Manchester attack: Police arrest 25-year-old man in Old Trafford area

A search is also being carried out an address in Moss Side, in the south of the city.

Counter-terror police have made a fresh arrest in connection to the Manchester suicide bombing as officers raid another address in the city.

Greater Manchester Police said a 25-year-old man had been detained on suspicion of terror offences in the Old Trafford area.

A search is likewise being carried out at an address in Moss Side, in the south of the city, as part of a massive police operation, which has seen raids carried out in several cities.

Twelve people are now being held in custody after the atrocity at the Manchester Arena left 22 dead. Those being held are between the ages of 18 and 44.

Investigators have been working around the clock to identify potential members of a terror network that could have given support to suicide bomber Salman Abedi.

They say they have already dismantled a significant part of Abedi’s co-conspirators but expect to make further arrests.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said members of the suicide attacker’s circle were still “potentially” unaccounted for, despite optimism following a wave of initial arrests.

Ms Rudd’s comments came after police released CCTV stills of Abedi in a plea for new information about his movements between 18 May and Monday’s attack.

The 22-year-old suicide bomber was dead, killing 22 people and leaving more than 100 others injured, in a matter of hours after he was captured on camera.

The UK’s terror threat level was raised to “critical”, which means an attack is “imminent”, amid concerns Abedi’s network could have planned further attacks – but it was reduced back to “severe” on Saturday, which means an attack is highly likely.

Tarique Ghaffur, the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police at the time of the 2005 bombings, suggested on Sunday that specialist centres should be set up to house extremists.

He told The Mail on Sunday that the facilities could house up to 3,000 identified extremists and “would be community-based centres where the extremists would be risk-assessed”.

“Then, the extremists would be made to go through a deradicalisation programme, using the expertise of imams, charity workers and counter-terrorism officers,” he added.

He said such centres would have oversight from vetted Muslim and other community leaders “who would ensure they stayed within the law”.

His call came after security sources confirmed to the Press Association that as many as 23,000 people have been flagged on the radar of counter-terror agencies.

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk

UK lowers terror threat level to ‘severe’ as more arrested in Manchester attack

Britain reduced its terrorism threat level a notch, from “critical” to “severe,” as authorities said major progress has been made in unravelling the plot behind the Manchester bombing.

Prime Minister Theresa May said “a significant amount of police activity” and several arrests led to the level being lowered. But she urged Britons to remain vigilant and said soldiers would remain at high-profile sites throughout the holiday weekend. The troops will gradually be withdrawn beginning Monday, May said.

A severe threat means an attack is “highly likely,” as indicated by the scale set by Britain’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre. Until it was raised Tuesday, it had stayed at severe since mid-2014.

Police made two more arrests Saturday, bringing the number of suspects in custody to 11. All are men, ages 18 to 44.

Greater Manchester Police said two men, ages 20 and 22, were detained early Saturday in the northwest England city on suspicion of terrorism offenses. Police used an explosive device to get into a property to make the arrests.

Investigators are searching several including bomber Salman Abedi’s home in south Manchester and other houses in nearby districts.

Residents were evacuated from streets in the south Manchester neighborhood of Moss Side in what police called a precaution. Photos showed an army bomb-disposal unit at the property.

Mark Rowley, Britain’s top counterterrorism police officer, said authorities have dismantled a “large part” of the network around bomber Salman Abedi. But he said there were still “gaps in our understanding” of the plot, as investigators probed Abedi’s potential links to jihadis in Britain, Europe, Libya and the Middle East.

The 22-year-old Briton of Libyan descent died in Monday’s explosion, which killed 22 people and wounded dozens as crowds were leaving an Ariana Grande concert.

Hundreds of soldiers have been sent to replace police at high-profile sites including Buckingham Palace and Parliament, and police armed with submachine guns are being deployed in city centers, transit hubs, tourist areas and major events.

Despite the alert, police have urged people to go out and enjoy themselves over the three-day holiday weekend. More than 1,000 armed police are on standby as major events including the Football Association Cup Final and the Premiership Rugby Final are expected to draw tens of thousands of people.

Manchester is slowly returning to normal, though dozens of people remain hospitalized and the damaged arena and adjacent Victoria train station remain closed.

Grande has promised to return to Manchester for a benefit concert. In a statement Friday, she said “I’ll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honor of and to raise money for the victims and their families.”

“Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before,” she said. “We will not quit or operate in fear. We won’t let this divide us. We won’t let hate win.”

Source: https://www.usatoday.com