June 28, 2017

United Kingdom reduces terror threat level from critical to severe

30 May 2017, 04:32 | Kristin Schwartz

US President Donald Trump reacts as he arrives for the NATO summit at the NATO headquarters in Brussels

US President Donald Trump reacts as he arrives for the NATO summit at the NATO headquarters in Brussels

Two of Abedi's friends were also so concerned about his behaviour that they separately phoned the hotline, five years ago, and again in 2016.

The United Kingdom has reduced its terror threat level from critical to severe; a change that indicates a terror attack is still highly likely, but not imminently expected.

Greater Manchester Police said officers and soldiers went to a street in Hulme, southwest of central Manchester, on Thursday to deal with a possible suspicious package. The blast killed 22 and injured dozens more, and sent hundreds of Grande's mostly young and mostly female fans streaming frantically out of the venue. The photographs also showed nuts and screws for shrapnel and a blue and black Karrimor rucksack that appeared to be carried by Abedi. The straps of a knapsack are visible on his shoulders.

The man, who only gave his first name Ahmad, said he frequently saw Abedi under the influence of cannabis, a claim repeated by another neighbour in the local newspaper, the Manchester Evening News.

Brunt said one resident of the building reported "a strong smell of explosives" coming from behind the door.

Abedi had been to Libya - where his parents are from - just prior to the attack.

Speaking after a meeting of the government's COBRA crisis committee, May said "the public should remain vigilant".

An unnamed Muslim community worker told the BBC that two people who knew the attacker at college tipped off officers after he made statements "supporting terrorism" and expressing the view that "being a suicide bomber was OK".

"This is until such time as we have assurances that no further unauthorised disclosures will occur", said the counter-terrorism source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Authorities are still searching for more leads.

While attending a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels on Thursday, both U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the leaks stemming from a growing investigation into the suicide bombing that killed 22 people and injured many more after an Ariana Grande concert on Monday night. All are men, aged between 18 and 44.

A counter-terrorism force detained the father, Ramadan Abedi, outside his home in the Tripoli suburb on Wednesday, while the bomber's younger brother Hashem Abedi, was arrested on Tuesday.

The suspected bomber in the concert attack in Britain passed through a German airport before the attack, police said Thursday.

Investigators have searched 17 properties, including Abedi's home in south Manchester and other houses in nearby districts.

Police have found more evidence that the bombing was not of the work of a lone-wolf, but of a terror network. "The compassion, kindness, love, strength and oneness that you've shown one another this past week is the exact opposite of the heinous intentions it must take to pull off something as evil as what happened Monday", she said.

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