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Manchester Police Name Bomber, Hunt For Accomplices

People attend a vigil in Albert Square, Manchester, England, May 23, 2017.
Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press
People attend a vigil in Albert Square, Manchester, England, May 23, 2017.
Manchester Police Name Bomber, Hunt For Accomplices
Manchester Police Name Bomber, Hunt For Accomplices GUEST:Davene Butler, special agent and media coordinator, FBI San Diego

Our top story officials believe that salmon a baby a British Nationalist the suicide bomber in Monday's attack outside the Manchester arena. The terror group Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 22 people and injured 59 others. Officials have not verified that claim. It is the deadliest terror attack in Britain since 2005. Terror attacks on our I -- allies always get intense scrutiny from intense law enforcement. Joining me now is special agent and media coordinator with the of the I in San Diego. Welcome to the program. In San Diego we have a joint terrorism task force. How to set group work to try to prevent events like the Manchester bombing. The FBI has 104 joint terrorism task forces. The purposes of leveraging our resources and skills and the authority of all the federal, state and local law enforcement community to identify and combat these threats. The joint terrorism investigators intelligence analyst and personnel from a multitude of agencies that can share information and can pursue all investigated the and gather evidence to respond to at threat or incident. The group works together closely and uses all of our resources to hopefully prevent once so we have seen recently in the UK. We have seen members of the terrorism task force in San Diego. We are lucky we have all federal state and local law enforcement community working together here in our joint terrorism task was. The of the I is the lead which takes control of all of our agency partners in the agency. What kind of information do you show between task force member agencies? Anything like threats or things that other agencies have picked up that are not common knowledge? Of course, each agency has its own jurisdiction and purpose. They come up with different pieces of information. They are different pieces of a puzzle that they bring into the joint terrorism task force. That information is then called and reviewed and analyzed by those analysts and agents that I spoke about. When an attack like the Manchester arena bombing happens aren't FBI agents usually dispatched to those areas overseas? We do have them in foreign countries. Lee gets our FBI personnel working overseas and we work closely with the foreign counterparts and often times in particular instances like this where it is a mass casualty they do ask for FBI resources to assist in that is what we are therefore. Because there are 20,000 people in attendance in this arena how do you go about interviewing witnesses and a mass casualty mass attendance event like this. In this instance I would refer you to the authorities there to discuss the specifics on how they are conducting the investigation. In general it is no different here than it is there. With you have a large and like this it is clear that the community comes together and figures out a way to interview and collect evidence and talk to all witnesses and of taking all reports of what has happened whether it be by digital media or otherwise. The law enforcement community really comes together to pull the resources to get the job done. Is there anything the public can do to help the work of the joint terrorism task is? The job of keeping our country safe cannot be done just by our law enforcement partners and the GTF. It really comes down to all of us. It is that often but in times like this I think people really think about it and pay attention to the fact that we need to keep our eyes and ears open and if you see something that seems was -- suspicious or out of order when you are in public please bring it to our attention and two-year local law enforcement attention. The important thing is if you see something say something because it is that one small tip that may make the difference and avoiding something horrible that happened over in the UK. I do appreciate your time. I've been speaking with Dave in the media coordinator with the F VI in San Diego. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

UPDATE: 6:55 p.m., May 23, 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain's threat level from terrorism has been raised to critical — meaning an attack may be imminent.

May said Salman Abadi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a concert in Manchester, may have been part of a bigger network.


She said Abadi was born and raised in Britain.

The level previously stood at the second-highest rung of "severe" for several years.

May said critical status means armed soldiers may be deployed instead of police at public events such as sports matches.

Read original story below.

Investigators hunted Tuesday for possible accomplices of the suicide bomber who attacked an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 people and sparking a stampede of young concertgoers, some still wearing the American pop star's trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons.


The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Monday night carnage, which also left 59 people wounded, though a top American intelligence official said the claim could not be verified. British police raided two sites in the northern English city and arrested a 23-year-old man at a third location.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and police said the bomber died in the attack on Manchester Arena — something that went unmentioned in the Islamic State claim, which also had discrepancies with the events described by British officials.

Manchester police chief Ian Hopkins identified the bombing suspect as 22-year-old Salman Abedi but gave no other details. British election rolls listed Abedi as living at a modest red brick semi-detached house in a mixed suburb of Manchester where police performed a controlled explosion Tuesday afternoon.

Neighbor Natalie Daley said she was frightened by a loud bang, then police yelling, "Get in your houses — get away from the windows!"

"When it's like two seconds from your house, when you walk past it every day, you do live in fear," Daley said.

Manchester, 160 miles (260 kilometers) northwest of London, is one of Britain's largest cities and Manchester Arena is one of the world's largest indoor concert venues.

Campaigning for Britain's June 8 national election was suspended in the aftermath of the attack, the deadliest in Britain since four suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on subway trains and a bus in July 2005.

Teenage screams filled the arena just after the explosion Monday night, and members of the audience tumbled over guardrails and each other to escape.

The attack sparked a nightlong search for loved-ones — parents for the children they had accompanied or had been waiting to pick up, and friends for each other after groups were scattered by the blast. Twitter and Facebook lit up with heartbreaking appeals for the missing.

An 8-year-old girl was among the dead — the youngest known victim — and her mother and sister were among the wounded in what May called "a callous terrorist attack." The wounded included 12 children under age 16, hospital officials said.

"We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage," May said.

A woman lays flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack in central Manchester on Tuesday.
Darren Staples Reuters
A woman lays flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack in central Manchester on Tuesday.

The top U.S. intelligence official, Dan Coats, said the American government had not verified whether or how Islamic State was responsible.

Some concert-goers said security was haphazard before the show, with some people being searched and others allowed inside unhindered. The bombing took place at the end of the concert, when the audience was streaming toward the city's main train station.

Witnesses said the blast scattered bolts and other bits of metal, apparently intended to maximize injuries and deaths.

"There was this massive bang. And then everyone just went really quiet. And that's when the screaming started," said 25-year-old Ryan Molloy. "As we came outside to Victoria Station, there were just people all over the floor covered in blood. My partner was helping to try to stem the blood from this one person. ... They were pouring blood from their leg. It was just awful."

The train station, which is adjacent to the arena, was shut down for coming days, authorities said.

With public transport halted, Manchester residents opened their hearts. Taxis offered stranded people free rides home while some residents invited those without lodging into their homes. Twitter users circulated the MissinginManchester hashtag to help people looking for family and friends.

Grande, who was not injured in the blast, tweeted: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words."

Hayley Lunt had taken her 10-year-old daughter Abigail to her first concert. She said the explosions rang out as soon as Grande left the stage.

"We just ran as fast as we could to get away," Lunt said. "What should have been a superb evening is now just horrible."

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II marked a moment of silence Tuesday afternoon to honor the victims. Accompanied by her husband Prince Philip, as well as Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the queen stood at the top of the steps leading down from Buckingham Palace as the national anthem played.

The first confirmed victim was Georgina Callander, whose death was reported by her former school. The Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy in Croston, northwest of Manchester, posted a photo of Georgina on its website, smiling in her school uniform. It described her as "a lovely young student who was very popular with her peers and the staff."

Saffie Roussos, 8, was the youngest victim identified so far. The head teacher of the Tarleton Community Primary School in Lancashire described her as "simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair."

People leave Manchester Arena in England on Monday night, after an explosion that killed 22 people and wounded dozens more.
Dave Thompson Getty Images
People leave Manchester Arena in England on Monday night, after an explosion that killed 22 people and wounded dozens more.

The Islamic State group's claim of responsibility echoed others the extremists have made for attacks in the West but with vague details that left open the possibility it was an opportunistic attempt at propaganda.

U.S. President Donald Trump, visiting the West Bank city of Bethlehem, said the attack preyed upon children and described those responsible as "evil losers."

"This wicked ideology must be obliterated. And I mean completely obliterated," he said.

Grande's Dangerous Woman tour is her third one and supports her album. After Manchester, Grande was due to perform in London on Thursday and Friday, and later at venues elsewhere in Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France, with concerts in Latin America and Asia to follow.

Grande's tour has not been canceled or postponed despite reports online, said a person close to the situation, adding that Grande and her team were focused on the victims. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about the topic.

The Manchester Arena postponed concerts by the pop group Take That scheduled from Thursday through Saturday.

Pop concerts have been a terrorism target before. Most of the 130 dead in the November 2015 attacks in Paris were at the Bataclan concert hall.

Manchester itself has seen attacks before, but not this deadly. The city was hit by a huge Irish Republican Army bomb in 1996 that leveled a swath of the city center. More than 200 people were injured, although no one was killed.