance patrols around key locations and crowded places and work with event organizers.”
Police Appeal for Dashcam Footage from the Scene
Police investigating last night’s attack are appealing for anyone with dashcam footage of the area “as a matter of urgency.”
Prime Minister Theresa May said authorities know the identity of the man who carried out the bombing, but are working to confirm it. The attacker was among the dead. One person has been arrested in connection with last night’s attack.
The Latest from Manchester Police
8-Year-Old Among Those Killed
Saffie Rose Roussos, 8, was among those killed last night, Tarleton Community primary school, which she attended, said. Saffie was reportedly at the concert with her mother, Lisa, and her sister, Ashlee Bromwich, both of whom were injured.
“Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word,” Chris Upton, the headteacher at Tarleton, said in a statement. “She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.”
Saffie is the second victim who has been publicly identified. Earlier today, Runshaw College identified Georgina Callander, a student at the institution, as among those killed.
Meanwhile, David Ratcliffe, the medical director of North West ambulance service, said 12 of the 59 people injured in the attack were under the age of 16.
Trump, May Discuss Attack
President Trump spoke with Prime Minister Theresa May about the attack. Here’s the White House’s readout of their conversation:
President Donald J. Trump spoke this morning from Jerusalem with Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom about the apparent terrorist act in Manchester, England.
The two leaders agreed that this attack—which targeted teenage children and their friends at a joyous event—was particularly wanton and depraved.
The President reassured the Prime Minister that Americans stand with the people of the United Kingdom and that our resolve will never waiver in the face of terrorism. He offered American aid in the United Kingdom’s investigation and vowed to continue the mutual fight against terrorism.
Both leaders commended the courage, speed, and professionalism of those who responded to the wounded, secured the innocent, and tended to the survivors and their families.
The President said he looks forward to seeing Prime Minister May in person this week and discussing America’s unbreakable commitment to the United Kingdom and the ways both countries can work with allies and partners around the world to defeat terrorism.
Trump and May will meet this week at the summit of the Group of 7 industrialized nations in Italy.
ISIS Claims Responsibility
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack through its propaganda arm, Rita Katz, who runs SITE, the terrorism-monitoring group, said on Twitter.
3) #ISIS' official claim did not give any information as to who carried out the attack.— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) May 23, 2017
Although ISIS has been quick to claim recent attacks—including the one in London in March—it is unclear what role the group may have played in last night’s attack in Manchester. Authorities have not identified the attacker by name—or his motivation—so it’s not clear whether ISIS was involved in the operational planning of the attack or merely inspired the attacker through its online propaganda and other means—as it is shown to have done in other recent attacks worldwide.
Although the group claims to stage frequent attacks in Europe, the reality is ISIS is a much diminished force. U.S.-led forces, rebels, and Iraqi troops have fought the group successfully in Iraq and Syria, restricting it to a couple of power centers. The group still boasts an effective propaganda arm, however.
MI5 Chief Says Agency Is Helping With Investigation
Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, the U.K.’s domestic security service, said in a statement that his agency was investigating last night’s attack.
“Everyone at MI5 is revolted by the disgusting terrorist attack in Manchester last night. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, the injured and everyone affected by it,” Parker said. “Our teams have been working with the police through the night to assist the investigation. We remain relentlessly focused, in numerous current operations, on doing all we can to combat the scourge of terrorism and keep the country safe.”
The remarks from the usually taciturn agency are highly unusual—as is the acknowledgment that MI5 is helping with the investigation.
First Victim Identified
The first victim of last night’s attack in Manchester has been identified as Georgina Callander. News reports say she was 18 years old. Runshaw College where Callander was a student said in a statement:
It is with enormous sadness that it appears that one of the people who lost their lives in Monday’s Manchester attack was one of our students here at Runshaw College.
Georgina Callander was a former Bishop Rawstorne pupil studying with us on the second year of her Health and Social Care course.
Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to all of Georgina’s friends, family, and all of those affected by this loss.
Many of the victims of last night’s attack are likely to be young because the bomber targeted concertgoers at the end of a performance by Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena.
The Queen's Response
Queen Elizabeth II, in a statement, 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.
Trump: 'This Wicked Ideology Must Be Obliterated'
President Trump expressed his condolences to the victims of last night’s attack in Manchester.
“This wicked ideology must be obliterated and I mean completely obliterated, and the innocent life must be protected,” Trump said in Bethlehem following a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “Life must be protected. All civilized nations must join together to protect human life and the sacred right our citizens to live in safety and in peace.”
He said he would stop referring to those behind the attack as “monsters because they would like that term. … I will call them, from now on, losers, because that’s what they are. They are losers.”
Manchester Police Make an Arrest in Connection With the Attack
Greater Manchester Police say they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with last night’s attack that killed 22 people. The bomber is believed to have been killed in the attack.
With regards to last night’s incident at the Manchester arena, we can confirm we have arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester.— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
Ariana Grande Says She's 'Broken'
Ariana Grande, the singer who performed at the Manchester Arena last night before the attack, posted a message to her fans on Twitter:
broken.— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
Aria Bendix wrote last night:
Grande is in the middle of her “Dangerous Woman” tour, which began on February 3. After touring in the U.S. from February through April, Grande kicked off the European leg of her tour in Stockholm on May 8. Her next scheduled performance is on Thursday, May 25, in London.
A 'Callous Terrorist Attack'
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, in a statement, said it is “now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester and of this country have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack” that targeted “defenseless young people.”
May, who chaired an emergency meeting Tuesday in the aftermath of the attack, is expected to visit Manchester today. She said security services believe they know the identity of the Manchester bomber, but are working to confirm it.
The U.K.’s threat level has been at the severe level for more than two years—which means a terrorist attack is considered highly likely.
Here’s more from May’s statement:
At 10:33pm last night, the police were called to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena, in Manchester city centre, near Victoria train station.
We now know that a single terrorist detonated his improvised explosive device near one of the exits of the venue, deliberately choosing the time and place to cause maximum carnage and to kill and injure indiscriminately. The explosion coincided with the conclusion of a pop concert, which was attended by many young families and groups of children.
All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people, but this attack 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.
Police Chief Confirms 22 Dead, 59 Injured
Ian Hopkins, the chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police, confirmed early Tuesday morning that 22 people, including children, died in the explosion. Another 59 people have been injured and are being treated at eight local hospitals in the Greater Manchester area. In the wake of the incident, relatives have taken to social media to seek information about their missing loved ones.
Hopkins also provided an update on the attacker, who he said died at the arena. “We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, causing this atrocity,” Hopkins said. “We would ask people not to speculate on his details or to share names. There is a complex and wide-ranging investigation underway.” Although police believe that one man carried out the attack, Hopkins said their “priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.” As of this writing, no arrest has been made and the identities of the injured and deceased have not been confirmed.
International Leaders Respond to the Explosion
According to China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, Chinese president Xi Jinping has expressed his “sincere condolences” to Queen Elizabeth. “The Chinese people are firmly standing together with the British people at this difficult time,” Xi reportedly told the queen.
Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, also tweeted his condolences on Monday night:
Canadians are shocked by the news of the horrific attack in Manchester tonight. Please keep the victims & their families in your thoughts.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 23, 2017
In a statement, the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, strongly condemned the incident:
This incident, this attack, is especially vile, especially criminal, especially horrific because it appears to have been deliberately directed at teenagers. This is an attack on innocence. Surely there is no crime more reprehensible than the murder of children. This is a direct and brutal attack on young people everywhere, on freedom everywhere.
New Zealand’s prime minister, Bill English, issued a similar response:
People have lost their young ones in this. So our condolences go out to any families who have suffered from this … It is devastating for parents if their young ones go off to entertainment, no one expects them to lose their lives in such a cruel and unpredictable way.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Issues Response
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a response Monday night, saying there was no credible threat to music venues in the U.S. The department noted that U.S. venues could receive increased security “as officials take additional precautions.” “We stand ready to assist our friends and allies in the U.K. in all ways necessary as they investigate and recover from this incident,” the department said.
DHS statement on Manchester incident pic.twitter.com/lJhLsGTeP7— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) May 23, 2017
Later in the evening, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Trump was receiving updates from his national security team.
Manchester Police on the Blast
Ian Hopkins, the chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police, reiterated the fact police are treating the blast as a terrorist incident.
“This is clearly a very concerning time for everyone,” he said in a brief statement.
Hopkins took no questions from reporters, but said police were cooperating with U.K. security services to determine the cause of Monday night’s blast in the city following a concert by Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena.
The Top Stories in U.K. Newspapers
As expected the story is dominating headlines in the U.K. Here are two front pages:
One of Manchester's saddest days. We are heartbroken. pic.twitter.com/hwMYituteJ— Manchester News MEN (@MENnewsdesk) May 23, 2017
The Guardian front page, Tuesday 23.05.17 – Murder in Manchester: at least 19 die in arena attack pic.twitter.com/SCqddBZdvb— The Guardian (@guardian) May 23, 2017
We’ll add more to the list as they become available.
British Officials Respond to the Blast
The U.K.’s prime minister, Theresa May, issued a statement Monday night, saying, “We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack. All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected.” The explosion comes weeks before the U.K. votes in general elections. May’s Conservatives are widely expected to win. A source from the Conservatives told the Press Association May is suspending her general election campaign following the incident.
Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the opposition Labour Party, also confirmed he will suspend his campaign. Corbyn tweeted his condolences on Monday night:
Terrible incident in Manchester. My thoughts are with all those affected and our brilliant emergency services.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) May 22, 2017
The U.K.’s security minister, Ben Wallace, asked people to “please be vigilant” in the wake of the incident, which he referred to as an “attack.” “If you see anything suspicious, call the anti-terrorist hotline,” Wallace said, adding:
My thoughts are with all the victims of the incident tonight & our emergency services who are out there tending wounded & keeping us safe— Ben Wallace (@BWallaceMP) May 23, 2017
In a statement via Twitter, the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, expressed his condolences as well:
My heart goes out to families who have lost loved ones, my admiration to our brave emergency services. A terrible night for our great city— Mayor Andy Burnham (@MayorofGM) May 23, 2017
Burnham posted another tweet saying the Greater Manchester police was keeping him updated. He also urged people to “look after yourself and those around you tonight.”
More from the Police
The Greater Manchester Police carried out a controlled explosion at Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens. They subsequently tweeted:
Officers carrying out a precautionary controlled explosion in Cathedral Garden confirm that it was abandoned clothing, not a suspicious item— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
Here's video from the scene:
You can hear the bang from the controlle explosion. We were told to stand against the wall but away from windows pic.twitter.com/3OUeCiiStT— Eleanor Barlow (@EleanorBarlow) May 23, 2017
The Deadliest Blast in the U.K. Since the London Bombings in 2005
The blast that killed at least 19 people in Manchester is the deadliest in the U.K. since the London bombings of July 7, 2005. Those explosions on the city’s underground transit system and a bus during the morning rush hour killed 52 people and four Islamist attackers; 784 people were injured.
The London attack came as the U.K. was engaged in the U.S.-led war in Iraq. It marked the first time Islamists had targeted the U.K. In the years since then, U.K. authorities have carried out antiterrorism raids across the country, including in Manchester, and arrested several people in connection with various plots. There have been isolated attacks—though they have been relatively limited in their impact. The most recent attack, which was claimed by ISIS, was in London in March. Five people and the attacker were killed. In May 2013, two militants killed a British soldier in Woolwich.
Until the 1990s, terrorism in the U.K. was synonymous with the Irish Republican Army, but with the successful implementation of the Northern Ireland Peace Accord, militant Irish nationalism is no longer regarded as a security risk in the U.K.
Where the Blast Occurred
Manchester Arena in a statement said:
That came after British Transport Police said initial reports were of “an explosion within the foyer area of the stadium.” As this is a developing story, information like this often changes—and we will reflect those changes as we learn them.
At Least 19 Dead, 50 Injured in Manchester Blast, Police Say
A Possible Terrorist Incident?
Daniel Sandford, the BBC’s Home Affairs Correspondent, wrote on Twitter the incident is being investigated as a “possible terrorist incident.”
The North West Counter Terrorism Unit is treating the incident at #ManchesterArena as a possible terrorist incident.— Daniel Sandford (@BBCDanielS) May 22, 2017
It’s worth pointing out that authorities have not officially said what caused the blast or blasts at the venue in Manchester.
Manchester Was Target of an IRA Attack in 1996
Although there is no word yet on what caused the blast, or blasts, at the Manchester arena, the city is no stranger to being attacked.
On June 15, 1996, the Irish Republican Army detonated a massive truck bomb in the city center, causing massive damage. No one was killed, but more than 200 people were injured in the attack. Here’s more from the BBC on the impact of that blast:
No-one has ever been charged over the blast although Greater Manchester Police recently launched another review of the evidence.
It is estimated the IRA bombing caused £700 million worth of damage.
Plans to regenerate Manchester had already been in place - a tram network had been reintroduced earlier in the 1990s, cultural venues were shaping up and the city had already won the bid to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
But the bomb's devastation inevitably widened the scale of rebuilding ahead of the millennium.
A symbol of the city's effort to get back on its feet was the fact that it still managed to stage the Euro 96 match on the day after the attack.
Live Video Feed From the Manchester Evening News
Here’s a Facebook Live video from the Manchester Evening News:
Ariana Grande Is "OK," Says Spokesperson
Shortly following the incident, a representative for Ariana Grande's record label reported the singer was “OK.” According to The New York Times, Grande’s publicist, Joseph Carozza, said their team is “further investigating what happened.” Later in the evening, Grande issued a brief response on her Twitter account:
broken.— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
The singer’s opening act, Bianca Landrau, known by her stage name BIA, also confirmed she was safe via Twitter:
GUYS WE ARE OKAY !!! THANK YOU WE LOVE YOU 🙏🏾❤️— B I A ⚡️ (@PericoPrincess) May 22, 2017
Grande is in the middle of her “Dangerous Woman” tour, which began on February 3. After touring in the U.S. from February through April, Grande kicked off the European leg of her tour in Stockholm on May 8. Her next scheduled performance is on Thursday, May 25, in London.
More Details on Where the Blast Occurred
In a statement, British Transport Police said:
Officers are at Manchester Arena following reports of an explosion within the foyer area of the stadium at 10.30pm this evening.
Emergency services are at the scene and we are working to establish more information regarding the explosion and will provide further updates as soon as possible.
Security Increased Around the Arena
Video from the scene shows that police have evacuated the area around Manchester Arena, and emergency personnel are out in full force. Watch here:
Just arrived outside the Manchester Arena where there is a huge emergency service response including armed officers standing guard pic.twitter.com/kfF2lIaZXy— Chris Slater (@chrisslaterMEN) May 22, 2017
Social Media Responds with Videos from the Scene
A video from the scene shows concertgoers fleeing the Manchester Arena amid loud screams. One of the attendees, Hannah Dane, told the Guardian there was “quite a loud explosion” that shook the arena.
EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY😭 pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE— ♡♡ (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017
Sunrise, a morning television program in Australia, also tweeted out a video showing a number of people screaming and running away.
Reports of Explosions Follow Attack in London in March
We still don’t know what caused Monday’s deadly explosions in Manchester, but they come two months after an attacker drove into pedestrians, killing four people, on London’s Westminster Bridge and then stabbing a police officer to death. The attacker, who was killed by officers nearby, was identified as Khalid Masood, 52, who was born in the U.K. as Adrian Russell Ajao. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
Police Confirm a Number of Fatalities
Greater Manchester Police say a number of people are dead and injured following reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena.
Police statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/gaKASukx9a— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 22, 2017
U.K.’s National Rail said the Manchester Victoria station has been evacuated and “trains are unable to run.”
Police Call the Incident 'Serious'
Here’s the latest from the Greater Manchester Police:
Emergency services responding to serious incident at Manchester Arena. Avoid the area. More details will follow as soon as available— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 22, 2017
ITV News reported that witnesses reported hearing a “huge bang” during the concert.
The Press Association news agency quoted Suzy Mitchell, a witness who lives across from the arena, as saying:
“(I) just heard a huge bang from my bed, came out to the front of my apartments (we’re on the top floor so have perfect view) and everyone was running away in big crowds. The bang was so big I heard it from my room which is at the back of the apartment blocks. Currently lots of emergency services going to and from. But can’t see anything substantial as of yet except fleeing people and lots of cars.
We’ll note here that authorities aren’t confirming what exactly has happened, whether it happened at Manchester Arena or outside it, what caused it, or if there are any casualties yet.