22 people have been confirmed dead and around 120 others are injured following reports of multiple explosions after an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in the North of England on Monday Evening.
Greater Manchester Police originally said there had been a “number of fatalities and others injured” at the Manchester Arena, where Grammy-nominated pop singer Ariana Grande was performing. Nineteen people were confirmed dead as of 8pm EST.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins has confirmed the man suspected of carrying out last night’s attack was 22-year-old Salman Abedi.
Eyewitness accounts posted to social media show convoys of ambulances moving to the centre of Manchester as thousands of music fans fled the Manchester Evening News Arena.
UPDATE 0900 BST — First image released of Salman Abedi
UPDATE 0820 BST — Home Secretary Amber Rudd confirms Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was known “up to a point” to the intelligence services
Ms. Rudd disclosed on Sky News that Salman Abedi was known “up to a point” to intelligence services. She also warned it seemed “likely” Abedi “was not doing this on his own”.
UPDATE Wednesday 24 May 0800 BST — Metropolitan police confirms military to be deployed at key locations across London
Following the terror threat level being raised to its highest rating, critical, London’s Metropolitan police confirmed the military will be working under the police and deployed as armed guards across key locations in London.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police Services (MPS) confirmed: “As part of the pre-planned and tested deployment under Operation Temperer the military will be working under the MPS command structure to provide static armed guarding at key locations. This will include Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, Embassies and the Palace of Westminster. This will free up armed officers to carry out patrols.”
Commander Jane Connors, leading the London policing operation, said: “We are using every tactical option – not just through the use of armed officers but ongoing work by the Counter Terrorism Command; working with partner agencies and gathering community intelligence.”
He added: “Operations for upcoming events are now under review and there will be additional security arrangements put in place. Specialist officers who are experts in protective security arrangements are advising businesses, event organisers and venues across London.”
UPDATE 2210 BST — May raises threat level to critical, ready to deploy Army on the streets – “Operation Temperer is now in force.”
In a televised statement from Downing Street, Prime Minister Theresa May said the U.K.’s terrorism threat level has been raised from severe to critical. ITV notes this level means “a terrorist attack is considered imminent.”
“It is a possibility that we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack,” said May.
She said the higher threat level means “there will be additional support available to the police as they work to keep us safe.”
“Operation Temperer is now in force,” May stated. Operation Temperer is a plan formulated after the Paris massacre, once considered secret by the British government, that could put up to 5,000 soldiers on the streets in the event of a major terrorist attack.
May specifically stated that initiating Operation Temperer meant the protection of key sites would be handed over to military personnel instead of the police, freeing up police officers for other duties.
“You might also see military personnel deployed at certain events, such as concerts and sports matches, helping the police to keep the public safe,” the Prime Minister explained. “In all circumstances, members of the Armed Forces who are deployed in this way will be under the command of police officers.”
“I do not want the public to feel unduly alarmed,” she emphasized. “We have faced a serious terrorist threat in our country for many years. The operational response I have just outlined is a proportionate and sensible response to the threat that our security experts judge we face. I ask everyone to be vigilant and to cooperate with and support the police as they go about their important work.”
“The spirit of Manchester and the spirit of Britain is far mightier than the sick plots of depraved terrorists,” May declared. “That is why the terrorists will never win, and we will prevail.”
UPDATE 2115 BST — Morrissey: “Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims.”
Singer Morrissey, who hails from Manchester and was celebrating his birthday in town when news of the bomb attack broke, wrote a furious Facebook post in which he excoriated British politicians for leaving the people at risk while they enjoy security protection.
“The anger is monumental. For what reason will this ever stop?” Morrissey asked, before calling everyone from the mayor of Manchester to the Queen of England on the carpet:
Theresa May says such attacks “will not break us”, but her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues. Also, “will not break us” means that the tragedy will not break her, or her policies on immigration. The young people of Manchester are already broken – thanks all the same, Theresa.
Sadiq Khan says “London is united with Manchester”, but he does not condemn Islamic State – who have claimed responsibility for the bomb. The Queen receives absurd praise for her ‘strong words’ against the attack, yet she does not cancel today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace – for which no criticism is allowed in the Britain of free press.
Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an “extremist”. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?
In modern Britain, everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private. Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections.
UPDATE 1945 BST — Man with knife and baseball bat arrested at vigil in Birmingham:
The Sun reports that police “swooped on a suspected knifeman armed with a baseball bat in Birmingham as a vigil was being held for victims of the Manchester terror attack.” A witness reported “loud shouting” and armed police officers announcing a security alert.
UPDATE 1840 BST — Manchester United players observe moment of silence before practice:
The team is scheduled to play in the Europa League final on Wednesday.
“We are all very sad about the tragic events last night; we cannot take out of our minds and our hearts the victims and their families. We have a job to do and we will fly to Sweden to do that job. It is a pity we cannot fly with the happiness that we always have before a big game. I know, even during my short time here, that the people of Manchester will pull together as one,” said team manager Jose Mourinho.
ITV reports that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s wife and two children attended the Ariana Grande concert. They are all said to be “safe and well.”
UPDATE 1825 BST — Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai lit with Union Jack for Manchester victims:
Dubai's Burj Khalifa lit up with the Union Jack tonight #ManchesterBombing
(via gzshr on instagram) pic.twitter.com/YZ9JdC7nWV
— Anup Kaphle (@AnupKaphle) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 1745 BST — Police confirm terror suspect is 22-year-old Salman Abedi. Two searches carried out in the Whalley Range and Fallowfield areas of Manchester
Latest statement from Chief Constable Ian Hopkins:
“Can I start by once again passing on our heartfelt sympathies to all the innocent people caught up in last night’s despicable act.
“We now have a team of specially-trained Family Liaison Officers who are supporting families.
“There has been much speculation and names of those who may have been killed in the media and social media. We accept that this is inevitable however we ask that people allow the police and coroner to release the names once the families are ready and appropriately supported.
“As you would expect the police response to this across Greater Manchester has been significant as we support people to go about their daily business.
“Part of this response has seen us arrest a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack and we have also carried out two warrants, one in Whalley Range and one in Fallowfield that included a controlled explosion to enable safe entry.
“We understand that feelings are very raw right now and people are bound to be looking for answers. However, now, more than ever, it is vital that our diverse communities in Greater Manchester stand together and do not tolerate hate.
“We have been visited by the Prime Minster and Home Secretary and we have taken them through the emergency response so far and what we plan to do in future days.
“I can confirm that the man suspected of carrying out last night’s atrocity has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. However, he has not yet been formally identified and I wouldn’t wish, therefore, to comment further.
“The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.
UPDATE 1635 BST — Salman Abedi confirmed as Manchester bomber
The AP news agency has confirmed previous reports over the identity of the Manchester attacker, saying British authorities had named him as Libyan origin British citizen 23-year-old Salman Abedi.
BREAKING: US officials: British authorities have identified suspected Manchester suicide bomber as Salman Abedi.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 1555 BST — Claim: Attacker was 23-year-old Salman Abedi
CBS reports the suicide bomber who killed 22 on Monday evening was 23-year-old Salman Abedi, who they report was “known to British authorities” prior to the attack.
If this is so, Abedi would be the man the Islamic State claimed as a “soldier of the Khaliph” on Tuesday. Abedi is distinct from another 23 year old man arrested as a suspect in Manchester Tuesday morning.
The NBS network has published a similar claim, but stated the killer’s name was spelt slightly differently as Salmon Ramadan Abedi.
British police and the Prime Minister have said they have identified the attacker, but have not yet made the name public.
UPDATE 1545 BST — Update on injuries
There has been an update on the number injured, bringing the figure of 60 injuries in addition to the 22 fatalities up to 120. The reason for this change is the previous figure only counted those who were treated in hospital — paramedics also treated an additional 60 “walking wounded” on the scene last night as well.
Many of those who were admitted to hospital last night remain there, some in “critical” condition, with a reported third of injured under the age of 16.
UPDATE 1415 BST — Third victim named
“Beautiful soul” 26-year-old John Atkinson has been named as the third victim of the Manchester attack.
As the news comes in, the sympathies and condolences to the familes of Georgia Callender, Saffie Rose Roussos and John Atkinson #RIP
— GMP Middleton (@GMPMiddleton) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 1355 BST– Police raid Manchester home of suspected killer, use controlled explosion
Armed police used explosives to enter a house in Elsmore Road, Fallowfield, Manchester in the past hour reports the Manchester Evening News, which is understood to be the former residence of the suicide bomber who killed 22 at last night’s Ariana Grande concert. A neighbour told the paper:
“There were about 20 armed officers in all black with machine guns. There were another 20 uniformed officers who were in the street.
“There were also plain clothes officers who were also armed. The road was cordoned off, but there was no evacuation of the street”.
The force subsequently confirmed there had been a “controlled explosion” at the property as part of the investigation.
There have been others raids across the city Tuesday, including one near a supermarket where a witness reported possibly seeing “an Asian guy” being arrested.
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 1335 BST– Casualty numbers – 12 children under 16 years old amongst injured
BREAKING: UK ambulance official: 12 children under age of 16 were among 59 injured in concert attack.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 23, 2017
Medical professionals speaking from Manchester Royal Infirmary have confirmed that following reports of the terror attack shortly after 10:30 pm Monday night, plans for responding to mass casualty events were put into action by the emergency and hospital services.
At 10:46, a response was mounted and 60 vehicles were sent to the Manchester Arena with highly specialised crews who were able to stabilise patients at the scene before transporting 59 patients to local A&Es in the Greater Manchester area. Patients in need of surgery were sent straight to theatre without delay.
Patients were sent to the following hospitals:
Manchester Royal Infirmary – 9 casualties
Salford Royal Trust – 6 casualties
Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital – 12 casualties
University Hospital South Manchester – 6 casualties
Stepping Hill Hospital Stockport – 6 casualties
Bolton Hospital – 8 casualties
Royal Aldham Hospital – 7 casualties
North Manchester Hospital – 5 casualties
There was also a number of walking wounded who were not transported by emergency services.
UPDATE 1325 BST– Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos second named victim
Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos has been named as the second victim of the Manchester suicide bombing, reports the Guardian. The schoolgirl had been at the concert with her mother and sister, both of whom were taken to hospital last night for shrapnel injuries.
The headmaster of Saffie’s school Tarleton Community primary school said in a statement to the paper: “Saffie was 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”.
UPDATE 1315 BST — Full text of Islamic State claim
The Site Intelligence Group, a monitoring organisation which has access to the Islamic State’s media channels including the Amaq news agency has repoduced the English-language version of the Islamic State claim for responsibility for last night’s attack. Calling the Ariana Grande concert a “gathering of the Crusaders in the British city of Manchester… the shameless concert arena”, the release referred to the children at the show “worshippers of the cross” and the attacker “a soldier of the Khalifa”.
What this claim means for the investigation is unclear. The Islamic State has claimed many terror attacks in Europe in recent years — an easy thing to do if the killer is already dead. It may be the case that while the Islamic State didn’t have advance warning of the attack the killer may have been inspired by Islamic State propaganda, and informed by Islamic State documents on bomb making and attacks as has been the case in the past.
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 1300 BST — Associated Press: Islamic State claim responsibility for Manchester Suicide Bombing
The Associated Press agency has reported the Islamic State group has claimed one of their members was responsible for last night’s attack. More follows.
BREAKING: Islamic State group says one of its members carried out the Manchester attack that killed 22 people.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 1220 BST — HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Statement
British Monarch Queen Elizabeth II has sent a message to the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, a traditional means of addressing the people of Manchester through her official senior representative in the city. The Queen said:
The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert.
I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured.
I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care.
And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity.
UPDATE 11550 BST — Manchester Police make arrest
With regards to last night’s incident at the Manchester arena, we can confirm we have arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester.
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
Greater Manchester Police have announced their first arrest following Monday night’s suicide bomb attack on the Arena music venue, who has been identified as a “23-year-old man in South Manchester”.
The arrest comes after Manchester’s major Arndale shopping centre was evacuated late Tuesday morning. Hundreds of shoppers and staff were seen fleeing the area in tears. A man was arrested at the centre but Manchester Police said it was not “currently beleived to be connected to last night’s attacks”.
The shopping centre was the site of a 1996 IRA terror attack which caused millions of pounds of damage to property, but caused no fatalities.
UPDATE 1140 BST — Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement following a meeting of COBRA
In a statement by the prime minister following a meeting of the Government’s crisis response committee COBRA, Theresa May praised emergency and security services for their response and the generosity and strength of the people of Manchester.
The prime minister confirmed there have been 22 fatalities and 59 people were injured, some with life-threatening conditions.
On the attack, the prime minister said:
“We now know a terrorist detonated his improvised explosive device near one of the exits of the venue, delivered at a time and place to cause maximum carnage and to kill indiscriminately at the end of a pop concert which was attended by many young families and groups of children.
“All acts of terror are cowardly attacks against innocent people, but this attack stands out for it appalling sickening cowardliness deliberately targeting innocent children and young people who should have been enjoying the night of their lives.”
She confirmed: “The threat level remains at ‘severe’, meaning that a terror event is likely, but the independent joint analysis centre, which sets the threat level on the basis of intelligence available to them, will continue to assess this throughout the day and in the days ahead.”
The prime minister will travel to Manchester to meet the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins, the mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, and members of the emergency services.
Mrs. May will chair another meeting of COBRA later on Tuesday.
UPDATE 1055 BST — President Trump’s Comments from Bethlehem
United States President Donald Trump has condemend the “evil losers” who perpetrated the Manchester attack while speaking in Bethlehem. Get the full story from Breitbart Jerusalem.
UPDATE 1050 BST — General Election Campaigning Suspended
Britain is just fifteen full days away from the next general election, and campaigning has been suspended by all major parties out of respect for the dead following Manchester’s suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena. Read the full story at Breitbart London.
UPDATE 1040 BST — Prime Minister to make a statement shortly
The press pack are assembled outside 10 Downing Street, waiting on the Prime Minister who is expected to make a statement on last night’s suicide bombing, following her meeting with the ‘COBRA’ national security council this morning. Updates to come.
UPDATE 1030 BST — London Bus Station Evacuated Over ‘Suspicious Package’
Victoria coach station, the main hub for coach travel in and out of the capital was evacuated this morning after a “suspicious package” was discovered, just hours after last night’s Manchester suicide bombing.
London’s Metropolitan Police told the public to stay clear of the area as they closed off nearby roads. The area was later declared safe as officers assessed the package to be non-threatening.
UPDATE 0500 EST (1000 BST) — First victim named as 18-year-old Georgina Callander
The first victim named following the terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Monday night has been confirmed as 18-year-old Georgina Callander.
It is believed she was one of the first people rushed to hospital after the attack. According to a close friend, the teen died with her mother by her bedside in hospital.
On Sunday, she had tweeted that she was “so excited” to see Ariana Grande who she was pictured with two years ago.
Friends of Georgina described her as “a beautiful girl with the kindest heart and soul”.
UPDATE 0400 EST (0900 BST) — Death toll at 22
Greater Manchester Police have confirmed the explosion at Monday night’s Ariana Grande concert at Manchester City Arena was a terror attack, with the perpetrator dying in the explosion. The death toll has risen from 19 to 22, and children are confirmed amongst the dead.
UPDATE 22:37 EST — North West Ambulance Service has released an update on the casualties of the attack.
The ambulance service has said that there still remain 19 fatalities and the number of injured has increased to 59.
UPDATE 22:08 EST — Greater Manchester police confirm 19 dead, 50 injured at 6 hospitals and call incident a terror attack.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins gave a brief press conference confirming the number of victims and said the incident is being investigated as terrorism. Hopkins said for people to avoid the area as emergency workers are still working at the scene.
UPDATE 21:55 EST — Witness claims there was a total lack of security at the concert.
Eyewitness Chris Pawley appeared on Tucker Carlson on Fox News this evening and said that there was very little security at the Arianna Grande concert. “I’ve been to concerts before and sometimes you get patted down, or have to empty your pockets. There was absolutely nothing at this concert tonight,” he said.
Manchester attack eyewitness Chris Pawley: there was no security whatsoever. pic.twitter.com/yFiwR35qp1
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 21:31 EST — Dr Sebastian Gorka noted the attack occurred on the anniversary of the killing of soldier Lee Rigby.
Dr Gorka, an adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, tweeted that the attack occurred on the same day as Rigby’s murder, which took place four years ago. “Dates matter to jihadi terrorists,” he wrote.
NOTE: Manchester explosion happens on 4th anniversary of the public murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.
Dates matter to Jihadi terrorists. pic.twitter.com/dRhyaWN9AV
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 21:26 EST — UK Prime Minister Theresa May has issued a statement on the attack.
“We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.” Ms May went on to add, “all our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected.”
UPDATE 21:00 EST — Reuters suggests a “suicide bomber” may be responsible:
Initial signs point to a suicide bomber as the cause of a blast at a music venue in Manchester, England, that killed 19 people and injured 50, two U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said on Monday.
British police said they are treating the explosion at a concert for U.S. singer Ariana Grande as a “terrorist incident.”
— Reuters UK (@ReutersUK) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 20:59 EST — Further eyewitness reports suggest a “nail bomb” may have been used.
Gary Walker, who was at the show with his wife and two daughters, told the New York Times he “heard a massive bang and saw a flash”.
The NYT reports: “He turned and realized that his wife had been hurt. Mr. Walker, who is from the northern city of Leeds, said she had a stomach wound and possibly a broken leg. He said he lay down with her and saw “metal nuts on the floor.””
UPDATE 20:56 EST — Nigel Farage tells Breitbart London: “We have literally not even debated immigration let alone security so far in this election. All the reasons people voted for Brexit have been airbrushed from the debate”. The Brexit leader was keen to stress how there has not yet been a motive or suspect confirmed, and how the last nail bomb in the United Kingdom was used by an “anti-gay” Neo Nazi.
He stated his belief, however, that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — who is perceived as soft on terrorism and security issues — would be the most likely to suffer politically ahead of the UK General Election on June 8.
UPDATE 20:48 — There are no claims regarding the attack yet, but ISIS-supporting social media accounts have been reported to have been “celebrating” the incident:
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 20:44 — Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage has told Fox News this is a “new low”, in the sense that the explosions appear to have targeted children. It is worth noting that while Greater Manchester Police are keeping terrorism high on the agenda in terms of assessing this attack, it has not yet been confirmed.
“This is going to be a very big shock for the country… Actually terror, open door immigration have played relatively low roles in the election so far.”
UPDATE 20:35 — Police are performing controlled explosions in the local area:
There will be a controlled explosion in Cathedral gardens shortly if you hearing anything don't be concerned.
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 20:25 — CBS reports a large group of young girls are amongst those dead. Various news outlets are also now reporting the possibility of the explosions containing nails, which has not yet been confirmed by local authorities:
CBS News confirms a large group of young girls are among the 19 dead following alleged terror attack at Ariana Grande concert in England
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) May 23, 2017
CBS News confirms there were two explosions at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, Englad – the devices contained nails.
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 20:10 — Police report 19 dead, 50+ injured:
Latest statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/BEpLOan3dY
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
UPDATE 19:48 — Eyewitness Kiara Dawber has told CNN: “There as a massive, massive explosion, a bang, there as smoke coming up through the steps. Everyone was screaming and shouting… it could be a bomb, people were screaming for their kids…. there were bodies scattered about everywhere… we were just running through the road… it was just chaos… you could see people were just dead… passed away… there was a lot of blood”.
EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY😭 pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE
— ♡♡ (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017
UPDATE 19:30 EST — Eyewitness David Richardson is quoted by the Manchester Evening News:
“The lights came on after the gig and people were starting to leave. As I turned to the left there was an explosion. It was about 40ft behind us near one of the exits. We just thought it was people messing about then it happened again. Another explosion sounded.
“Then we saw the smoke. Everyone just fled. Some people were injured. We saw blood on people when we got outside. People were just running all over the place.
“People have said it was a speaker or balloons but it wasn’t. It was explosions.”
UPDATE 19:24 EST — Bomb disposal units have been seen entering the area around the arena.
Bomb disposal going into the arena. pic.twitter.com/FG3g4CkpoM
— Frances Perraudin (@fperraudin) May 22, 2017
Original story follows:
Greater Manchester Police and the local NHS trust confirmed they had responded to a “serious incident” at the Manchester Arena, and urged members of the public to stay clear of the area.
Manchester’s Victoria railway station has been evacuated and all lines closed — both mainline services and local Metrolink trams. National Rail said in a statement that “Disruption is expected to continue until the end of the day”.
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) May 22, 2017
A spokesman for Ariana Grande told media the songstress was safe.
Eyewitness Andy Holey told the BBC he saw “several bodies”. He said the explosion was near the ticket office and he was blown off his feet by the blast, while another eyewitness, Ivo Delgado told CNN he heard “a big bang and little ones”.
The Manchester Evening News reports “two loud bangs” in the vicinity of the Manchester Arena. Video posted to social media platform Twitter shows the moments after the event in the arena, and in which the sounds of screams and panic are clear.