Britain Says Some of Manchester Bomber's Network Potentially Still at Large

30 May, 2017, 07:22 | Author: Van Morton
  • Emilio Morenatti  The Associated Press files
A child places flowers in a square in central Manchester on Wednesday in the wake of the deadly suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert

Greater Manchester Police said two men - one 25 years old and the other 19 - were arrested in the city on suspicion of terrorist offenses.

Since the bombing outside Manchester Arena, in which 22 people died, 14 men remain in custody for questioning, Reuters reported.

Anti-terror police are on the hunt for a blue suitcase Salman Abedi was carrying on the day of the deadly Manchester bombing as raids on properties continue.

Investigators say they have a 1,000-strong team working on the probe and have significant details on Abedi's associates and movements, his finances, and how the explosive was built.

The race to round up a suspected network connected to the terrorist has seen a total of 16 arrests made in connection with the attack, although two people have since been released.

Police and security services have said very little about the network believed to be behind Abedi, a Manchester native whose parents had moved to Britain from Libya. "People in our communities who are being targeted by Daesh [the Islamic State terror group] and fed a false ideology".

Britain's Interior Minister Amber Rudd on Sunday said there were "potentially" still members of the cell at large.

She said the government had "never understated" the threat of a terror attack in the United Kingdom, adding: "We have to level with people".

Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Saturday that troops will gradually be withdrawn from the streets from today, and the terror threat level is being de-escalated from "critical" to "severe".

The change indicates an attack is highly likely, not imminently expected.

Manchester-born Abedi likely received some ISIS training in Syria in the months before the attack, according to information gathered in the preliminary investigation, a U.S. official told CNN on Thursday.

A source said to Reuters, on the condition of anonymity: "The review will look at what was known about Abedi, what decisions were made about the intelligence and what, if anything, could have been done differently".

British authorities say they have disrupted five plots since March 22, when a terror attack outside Parliament in London left five people dead.

Ms Rudd said it was not for her to demand that a certain number of Temporary Exclusion Orders be used, but to make sure the security service has the "tools they can use" to protect the public.

In a statement, police said: "The investigation is making good progress and we know one of the last places Abedi went was a city center flat and from there he left to make his way to the Manchester Arena".

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