Manchester bomber known to authorities, likely did not act alone: United Kingdom minister

British Prime Minister Theresa May today condemned the Manchester Arena explosion

British Prime Minister Theresa May today condemned the Manchester Arena explosion

In the days to come, people will try to work out why 22-year-old Salman Abedi chose to carry out a terror attack that took the lives of 22 people, the youngest aged just eight.

May spoke to US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and several other foreign leaders on Tuesday about the attack, her spokesman said. It's part of what's known as "Operation Temperer" in which police and armed forces are trained to work together or in which members of the armed forces replace police in certain locations. May said critical status means armed soldiers may be deployed instead of police at public events such as sports matches.

Britain's top anti-terrorism officer Mark Rowley said events would only go ahead when it was safe to do so and the decision to raise the threat level had been made on a "precautionary basis" due to gaps in police knowledge while the investigation continues.

"This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack is imminent".

The outpouring of support from Grande's fans and fellow celebrities have been tremendous in the wake of Monday's attack.

Earlier attacks, including vehicle-borne assaults in Berlin and Stockholm, have coincided with an offensive on IS redoubts in Syria and Iraq by U.S., British and other Western forces.

Threatening more attacks, ISIS said in a statement published on its social media channels: "One of the caliphate's soldiers placed bombs among the crowds".

Manchester Police Chief Ian Hopkins identified the bomber as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who authorities said died in the attack.

Police raided houses in the northern English city and arrested a 23-year-old man after Monday evening's attack, the deadliest in Britain for 12 years.

He was killed as he detonated an improvised explosive device at the Manchester Arena. Campaigning for Britain's June 8 national election was suspended.

IS is rapidly losing ground in Syria too, with air strikes by the USA -led coalition clearing the way for an advance by Kurdish fighters toward the city of Raqqa, the de facto IS capital, and the city that has lived longest under its horrific interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

It happened around 10:30 p.m. Monday local time just after Grande had wrapped up her sold-out concert in the venue with more than 20,000 people in attendance, many of them young girls. Campbell's 15-year-old daughter, Olivia, had attended the show with a friend who was wounded and being treated in a hospital.

The attack was the deadliest in Britain since four suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on subway trains and a bus in 2005.

A total of 22 adults and children were killed in the explosion and another 59 were injured.

Police also carried out searches at two homes, including the house in the leafy suburban neighbourhood where Abedi's was registered as having lived.

In a city famed globally for its football teams and pop bands like Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Smiths and Take That, showbusiness stars and teams expressed their horror at the carnage.

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