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Arrest Made over Manchester Bombing as Mi5 Probes Attack Warnings - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A new suspect was detained on Monday in connection to last week’s Manchester bombings.

British police said they arrested a 23-year-old in the southern coastal town of Shoreham-by-Sea, more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Manchester, bringing to 14 the number of people they have in custody over the attack.

In addition, they raided a property in a southern Manchester suburb as they step up their investigation into last week’s bombing that killed 22 people.

The attack, Britain’s worst in more than a decade, was carried out by British-born extremist Salman Abedi, who detonated a powerful bomb at the exit of a concert by US singer Ariane Grande.

Several of the victims were children, the youngest being just eight. Scores were injured in the attack.

Police have been hunting for a network of people connected to Abedi, with Britain’s interior minister Amber Rudd saying on Sunday there were “potentially” still members of the cell at large.

“The operation is still really at full-tilt in a way and so until the operation is complete we can’t be entirely sure that it’s closed,” said Rudd.

Abedi’s brother and father are being held in Libya.

On Sunday, police released photographs from security cameras showing Abedi on the night of the massacre, wearing jeans and trainers, a black bodywarmer and a baseball cap, with the straps of his backpack visible on his shoulders.

Britain has downgraded its security level from its highest level, but it still remains at “severe”, meaning an attack is highly likely.

Britain’s MI5 intelligence service launched an internal inquiry on Monday into whether vital clues were missed in the run-up to the Manchester suicide bombing

MI5 are looking at decisions taken in the case of Abedi, 22, who used to be on a terror watch list but was no longer on it at the time of the attack, and whether warnings about his behavior were ignored amid mounting criticism of the security services.

“There is a lot of information coming out at the moment about what happened, how this occurred, what people might or might not have known,” Rudd told Sky News.

“It is right that MI5 take a look to find out what the facts are,” she said, adding: “We shouldn’t rush to make any conclusions at this stage”.

Two people who knew Abedi made separate calls to an anti-terrorism hotline to warn the police about his extremist views, British media have reported.

The BBC also said that Abedi had taken part in the armed uprising against Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s regime as a teenager during school holidays.

British investigators have released pictures of Abedi taken from CCTV shortly before the attack, which also injured more than 100 people, appealing to the public for help in tracing his movements in the days before.

The police statement said one of the last places he went to before the attack at the Manchester Arena venue was a city center flat, where they believe he may have finished assembling the device.

None of the men arrested have been charged with a crime yet and police have up to 14 days in which to do so under special anti-terrorism laws.

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.

Operation Temperer, which involved the deployment of armed troops on patrol alongside police, will be wound down on Monday night, at the end of the holiday weekend.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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