Manchester attack: government ‘furious’ at US leaks of forensic photographs – live updates

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Manchester attack: government ‘furious’ at US leaks of forensic photographs – live updates” was written by Claire Phipps (now), and Andrew Sparrow, Alice Ross, Matthew Weaver and Kevin Rawlinson (earlier), for theguardian.com on Thursday 25th May 2017 03.19 UTC

Woman arrested released without charge

Greater Manchester police says the woman detained in Blackley on Wednesday in connection with the attack has been released without charge.

Six men are still being questioned.

Sky News reports that police believe these CCTV images show Salman Abedi, the bomber, in Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre on Friday evening last week.

The images suggest he purchased the blue rucksack which – according to images from the blast scene leaked to the New York Times – he had with him when he launched his attack on the arena.

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, has criticised intelligence leaks that have seen key details of the investigation reported in the US media.

Burnham told BBC2’s Newnight on Wednesday evening that the leaks were “not acceptable” and could compromise the investigation:

It troubles me. On Monday evening when the reports were first coming through to me, I agreed with the chief constable and others we would take a cautious approach to putting public information out because we wouldn’t want to get anything wrong or compromise the police investigation.

And yet the first reports were coming seemingly out of the United States. So that is concerning, because obviously you want international cooperation when it comes to sharing of information because events like this can have that broader dimension. But it worries me greatly and in fact I made known my concerns about it to the US ambassador.

It’s not acceptable to me … there is a live investigation taking place; we cannot have information being put in the public domain that’s not in the direct control of the British police and security services …

Many terrorist atrocities have an international dimension where security services from around the world need to cooperate quickly. But they’ve got to do that, surely, on a basis of trust and confidentiality. And to have information put in the public domain before it was put there by people here is just wrong.

Greater Manchester police earlier confirmed its officers had carried out a controlled explosion in Moss Side.

Locals reported hearing a “loud bang” in the area south of the city centre at around 1.45am on Thursday, Press Association reports.

The explosion was heard in the neighbouring areas of Rusholme and Fallowfield, with concerned locals taking to social media. One wrote: “Does anyone know if the loud bang heard at 1:45amish this morning in/near Moss Side & Rusholme was an un/controlled explosion?”

At a Nato summit in Brussels on Thursday, Theresa May will meet Donald Trump and is expected to challenge him about the stream of leaks of crucial intelligence about the Manchester bomb attack that has appeared in the US media:

British officials were infuriated on Wednesday when the New York Times published forensic photographs of sophisticated bomb parts that UK authorities fear could complicate the expanding investigation into the lethal blast.

It was the latest of a series of leaks to US journalists that appeared to come from inside the US intelligence community, passing on data that had been shared between the two countries as part of a long-standing security cooperation.

A senior Whitehall source said: “These images from inside the American system are clearly distressing to victims, their families and other members of the public. Protests have been lodged at every relevant level between the British authorities and our US counterparts. They are in no doubt about our huge strength of feeling on this issue. It is unacceptable.”

Police chiefs also criticised the leaking of information from the investigation. A National Counter Terrorism Policing spokesperson said: “We greatly value the important relationships we have with our trusted intelligence, law enforcement and security partners around the world.

“When that trust is breached it undermines these relationships, and undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families. This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorised disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter-terrorism investigation.”

Controlled explosion in Moss Side

Greater Manchester police has just issued a statement:

This morning (Thursday 25 May 2017) we have been carrying out searches at an address in the Moss Side area during which a controlled explosion took place.

These searches are connected to Monday’s attack on the Manchester Arena, but this is a fast-moving investigation and we are keeping an open mind at this stage.

As it stands, six men and one woman have been arrested in conjunction with the investigation and remain in custody for questioning.

Fiyaz Mughal, founder of Tell MAMA, which monitors and records Islamophobic hate crimes, said there had been a “measurable” spike in incidents targeting Muslims in the last 24 hours, including verbal abuse, spitting and headscarfs being pulled from the heads of Muslim women:

After the major terrorist incident we have seen a measurable spike in anti-Muslim hate incidents coming into Tell MAMA.

The pattern has been followed in this case, with a time lag and then a measurable spike of hate incidents. These range from general street level abuse to online hate and threats, and the Oldham mosque case of arson after Manchester. So there is a clear measurable spike.

Mughal said there was not as dramatic a spike after the Westminster attack in March that claimed the lives of five people, including a police officer:

The reality is that each terrorist attack is unique in the impacts that it causes. The Westminster terrorist attack, we assumed, would cause a spike in anti-Muslim hate incidents and it did not to any major level. The spike was small and clearly, in relation to anti-Muslim hate incidents, the impact was low.

Therefore, who is attacked through terrorism seems to be related to how much of a blowback effect there will be against communities and Muslims, if a member of the community is the perpetrator. So each situation is unique, but Manchester clearly affects us all given that innocent young children and their parents were targeted.

The father of Salman Abedi, the Manchester Arena suicide bomber, fought against the Gaddafi regime with a group that was designated a terrorist organisation by the US, according to a man who says he fought alongside him.

Salman Abedi, 22 is thought to have returned from Libya as recently as this week. His parents, Ramadan Abedi and Samia Tabbal, who escaped the Gaddafi regime in the early 1990s and fled to the UK, now live in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

Their youngest son, Hashem, 20, is also believed to be with them in Libya – and on Wednesday both Hashem and Ramadan were said to have been arrested, reportedly by a local militia.

Akram Ramadan, 49, who fought with Ramadan Abedi in the Libyan revolution, said he was passionate about overthrowing a regime that had “displaced thousands of his brethren … It was something we all felt we had to do. Some were more radical than others but we all shared a common cause.”

Here is Thursday’s Guardian front page:

The We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, launched by Manchester city council, the British Red Cross and the Manchester Evening News, has raised over £2m in its first 24 hours.

Donations can be made at www.redcross.org.uk/manchester

The Red Cross began the appeal with a £50,000 donation from its disaster fund, boosted by £1m collected by Manchester’s newspaper in its We Stand Together appeal.

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has pledged £100,000, as has the Wayne Rooney Foundation. The Arsenal Foundation has contributed £50,000.

16 of 22 victims named

We now know the names of 16 of the people killed by the bombing at Manchester Arena. They are:

  • Michelle Kiss, 45
  • Olivia Campbell, 15
  • Martyn Hett, 29
  • Kelly Brewster, 32
  • Saffie Rose Roussos, eight
  • Georgina Callander, 18
  • John Atkinson, 28
  • Alison Howe, 45
  • Lisa Lees, 47
  • Angelika Klis, 40
  • Marcin Klis, 42
  • Nell Jones, 14
  • Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 51
  • Sorrell Leczkowski, 14
  • Chloe Rutherford, 17
  • Liam Curry, 19

This is Claire Phipps picking up the live blog again.

Seven people remain in custody overnight as police continue to investigate if bomber Salman Abedi was part of a wider network.

Six men and one woman were arrested in a series of raids in Manchester, Wigan and Nuneaton.

Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry confirmed dead

The families of 17-year-old Chloe Rutherford and 19-year-old Liam Curry, who both died in the attack, have paid tribute to them.

Updated

Theresa May will urge Nato allies to take on a greater role in the fight against terrorism in the wake of Monday’s attack.

During a summit on Thursday, she will tell the fellow members of the alliance they need to show the same resolve in countering terrorism as they do in responding to the threat from Russia.

May will express her gratitude for the support of Nato allies following the “callous and cowardly” attack in Manchester which she will say was “all the more sickening for the way it targeted innocent and defenceless children and young people”. She will tell them:

A strong capable and united Nato is at the heart of the security of each and every one of our nations. Our unity in responding to common threats is our most potent weapon,” she is expected to say.

We must redouble our resolve to meet the threats to our shared society, whether from terrorism or from Russia.

May also intends to confront Donald Trump about the US’ leaking of intelligence related to the Manchester bomb attack.

The former Labour minister, Douglas Alexander, has an interesting insight into the deliberations at the highest level of government about raising the threat level:

Manchester United players have dedicated tonight’s Europa League win to the city.

They beat AFC Ajax 2-0 in the final in Stockholm to win the European trophy on Wednesday.

Manchester City also posted a message of defiance and fraternity:

Salman Abedi’s sister, Jomana, believes the Manchester attacker was motivated by revenge for the deaths of Muslims in Syria, the Wall Street Journal reports (£). She told the paper:

I think he saw children – Muslim children – dying everywhere, and wanted revenge. He saw the explosives America drops on children in Syria, and he wanted revenge. Whether he got that is between him and God.

The paper said that Abdul Wahab Hafidah, a friend of Salman Abedi, died in May last year after being run down by a car and then stabbed; an incident Abedi believed to be a hate crime. “I remember Salman at his funeral vowing revenge,” the paper quoted an unnamed Abedi family friend as saying.

Relatives said Salman Abedi became increasingly religious and held increasingly extremist views. A cousin, who the paper said had declined to be identified, said the attacker’s parents worried he was turning towards violence. It quoted the family friend as adding: “We knew he was going to cause trouble. You could see that something was going to happen, sooner or later.”

Updated

UK police make seventh arrest

Greater Manchester police say they have arrested a man in Nuneaton, in Warwickshire in connection with Monday night’s attack.

As the statement above makes clear, six men and one woman have now been arrested by UK police. Each is in custody and is being questioned by police. There are also reports of relatives of the bomber having been detained by militia in Libya.

Updated

Father of bomber detained in Libya – reports

Ramadan Abedi, the father of the Manchester bomber, was detained by a Tripoli counterterrorism militia during an interview with Reuters reporters on Wednesday, the news agency says.

Several unmarked vehicles carrying heavily armed Rada forces drove up to the family home in the Tripoli suburb of Ayn Zara and detained him, according to Reuters, which added that the group did not give a reason for the arrest.

Ramadan Abedi had been in the process of defending Salman Abedi, who carried out the Manchester attack, during the interview with the agency’s journalists. Another of Ramadan Abedi’s sons, 20-year-old Hashem, was also arrested by the same force on Wednesday over alleged Islamic State links.

The Associated Press also quoted Ahmed bin Salem, a spokesman for the group, as saying that Ramadan Abedi had been taken into its custody for questioning.

The voice of Manchester’s mayor, Andy Burnham, is the latest to be added to the criticism directed at US authorities over the leaks. The BBC’s Newsnight reports that he has raised his concerns with the US ambassador.

My colleagues Heather Stewart, Robert Booth and Vikram Dodd report that Theresa May will confront Donald Trump over the stream of leaks of crucial intelligence about the Manchester bomb attack when she meets the US president at a Nato summit in Brussels on Thursday.

Read their full report here.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has waded into the row over US leaks, saying they undermine police investigations. Its counter-terrorism policing spokesperson said:

We greatly value the important relationships we have with our trusted intelligence, law enforcement and security partners around the world. These relationships enable us to collaborate and share privileged and sensitive information that allows us to defeat terrorism and protect the public at home and abroad.

When that trust is breached it undermines these relationships, and undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families. This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorised disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter terrorism investigation.

Updated

Theresa May will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee, Cobra, tomorrow morning, Downing Street has said.

Ministers ‘furious’ at US leaks

The UK government has expressed its anger after photographs apparently showing fragments from the Manchester bomb were leaked to the New York Times. A Whitehall source said:

We are furious. This is completely unacceptable. These images leaked from inside the US system will be distressing for victims, their families and the wider public. The issue is being raised at every relevant level by the British authorities with their US counterparts.

The images appeared just hours after the home secretary, Amber Rudd, told the US authorities not to leak information. That came after details about the attack emerged in American media on Tuesday before being confirmed by British police. Rudd had said that she was “irritated” by the early release of Salman Abedi’s name and had made “very clear” to American counterparts that no further leaks should happen.

The row goes to the heart of the close intelligence-sharing relationship between the transatlantic allies and provides an awkward backdrop to Theresa May’s meeting with the US president, Donald Trump, at the Nato summit in Brussels on Thursday.

The grieving mother of Olivia Campbell, the 15-year-old girl who was killed in the Manchester Arena attack, pleaded “don’t let this beat any of us” in a moving speech at a vigil in Bury on Wednesday afternoon.

Charlotte Campbell had to be physically supported by her loved ones as she moved dozens of mourners to tears at the service.

 

Speaking after dozens of pink balloons were released in memory of the 22 victims, she said:

From myself, from Paul, Olivia’s step-dad, from Olivia’s dad, who’s not here, I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for us. For being here, for giving us your support, for sharing her everywhere.

This is such a hard time for us. I had to come. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to be… I just knew – something told me I had to come here.

As a family, we’re united, we’re standing strong. I ask our friends, strangers, relatives to do the same. Please stay together. Don’t let this beat any of us, please. Don’t let my Olivia be a victim.

Holding a pink balloon, Christine Beaty said she had known three of the attack’s victims – Lisa Lees and Alison Howe, both from Royton in Oldham, and Olivia. Beaty’s daughter, Leah, 15, was schoolfriends with Olivia and had been friends with Lisa and Alison’s daughters at her previous school in Oldham, she added.

Christine Beaty holds a pink balloon - similar to those distributed at the Ariana Grande concert - at a vigil for the victims of the terror attack that happened there.
Christine Beaty holds a pink balloon – similar to those distributed at the Ariana Grande concert – at a vigil for the victims of the terror attack that happened there.
Photograph: Josh Halliday

Lisa and Alison were best friends who had arrived in the Manchester Arena foyer to pick up their 15-year-old daughters when the bomb went off.

“It’s just absolutely devastating. I can’t take it in,” she said. “Everybody’s coming together, it’s lovely, we’ll be praying for them all here just as we will at Oldham on Friday.”

Beaty said her daughter had been “quite badly” affected by the triple tragedy. “I don’t think it’s really hit her properly but obviously it’s had a major effect.

The two mums had gone to pick their daughters at the concert. The two daughters made it home. They’ve just sort of shut theirselves away – it’s just so difficult but it’s amazing how so many people have come together.

No matter where you are, there’s someone that’s been affected. They either knew their daughters, or their sons, or parents. I don’t think anyone’s not been affected by it to be honest.

She said Alison and Lisa had been inseparable as friends:

They just never stopped laughing. They were best friends because their children were best friends with Leah [her daughter]. We had 12 months where we were all together every weekend, planning for a carnival, doing fundraising events – they used to go to our church.

Updated

More details from my colleague Frances Perraudin at the scene about the arrest in Blackley.

Police raided a tower block in Blackley, north Manchester, at around 18.45pm this evening.

The area around the block of flats, called Somerton Court, has been cordoned off by police and residents are not being allowed to leave – though some residents in neighbouring blocks are being let over the police tape to return to their flats.

Peter Quinn, 61, who lives on the top floor of the block opposite came to the window when he heard a bang. He saw scores of armed police and police dogs entering the flat, and then a woman wearing a black and white top and black trousers being led away in handcuffs.

James Mooney, 27, was on the phone to his sister Louise, who lives in the block, when he heard the bang and the line went dead. He had not managed to get in contact with her an hour later, but his father John said police had suggested there was nothing to worry about.

Updated

A woman has been arrested in connection with the Manchester Arena suicide bombing following an armed raid on a block of flats in Blackley, in the north of the city, Greater Manchester police have said.

The move to a “critical” threat level will mean extra checks at ports, Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer said, and security is also being urgently reviewed at all key sites and for every major event. The Met’s assistant commissioner, Mark Rowley, said:

The increase in threat level may mean additional police and security checks at ports, airports and rail stations, which may cause disruption to journeys. Passengers should plan in advance and allow extra time to travel where possible.

We are urgently reviewing security of all key sites and major upcoming events over the coming days and weeks as a precautionary measure. Specialist officers and protective security experts continue to work with organisers around having appropriate security measures in place.

Updated

A mum has described how she saw the man arrested in Wigan shortly before he was wrestled to the ground by armed policemen.

Cheryl Davies, 40, was picking her children up from school at 3.20pm when she saw the man she later recognised as the Wigan suspect. “I only noticed him because he looked drunk, or not quite with it. I was thinking, ‘what sort of place do we live in with people wandering around like that?’ He seemed under the influence of something.” He had short hair and looked to be in his 20s, she added.

When she returned from school their street and surrounding roads were cordoned off.

Her son Josh Round, 15, later watched the police bomb squad circle around a red parcel dropped by the arrested man. “I thought it looked like a pizza bag – one of those bags pizzas are delivered in,” he said.

Updated

Theresa May was repeatedly told that cuts to community policing could harm Greater Manchester police’s ability to combat crimes such as terrorism, according to the force’s former police commissioner.

Tony Lloyd, the Labour police commissioner who stood down from a five-year tenure on 9 May, said he “constantly” raised the issue of cuts to police numbers and told the then home secretary that it could cut off a flow of intelligence from local communities.

Lloyd told the Guardian:

The issue [of resources] has certainly been raised with government around counter-terrorism. You begin and end with any form of policing – whether it’s combating organised crime or terrorism with community policing.

I constantly raised the issue of resources with the home secretary to stop the cuts. The response that May has always given is that crime has gone down.

Updated

Libya’s Rada Deterrence Force, which announced the arrest in Tripoli on Wednesday of the brother of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, is arguably the capital’s most powerful militia.

Led by charismatic commander, Abdulrauf Kara, it is Salafist in character, seeking to enforce Islamic codes banning drink and drugs, but is fiercely opposed to Isis, terrorist groups, and many rival militias.

Formed from militiamen who battled against Gaddafi in the 2011 Arab spring, it operates as a self-appointed police force, raiding drug gangs and migrant smugglers’ safe-houses and periodically skirmishing with rival militias.

More organised than other militias, it has a command structure and brings suspects before the courts, earning grudging respect from many Tripolitanians. It has won popular support by tackling the capital’s spate of kidnappings, staging raids to free hostages held by rival militias and posting video of the kidnappers’ confessions online.

Rada is formally linked to the interior ministry but, in practice, it runs its own operations, choosing when to cooperate with the UN-backed government which lacks any security force of its own. Critics complain Rada is not answerable to governing authorities, while supporters say it provides a semblance of law in a lawless city.

Kara styles himself as a political pragmatist, telling the New York Times last year that many Libyans might support the return of the monarchy, abolished by Gaddafi in 1969, as a “viable solution” if it brought order to the country’s chaos.

Updated

People in the Swinley area of Wigan, near the town centre, have been describing the drama when Greater Manchester police made their fifth arrest in the Manchester terror investigation this afternoon.

Soufiane Hamadou, who owns the Fat Olive restaurant on Upper Dicconson Street, said he saw a dozen plain clothed armed police officers swoop on the road shortly before 3pm.

I was upstairs in the office and heard all this screaming and shouting and saw three unmarked officers in balaclavas with machine guns wrestling a guy to the ground.

They had turned up in unmarked cars: two BMWs, an Audi, a Mercedes van. I don’t know who the man was, I’ve never seen him before. But a taxi driver I was talking to said he knew him said he was a local guy and didn’t mean any trouble.

He said the man dropped a red bag which was later examined by a man in a white forensic suit. “It was a bit scary,” said Hamadou. “But I’m 53. I can handle it.” Surrounding streets were cordoned off for several hours while detectives gathered evidence. The cordon was lifted shortly after 7pm.

Updated

In the shadow of the statue of Richard Cobden in St Ann’s Square in the heart of Manchester, members of a range of faiths held hands and paused for a moment in silence to reflect on the atrocity that shook the city less than half a mile away.

In front of hundreds of floral tributes and candles placed at the base of the statue, the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, and imam Irfan Chishti, of Manchester Central mosque, were among religious figures who joined crowds of Mancunians to express their unity.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, led the brief service, which brought some to tears, as he asked the crowd to raise and hold their hands to “send a positive image” of Manchester. “Let’s show solidarity and send a message to the world,” he said.

Walker told the crowd:

I don’t think I’ve ever been as sad for my city of Manchester as I was first thing yesterday morning when I woke to the news of the attack on Monday night.

I don’t think I’ve ever been as proud of my city of Manchester as I was 12 hours later, yesterday in the evening, when we held the huge vigil in Albert Square.

In the crowd was Ali Wasim, from Manchester, clutching a banner that read “love for all hatred for none”.

Wasim told the Guardian:

We’re here to support the victims of the attacks. It’s an atrocity at every level. As Muslims it’s our responsibly to look after our individuals. It’s also propagated by the religion of peace.

We’re here to shout out the message that peace and love and loyalty to the country are very important.

Gulnar Bano Khan Qadri, 49, from Manchester, dressed in a Union Jack headscarf, which she said was “appropriate for the occasion”.

“I’m Mancunian, I’m from Manchester. I’m so proud of my community. I felt anxiety straight away,” she said of the aftermath of the bombing that claimed 22 lives. “Then I just felt for the children. I felt as if they were my children. When you’ve been a part of a community so long every person feels like your family.”

Updated

An update on that statement from the Manchester Islamic Centre, which Abedi and members of his family attended, has called on anyone with information about the attack to go to the police.

The centre and mosque in Didsbury tried to distance itself from Abedi, insisting that he had never worked there and claimed some media organisations had manufactured stories about his links with the mosque and the centre.

The statement was preceded by a minute’s silence. The director of the centre’s trustees, Mohammad el-Khayat said the centre’s thoughts were with the victims, their family, friends and with “diverse communities across Greater Manchester”.

The horrific atrocity that occurred in Manchester on Monday night has shocked us all. This act of cowardice has no place in our religion or any other religion.

We encourage anyone who may have information about the individual involved to contact the police without any delay so they can assist with their investigation.

The Manchester Islamic Centre is a public venue and we welcome thousands of attendees and I do mean thousands – Muslims and non-Muslims. This happens every week.

This centre has been part of our fine and great city and the Didsbury community. This has been going on since the 1960s. The doors of this centre are open to all. They are open to all.

As a centre, we serve all people from all backgrounds and faiths from our food and clothes banks to all our inter-faith dialogues.

Some media reports have reported that the bomber worked at the Manchester Islamic Centre. This is not true. I assure everyone. This bomber has never worked in this centre.

We express concern that a very small section of the media are manufacturing stories and making unfounded points.

We are concerned about reports we are receiving about terrible anti-Muslim acts ranging from verbal abuse to acts of criminal damage to mosques in the area and outside. We encourage any incidents to be reported as a hate crime.

The Manchester Islamic Centre would like to thank this opportunity to thank the police and emergency services as well as ordinary people including taxi drivers, take-aways, restaurants mosques, hotels, home owners, who provided assistance in the immediate aftermath of this atrocity.

Manchester is a city with a great history and a prosperous and bright future. The Manchester Islamic Centre is proud to be part of this great city of Manchester.

The force that claims to have detained Hashem Abedi, the younger brother of the Manchester bomber, have released an image they say shows him in custody.

Ariana Grande’s management have released a statement saying her tour has been suspended.

Due to the tragic events in Manchester, the Dangerous Woman tour with Ariana Grande has been suspended until we can further assess the situation and pay our proper respects to those lost.

They say that includes the planned concerts at London’s O2 arena this week, as well as all others until the one planned for 5 June in Switzerland.

We ask at this time that we all continue to support the city of Manchester and all those families affected by this cowardice and senseless act of violence. Our way of life has once again been threatened but we will overcome this together. Thank you.

Details of bomb thought to have been used in Manchester released

The New York Times has just released a series of images it says show components of the bomb used in the Manchester attack and suggests it was a sophisticated, powerful device.

The paper says that preliminary analysis of the device by British authorities suggests it was a powerful explosive that was carried in a “lightweight metal container concealed either within a black vest or a blue Karrimor backpack”. It adds that the bomber is thought to have “held a small detonator in his left hand”.

An image of what is believed to be the detonator, released by the New York Times.
An image of what is believed to be the detonator, released by the New York Times.

Images published by the paper – the source and provenance of which are unknown – suggest that nuts and screws were used as shrapnel. The paper reports:

And a review of the location of those killed shows most of the fatalities occurred in a nearly complete circle around the bomber, Salman Abedi, whose upper torso was heaved outside the lethal ring toward the Manchester Arena entrance.

All of these are indicators of a powerful, high-velocity charge, and of a bomb in which its shrapnel was carefully and evenly packed …

The authorities found a mangled Yuasa 12-volt, 2.1-amp lead acid battery at the scene, which is more powerful than batteries often seen in backpack bombs or suicide vests. The battery, used for emergency lighting and other applications, can be bought for about $20.

An image of what is believed to be the battery, released by the New York Times.
An image of what is believed to be the battery, released by the New York Times.

The apparent detonator, which British law enforcement officials said was carried in the bomber’s left hand, is also unusual for a manual detonator in a suicide device, in that it appears to have contained a small circuit board soldered inside one end.

It is not clear from the law enforcement images if the object was a simple plunger switch, or included a timer or a receiver that could be operated remotely via radio signal – or some combination.

Updated

Hundreds of mourners are paying their respects to victims of the Manchester suicide bombing at a vigil in Bury.

Children from Tottington high school, where Olivia studied, carried We ❤ MCR placards, during the service at Whitehead gardens.

The sunlit vigil ended with mourners releasing dozens of pink balloons as town leaders laid wreaths at the clock tower near Bury town hall.

Updated

Greater Manchester police said of the Wigan arrest: “The man in Wigan was arrested in connection with the attack on Manchester. He had a suspicious package.”

The GMP spokesperson said police were working with the armed forces to make the package safe.

The arrest is the fifth in the UK in connection with Monday’s terror attack.

Updated

A suspect has been arrested in Wigan in connection with the Manchester suicide bomb attack, Greater Manchester police say.

A minute’s silence will be held at 11am on Thursday in remembrance of those who lost their lives or were affected by the attack in Manchester, the government announces.

Cheshire police have confirmed that one of their officers was among those killed in Monday night’s explosion. The off-duty female police officer was reportedly with her husband and two children. The force said:

Cheshire police are now in a position to confirm that sadly one of our female officers tragically died while off-duty at the Manchester Arena on Monday 22 May. Unfortunately, we are not able to release any further details at this stage.

The BBC has reported that the victim’s husband was critically injured in the blast and their two children were also hurt.

Updated

Hashem Abedi pictured

This is a picture of Hashem Abedi, the younger brother of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber, Salman. The photograph was released to the Guardian by a family friend.

Hashmi Abedi, 20, younger brother of Salman Abedi, Manchester Arena suicide bomber
Hashem Abedi, 20, younger brother of Salman Abedi, Manchester Arena suicide bomber
Photograph: HANDOUT

Twenty-year-old Hashem was reportedly arrested in Tripoli on suspicion of Islamic State links. He has been living with his parents in the Libyan city.

Updated

Some more details on the reports that the younger brother of the Manchester attacker has been arrested: Reuters says that Ahmed Bin Salem, a spokesman for a local counter-terrorism force known as Rada, has told it that Hashem Abedi, who was born in 1997, was detained on Tuesday evening.

Muslims are “sick of having to apologise and be the first to condemn” terror attacks, a university chaplain has said, amid fears of a spike in Islamophobic attacks in Manchester.

Mohammed Ullah, the Muslim chaplain at University of Manchester, said he had heard reports of a Muslim girl being spat at and another Muslim person being told to “go home” since Salman Abedi detonated a bomb at Manchester Arena on Monday at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

A mosque in Oldham, in Greater Manchester, was firebombed shortly after the atrocity, which claimed the lives of 22 people and injured nearly 60 others, in an attack police called “vindictive”.

Ullah said he was sick of having to apologise for the crime of another individual. “I say to Muslims, ‘You should not have to apologise for the actions of individuals,’” he said. “No other community has ever been held to account like this. Why does the Muslim community have to stand up and say we’re sorry for what this person has done. I can’t answer for the crimes of an individual.

“Let me be clear – what happened on Monday was a crime of epic proportions. It was epic, evil and one we condemn with the strongest condemnation.

“But let’s also be clear about this, why do we then have to stand up and say, ‘we apologise’. It’s not my fault. It’s not the fault of the religion.

“Islam is a religion of peace and of beauty that teaches followers to be good to all people of any faith or none.

“We’re sick of having to apologise and being the first to condemn it. What more can we do?”

Updated

Immediately after the Reuters report that the Manchester attacker’s younger brother was arrested in Libya on suspicion of Islamic State links, the BBC’s security correspondent says:

Gardner’s report has not been confirmed by the Guardian.

The BBC is saying it hopes to announce revised dates for the Andrew Neil election interviews tomorrow.

Neil has already interviewed Theresa May, but interviews with Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon, Tim Farron and Paul Nuttall were also scheduled for this week.

Steven Morris was in Didsbury at the Manchester Islamic Centre for the statement by trustee Fawzi Haffar. He shot this video:

While the terror threat has been ratcheted up throughout the UK after the Manchester attack, with poor timing the chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland has announced that more than 200 policing posts are to go in the region. George Hamilton, the PSNI boss, said the jobs were being axed because of a £20m cut to the PSNI budget.

Responding to the announcement, the chairman of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, Mark Lindsay, said the cuts were “unacceptable and dangerous”. He said:

This is a frightening prospect. A cut in the size of PSNI strength means dire consequences for levels of service the public has a right to expect.

Station closures, slower response times, low or no visibility on the streets, and all the time we face a terrorist threat rated ‘severe’ and a UK threat raised to ‘critical’ after the appalling Manchester attack.

We’ve been warning that this £20m cut was heading our way and that it would impact very badly. The chief constable is right to set out the challenges, but what he hasn’t told us is how he’s going to cut the frontline workforce. Will we see a slowing down of recruitment or will vacancies caused by departures or retirements go unfilled?

Whatever method is chosen, the fact remains that proposals of this magnitude are unacceptable and dangerous.

Updated

Corbyn says Labour will resume campaigning because terrorism must not ‘derail our democratic process’

Jeremy Corbyn has said that Labour will resume campaigning later this week because terrorism must not “derail our democratic process”. He said:

The British people are united in their resolve that terrorism will not prevail. It will not prevent us going about our daily lives, or derail our democratic process. Resuming democratic debate and campaigning is an essential mark of the country’s determination to defend our democracy, and the unity that the terrorists have sought to attack.

Another victim of Monday’s attack has been named as Michelle Kiss, 45, a mother of three. Her family has released this tribute:

Michelle Kiss
Michelle Kiss
Photograph: Greater Manchester police

Michelle Kiss was a loving wife to Tony, mother to Dylan, Elliot and Millie, as well as daughter to Mick and Christine and sister to Nichola.

She tragically died during the horrible event that occurred on Monday night.

Family was her life and we are all obviously devastated by her loss. She has been taken away from us, and all that love her, in the most traumatic way imaginable.

We hope to draw from the courage and strength she showed in her life to get through this extremely difficult time.

Updated

And the Green party are following the main parties in resuming campaigning locally tomorrow, and nationally on Friday, my colleague Peter Walker reports.

The Conservatives will resume local campaigning tomorrow, and national campaigning on Friday, my colleague Heather Stewart reports.

Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, has put out a statement about the deployment of troops to help the police, saying it highlights the need for extra police funding. He said:

As always, the response of emergency workers in the face of adversity has been second to none. The welcome support of the military to free up armed officers and offer public reassurance will no doubt be managed in the same professional, resolute way. But, as welcome as this is, we cannot avoid the reasons it is needed at all. There is no ignoring the fact that we, the police, simply do not have the resources to manage an event like this on our own.

A senior Muslim community leader in Manchester has said the Manchester Islamic Centre (MIC) has received reports of “anti-Muslim acts” ranging from verbal abuse to acts of criminal damage to mosques.

Fawzi Haffar, a trustee of the MIC in Didsbury, where Salman Abedi, the Manchester Arena bomber is understood to have prayed, said: “We are concerned about reports we are receiving about anti-Muslim acts. These are terrible anti-Muslim acts ranging from verbal abuse to acts of criminal damage to mosques in the area and outside the area. We do encourage any incidents to be reported as a hate crime.”

In a statement read outside the mosque, Haffar said the attack was a “horrific atrocity” and said “this act of cowardice has no place in our religion or any other religion”.

“We encourage anyone who may have information about the person involved to contact the police without any delay.”

He said it was not true that Abedi had worked at the centre and added: “We express concern that a small section of the media are manufacturing stories and making unfounded points.”

Updated

Abedi was a pupil at Burnage Media Arts College (now Burnage Academy), an all- boys school in a deprived part of south Manchester for 11- to 16-year-olds. When he attended, between 2008 and 2011, more than 90% of pupils were from a range of minority ethnic groups and a fifth of students had a refugee background. Results were below the national average.

In a statement, the school confirmed Abedi was an ex-pupil. The headteacher, Ian Fenn, said: “We are a Manchester school. We feel the pain that Manchester feels. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Mancunians against terrorism in all its forms. Our deepest condolences go to all who have been affected by this outrage.”

Updated

Labour HQ has confirmed that it plans to return to the campaign trail on Friday, albeit in a low-key way. Local campaign activities, such as door-knocking and hand-delivery of leaflets, has already re-started in some constituencies, at the discretion of each individual candidate, but Labour will resume national events on Friday.

Jeremy Corbyn has held a series of conversations with the prime minister about whether and when to resume campaigning, with both parties keen to balance the risk of appearing disrespectful with a determination to demonstrate that Britain’s democratic processes are unhindered by the terrorist attack.

Theresa May is to press ahead with attending the Nato summit in Brussels on Thursday, and go on to Italy for a G7 meeting at the end of the week.

Rather than return immediately to full-blown campaign mode, Corbyn is expected to hold an event on Friday in which he reflects on the tragic events of this week, before a phased return to full campaigning over the weekend. It is unclear whether the BBC’s planned Andrew Neil interview, originally scheduled for Friday night, will go ahead.

Corbyn has held talks with the prime minister about when full electoral hostilities resume, and he discussed the potential timetable in what insiders called a pep talk for Labour staff at the party’s headquarters on Wednesday.

Updated

Former Manchester United player Eric Cantona has posted a heart-felt message of support for Mancunians in the wake of Monday’s terrorist attack:

“My heart is with you. I always feel close to you,” he says.

Updated

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Adam Schiff, has said that if US officials leaked critical details of the Manchester bombing investigation, it represents a “real problem” and that the British authorities “have every right to be furious with us”.

“I don’t know what the source was. I can tell you it wasn’t from Congress because we haven’t been briefed,” Schiff, who is a driving force behind the congressional investigation into the Trump campaign’s links with Russia, said. “We would have had to obtain that information from the British because I don’t think we would have had it before they did, and we should have been very careful and respectful of the British investigation and the timing which the British felt was in their investigative interests in releasing that. That should have been their discretion, not ours. If that is something we did I think that’s a real problem.”

Speaking at a press event organised by the Christian Science Monitor, Schiff added that the UK intelligence agencies “are going to want to provide the number of a bomber as soon as they have it as we may have information on that person and who their associates are that we don’t have. If we gave up information that has interfered in any way with their investigation because it tipped off people in Britain, perhaps associates of this person that we had identified as the bomber, that’s a real problem and they have every right to be furious”.

Schiff said he thought US-UK intelligence sharing was likely to withstand the incident simply because “we and the British are mutually dependent on each other”.

But over the long term, the leaks were likely to damage intelligence sharing with US allies, he said.

“Particularly when we get intelligence from a foreign partner, if there’s any compromise of that intelligence, then we’re going to discourage that partner from further cooperation and that may affect whether we get particular sensitive information. Of course it could dry up other human sources or technological sources,” Schiff said.

Updated

Summary

Here’s a summary of where things stand in the wake of the Manchester concert attack:

  • Detectives are investigating a suspected terror cell in connection the attack which left 22 people dead and 59 injured. Ian Hopkins, the chief constable of Greater Manchester police, said it was “very clear that this is a network that we are investigating” as armed raids continued across the city. US intelligence sources are reported to have said that the suicide bomber Salman Abedi, had help.
  • Three more men were arrested in south Manchester in connection with the ongoing investigation into the attack and a flat was raided in the centre of the city after a controlled explosion was used to force entry. A 23-year-old man arrested on Tuesday, believed to be Ismail Abedi the brother of the bomber, is still being questioned.
  • Salman Abedi’s father, who lives in Tripoli, insists his son is innocent. He also confirmed that Abedi travelled to Libya in the last six weeks.
  • One of those detained overnight was identified by neighbours as Adel Forjani. He is said to be in his mid-40s and, like Abedi, from a Libyan family. The Libyan community in Manchester have condemned the attack.
  • In messages posted online, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but this has not been confirmed by officials investigating the blast.
  • Twelve victims of the attack have now been named. They are: Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 51; Nell Jones, 14; Martyn Hett, 29; Angelika Klis, 40; Marcin Klis, 42; Georgina Callander, 18; Saffie Rose Roussos, eight; John Atkinson, 28; Kelly Brewster, 32; Olivia Campbell, 15; Alison Howe, 45; and Lisa Lees, 47. All the victims will be named when post-mortems have been completed over the next four or five days, Hopkins sad.
  • An unnamed female officer from Cheshire constabulary also died in the attack. She was attending the concert with her husband who was critically injured in the blast.
  • Twenty people remain in “critical care” across Manchester. Injuries include major organ damage and potential loss of limbs, according to Jon Rouse, of the Greater Manchester health and social care partnership.
  • The home secretary, Amber Rudd, has confirmed that Abedi was known to the security services. Her French counterpart, Gerard Collomb, revealed that Abedi had travelled to Libya and probably Syria, and had proven links with Islamic State, citing information from British investigators.
  • Rudd criticised the Americans for revealing Abedi’s identity. She said: “The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise. So it is irritating if it gets released from other sources and I have been very clear with our friends that should not happen again.
  • Almost 1,000 troops are being deployed to Britain streets after the terrorist threat level was raised to critical for the first time since July 2007. Troops have replaced police guards at No 10 Downing Street, parliament and Buckingham Palace, and elsewhere around London. The changing of the guard ceremony at the palace has been cancelled.

Scotland’s chief constable, Phil Gormley, has confirmed the army will not be used immediately to help his force cope with the heightened anti-terrorism alert but said he is keeping infantry support in reserve.

Police Scotland and the Scottish government previously failed to set out their position on using of troops when Theresa May, the prime minister, revealed on Tuesday that the army would be mobilised to provide static guards at high profile sites in London, including the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street.

Other English forces, West Midlands and West Yorkshire, have both announced they also want military aid as part of Operation Temperer. But Scottish police leaders said on Wednesday that would be resisted in Scotland.

Gormley told BBC Radio Scotland’s lunchtime news his force was fully equipped to cope with the critical threat level, because there had been “significant uplift” in armed policing. That included posting armed police at the Scottish FA cup final at Hampden on Saturday and at railway stations and other public venues.

He said using the army to free up police resources was “a sensible contingency”.

It’s been carefully planned for over a number of months and years. We have made the investments here in terms of armed officer numbers, to be able to support that, and we have got very well advanced and detailed plans should we need to move to that position.

Calum Steele, chief executive of the Scottish Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said it opposed deploying the army. Although the SPF had complained about insufficient armed officer numbers, using troops ran against Scotland’s policing traditions of independence from government and legal accountability.

He said:

There can be no doubt that a civilian police force accountable to the courts and the rule of law and not subject to political influence or direction delivers that.

Regardless of what’s said about military personnel being available under the direction of the chief constable, that doesn’t mean that they’re accountable in the same way as police officers. Military personnel can be directed by a government. The principle is that the military should not be deployed.

Jeremy Corbyn plans to relaunch Labour national campaigning with a speech on Friday, PoliticsHome’s Kevin Schofield reports.

Some Labour candidates have already been engaged in low-level campaigning. Mike Gapes, who is seeking re-election as MP for Ilford South, posted this on Twitter last night.

This morning he explained he was just delivering leaflets today.

Ben Bradshaw, who is seeking re-election as MP for Exeter, has adopted the same approach.

Here’s the full statement from Hopkins, minus the revealing answers about a “network” at the end.

Ismail Abedi
Ismail Abedi
Photograph: Handout

The father of Salman Abedi, the Manchester Arena suicide bomber, fought against the Gaddafi regime with a group that was designated a terrorist organisation by the US, according to a man who says he fought alongside him.

Salman Abedi, 22, who was known to the British security services, is thought to have returned from Libya as recently as this week. His parents, who escaped the Gaddafi regime in the early 1990s and fled to the UK, now live in the Libyan city of Tripoli. Their youngest son, Hashmi, is also believed to be with them in Libya.

Abedi was born in Manchester and grew up in a tight-knit Libyan community that was known for its strong opposition to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

His father, Ramadan Abedi, fought against the Gaddafi regime during the Libyan revolution in 2001 with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. The US state department says that elements of LIFG were aligned with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, and designated the group a foreign terrorist organisation in 2004.

Ramadan, a security officer, and his wife Samia Tabbal, 50, were both born in Tripoli but appear to have emigrated to London before moving to Whalley Range in south Manchester, where they had lived for at least a decade.

Akram Ramadan, 49, who fought with Ramadan Abedi in the Libyan revolution, said he was passionate about overthrowing a regime that had “displaced thousands of his brethren”.

“It was something we all felt we had to do. Some were more radical than others but we all shared a common cause,” he added.

Salman, who was born in 1994, was the second youngest of four children. The imam at Didsbury mosque last night said that Salman, who wore Islamic dress, had shown him “the face of hate” when he gave a talk warning of the dangers of Islamic State.

Abedi’s older brother, Ismail, 23, had been a tutor at the mosque’s madrassa teaching children the Qur’an. Ismail’s flat, which he shared with his wife, Salha, in Whalley Range was raided hours after the suicide bomb. It is understood Ismail has been arrested.

Abedi went to school locally and in 2014 on to Salford University, where he studied business management before dropping out. His trips to Libya, where his parents returned in 2011 following Gaddafi’s overthrow, are now subject to scrutiny over possible links to jihadis.

Updated

Adam Prince, a member of the residents’ association in the Granby House block of flats which was raided today, said the property broken into by police had been rented out as an Airbnb. The owner, a woman in her 50s, would be “devastated”, he said.

Prince, 38, said there had been recent complaints by residents about a large number of big parcels – at least 10 – delivered to the block and left hanging around in the postroom, but said he didn’t know who they were addressed to. They could be unconnected to the raided flat.

He said there had been a steady stream of Airbnb guests and didn’t know who had been there most recently.

The raided property is number 39. The door had been blown in, said Prince. Police officers and a team of forensics officers were putting items in evidence bags on Wednesday afternoon.

The Manchester police chief, Ian Hopkins, confirmed a controlled explosion was used to raid a flat in the centre of the city this afternoon.

Updated

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins

Photograph: Andy Hampson/PA

Detectives are investigating a suspected terror cell in connection with the Manchester Arena suicide bombing.

Ian Hopkins, the chief constable of Greater Manchester police, said it was “very clear that this is a network that we are investigating” as arrests and armed raids continued across the city.

The statement is the strongest official confirmation that Salman Adebi, 23, did not act alone when he blew himself up at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on Monday night, killing 22 people including an eight-year-old girl.

There will be further questions for the intelligence agencies if it is confirmed that a Manchester-based terror cell was involved in planning the attack, which experts have said would have required sophisticated bomb-making knowledge.

Speaking outside Greater Manchester police headquarters on Wednesday afternoon, Hopkins said: “We are carrying out extensive searches at premises across Manchester.

“I think it’s very clear that this is a network that we are investigating and it continues at pace and there’s extensive investigations going on and activity taking place across Greater Manchester.”

His statement followed three arrests in south Manchester and a dramatic raid involving armed officers in military style uniform on a city centre apartment block at lunchtime on Wednesday .

Updated

Here are key points and phrases from that Hopkins press conference.

Police are investigating network

Asked if police had found the “bomb factory”, he said: “We are carrying out extensive searches across Manchester, but it would be ill-advised of me to comment on the investigation to that detail.”

Asked if this is a search for a bomb-maker, he said:

It is very clear that this is a network that we investigating and as I’ve said it continues at a pace. There’s extensive investigations going on and activity taking place across Greater Manchester as we speak.

Police officer among the dead

Very sadly I can confirm that one of the victims is a serving police officer, but in respecting their family’s wishes, I will make no further comment.

Up to five days to identify all the victims

Due to number of victims the Home Office postmortems are likely to take four to five days. After this we will be in a position to formally name the victims.

We have spoken to all of the families of those who lay injured in our hospitals.

Four arrests so far

The level of activity in this investigation is intense and is continuing at a fast pace. We have made three further arrests in connection with attacks overnight. This afternoon we entered an address in Manchester city centre using a controlled explosion.

Officers are currently at the scene searching that address. In order to execute that entry we did have to close a mainline railway line for a short period.

That brings the total number in custody to four.

Troops won’t be used in Manchester

We have been supported by forces from across the north-west and beyond. The military are supporting policing across the country … this frees up armed police officers to then give the police service capacity to deploy them to places like Manchester as part of plans for keeping the country safe.

There are no military personel controlling the streets of Greater Manchester, nor are there any plans to do so.

Updated

Downing Street has sent out a read-out from the prime minister’s latest calls with world leaders expressing their condolences following the Manchester attack. A No 10 spokesman said:

The prime minister has taken a number of further condolence calls from other world leaders today following Monday’s terrorist attack in Manchester, including Chancellor Merkel, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven, and the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

Chancellor Merkel called to offer Germany’s condolences and said Germany stands with the UK against terrorism. They agreed the deliberate targeting of children was despicable and that the people of Manchester had shown great spirit in coming together in the wake of the attack.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia called to offer his condolences and said Saudi Arabia strongly denounces and condemns this brutal terrorist attack which defies all international humanitarian norms. They agreed the UK and Saudi Arabia would continue working closely together to counter terrorism and violent extremism.

The Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven called to express Sweden’s condolences, praising the public response and their determination to carry on as normal.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi conveyed his country’s deepest condolences and said India’s prayers were with all of those affected. Prime Minister Modi congratulated the people of Manchester on their courage, patience and spirit. They agreed the UK and India would continue to cooperate closely on counter-terrorism, including aviation security and countering online radicalisation.

Updated

Police investigating network

Hopkins said it was “very clear” that police are investigating “a network” linked to the bomber.

Updated

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick joined Major General Benjamin Bathurst, Joint Military Commander for London to speak to troops stationed around the Palace of Westminster.

“After the terrible events in Manchester, the raising of the threat level to critical, as you know, we have been granted military support,” she said, speaking to reporters in New Palace Yard, where Pc Keith Palmer was murdered during the Westminster terrorist attack just two months ago.

The military are here and a number of locations in London in order to allow us, the police, to put more armed officers on the streets to support the public, and to protect the public and to protect events.

Dick said the Met had carefully considered the message it would send to have armed troops around Westminster, though she said it had been the case during the London Olympics in 2012. “I recognise that this is different and we of course think about that, we think about it carefully,” she said.

I’ve just been talking to my officers – they are very comfortable to have their military colleagues next to them.

I think the vast majority of the public will be utterly reassured to know that we have the ability to call upon and have called upon the military in this way, and actually we now have more armed police officers out on the streets.

Dick, who toured the parliamentary estate with Maj Gen Ben Bathurst, the joint commander of the London military operation, would not specify how long the soldiers would be in place in “static posts”. The commissioner said there was “clearly a number of unknowns” as the situation developed.

As soon as we no longer need our military colleagues, we will be saying so and we hope that the threat level will reduce from critical.

When it does, clearly there will be a de-escalation requirement for military colleagues but I am not going to put a timescale on that.

Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick meets a soldier on deployment to assist police officers in the Palace of Westminster, London.
Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick meets a soldier on deployment to assist police officers in the Palace of Westminster, London.
Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA

Updated

Here’s a recording of that statement by Hopkins.

Hopkins said he is confident that all the families of the victims have been spoken to. He confirmed that one of the victims was a police officer, but he gave no more details

He said the investigation is continuing at a fast pace.

A controlled explosion was used during a raid in central Manchester, he said.

A female officer from Cheshire constabulary died in the attack, police sources have confirmed.

Updated

Chief constable Ian Hopkins is giving a press conference in Manchester. He says no troops will be patrolling Manchester.

We are carrying out extensive searches, he says when asked if police have found the bomb factory.

Speaking from Tripoli, Abedi senior told AP: “We don’t believe in killing innocents. This is not us.”

He also confirmed that Abedi was in Libya six weeks ago and was planning to go to Saudi Arabia.

Updated

Downing Street is not commenting on a report out of the US that the bomber’s family warned the UK authorities that he was dangerous. (See 2.23pm.) The Home Office has only said so far that the security services knew of Salman Abedi “up to a point” and Amber Rudd, the home secretary, has declined to elaborate on how he came to be on their radar.

Updated

Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan police commissioner, has been been meeting Maj Gen Ben Bathurst, the joint military commander of the troops deployed in London, at the Houses of Parliament.

Updated

Abedi’s father says his son is innocent

Salman Abedi’s father says his son is innocent, the Associated Press reports. He confirmed that police have arrested another of his sons believed to be 23-year-old Ismail Abedi.

Updated

Police believe the bomb-maker is still at large, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Earlier, the BBC’s security correspondent, Frank Gardner, said the the security services think Salman Abedi may have been a “mule” for a bomb made by someone else.

Speaking on Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 show he said: “This was too sophisticated a device for one man, particularly this particular individual, Salman Abedi, to have put together himself. Ergo, somebody did it for them. In other words, he was the mule carrying a device built by somebody else. That person is still at large, so they have got to assume there is the possibility of another attack. Worst-case scenario, this guy is building more devices and lining up more people. Hopefully, that is not the case.”

Updated

More on the Granby Row raid: two Egyptian students from Manchester University have told of being woken up by a loud bang when a city centre flat in their apartment block was raided on Wednesday lunch time.

Amr Elsherbiny, 21, said he was sleeping late in his Granby House flat because he had pulled an all-nighter to study: “It was about 12.30. I heard a loud sound, a bang. It was enough to wake me up.”
The fire alarm then went off and he and his friend Youseff Akmal tried to go down the stairs from the fourth floor. They were stopped by uniform police officers on the stairs by the third floor, where the raid is believed to have taken place.
They and other residents were not evacuated.

BBC Radio 5 Live went off air briefly just before 2pm following an evacuation at their Salford studios, Quay House.

However, it appears to have been a false alarm as broadcasting resumed. A 5 Live presenter, Natalie Eve-Williams, tweeted just before 2pm: “My work building is now being evacuated! Stay safe”.

Listeners reported hearing an alarm in the background before the station went off air. By 2.15pm, the presenter Sarah Brett told listeners: “We are back in the studio. All is well.” A spokeswoman said it appeared to have been a false alarm and the BBC was looking into the cause.

Updated

“Let’s not fight with each other” said Mohammed Fadeil after being confronted by a man outside Didsbury mosque (see earlier).

There are reports that a female police officer was among those killed in the Manchester bombing. She attended the concert with her husband while off duty. Her husband is reported to be critically ill.

Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins is due to make a statement in the next few minutes.

Updated

Mark Taylor, the partner of Jane Tweddle-Taylor – the 12th victim to be named – said she was “a very lovely lady, liked by everybody”.

Taylor, who was away on business to London on Monday evening, described the mother of three daughters as “full of life, very energetic with the children, and going to functions and all sorts of different things – skiing and all those happy times and activities”.

Taylor said Tweddle-Taylor and her friend were waiting for her friend’s daughter when the blast struck.

“She had gone back to pick them up as arranged and they were both waiting in the area where the explosion happened,” he told the BBC. “Unfortunately, Jane didn’t come back.”

Taylor said he had been contacted by Tweddle-Taylor’s daughter and the family began contacting hospitals and were hoping for “good news” before being informed that she had been killed.

He paid tribute to the emergency services and the “unbelievably organised” counselling made available at Manchester City’s Etihad stadium.

“One of the biggest challenges we’ve had is one of my daughters was away travelling in Australia, so we were trying to pick a time to notify her,” he said.

“Some of the counsellors arranged flights for her and her friend to come back, without a second thought.”

Updated

It looks as if Amber Rudd’s attempt to stop the American authorities leaking information to journalists about the investigation (see 9.35am) has not been entirely successful. These are from Richard Engel, NBC News’s chief foreign correspondent.

The British-Libyan community in Manchester has condemned the attack in the “strongest possible terms”.

In a statement it added:

The perpetrator murdered innocent and defenceless people, including children. This attack was an attack on all of us. Such depraved acts have no basis in Islam. All those responsible for senselessly destroying the lives of innocent people do not deserve to live in our community and should be behind bars. We support the police in bringing the perpetrators to justice, and in protecting the people of Manchester and the rest of the UK.

Many members of the British-Libyan community in Manchester are doctors who stand side by side with their colleagues to ensuring that victims and other patients receive the best possible care at this difficult time. We take this opportunity to praise the emergency services for their dedication and efforts.

Most importantly, our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families who have lost loved ones, and the injured.

As a community we have lost many hundreds of people who bravely fought and defeated ISIS in Sirte, Libya, only a few months ago, and so we are affected by grief again. We stand together with all Mancunians to keep Manchester safe and strong.

More on the Granby Row raid in central Manchester.

Chinese student Muye Ti, 23, said he lived next door to the raided flat on the building’s third floor. He heard a “boom” and then looked through the spy hole in his door. He saw what he thought were three or four soldiers, with their faces covered and carrying guns. “I was a little bit scared,” the post-grad mathematical finance student, said.

A short while later the soldiers knocked on his door to tell him the building was safe.

He said he thought a woman lived there but had never met her.

Police from the Tactical Aid Unit enter Granby House in Granby Row
Police from the tactical aid unit enter Granby House in Granby Row
Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Updated

Merkel signs book of condolence

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has signed a book of condolence for the victims of the Manchester attack at the British embassy in Berlin.

Updated

Most people have passed Didsbury mosque, where there is a huge press pack, without comment.

But one man Ian MacIntosh stopped to berate Mohammed Fadeil, a 25-year-old Libyan-born British citizen.

“Youse need to sort this thing out in your community, and put a stop to it,” MacIntosh said pointing at Fadeli. He added: “It could have been my 19-year-old daughter go to that concert.”

Updated

12th victim named

“Welcoming, funny and generous” school receptionist Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 51, is the 12th person to be named as a victim of the attack.

Her death was confirmed by colleagues at South Shore academy in Blackpool.

Staff paid tribute to their “bubbly and kind” colleague, who was picking up a friend’s daughter from the Ariana Grande concert on Monday night.

Principal Jane Bailey said:

“We are devastated at this sad news. Jane was a well-loved member of staff and our thoughts are with her friends and family at this terrible time.

“Jane was a truly wonderful friend and colleague to all of us at South Shore academy. As our receptionist, she was in many ways the public face of the school and she represented us amazingly in this role.

“We have received numerous messages of condolences from parents, students, community members and colleagues across Blackpool for which we are very grateful.

“All of them say the same things about our lovely Jane … bubbly, kind, welcoming, funny, generous … the list goes on.

“Our thoughts are also with her family at this dreadful time and in particular her three daughters. In our school family and theirs, she is irreplaceable, much loved and will never be forgotten.”

Greater Manchester police say they are “confident” they know the identity of all the 22 people who died in the Manchester Arena suicide bombing. So far the families of only 12 of the victims have named their loved ones. They are:

  • Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 51
  • Nell Jones, 14
  • Martyn Hett, 29
  • Angelika Klis, 40
  • Marcin Klis, 42
  • Georgina Callander, 18
  • Saffie Rose Roussos, eight
  • John Atkinson, 28
  • Kelly Brewster, 32
  • Olivia Campbell, 15
  • Alison Howe, 45
  • Lisa Lees, 47

Updated

Police continue to search a flat in Granby Row, central Manchester.

Chris Coons
Chris Coons
Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

It is not just Amber Rudd who is criticising the US intelligence services for leaking Salman Abedi’s name.

A Democratic member of that Senate foreign relations committee says it’s troubling that allies such as Britain are being forced to question sharing intelligence with US.
Asked about the apparently casual way US intelligence sources had shared intelligence about the Manchester attack, Sen Chris Coons, a Democratic member of the senate foreign relations committee told MSNBC:

“Our alliance with the people of Great Britain is one of our closest strongest oldest and our prayers are with them. The families who lost loved ones in Manchester … We’ve got a very close intelligence and defence partnership with the UK and that news is troubling and it suggests that we have even more close allies who are questioning whether we can be trusted with vital intelligence.

“This is a key part of what keeps us safe, a global network of allies with whom we share intelligence and strategic and planning and defence resources … I am hearing real questions raised about whether this administration, in particular President Trump understands what it means to treat highly classified intelligence carefully and responsibly.”

Residents at a block of flats in Manchester city centre have been evacuated by heavily armed police and men wearing camouflage gear.

One woman said the fire alarm went off at the Granby Row flats near Piccadilly Station at 12.30 before “police and soldiers” streamed into the building. Speaking on Sky News she said a flat on the third floor had been raided.

Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @louisebolotin of police outside Granby House in Granby Row
Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @louisebolotin of police outside Granby House in Granby Row
Photograph: @louisebolotin/PA

Chelsea football club have cancelled this weekend’s planned victory parade, designed to celebrate their Premier League title success, after taking security advice in the wake of Monday’s terror attack in Manchester.

Updated

Saffie Rose Roussos
Saffie Rose Roussos
Photograph: Collect/PA

Schoolfriends of the 8-year-old girl killed in the attack wept as they sang Don’t Stop Believing during a special assembly for Saffie Roussos

Chris Upton, the headteacher of Saffie’s school, said the pupils – who are aged 4-11 – and the school were being supported by specialists from the county council. Saffie is the youngest victim in the terrorist bombing to be named. She was at the concert with her mother and sister, who are being treated in hospital.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s World at One Upton said Saffie came from a close, loving family. “We cannot imagine what they are going through. It is hard for adults let alone young children to grasp the unfairness and utter randomness of this terrible act,” he said.

“Our job now is to support the children and families to deal with the aftereffects of this traumatic experience.”

He said the children had gathered in the hall at Tarleton community primary school this morning and held a minute’s silence to remember Saffie.

“We came together as a school community. We held a minute’s silence in Saffie’s memory, and we sang Don’t Stop Believing. As you can imagine there were tears from the children and staff but we know together we have to hold on to the love amongst us: we owe that to Saffie and her family.”

Updated

More on the police raid on a block of flats close to Manchester Piccadilly station.

Residents described how armed police and men clad in balaclavas stormed the Granby House building on Granby Row, in central Manchester.

The railway was briefly closed during the raid, police said.

A Greater Manchester police spokeswoman said: “Officers have this afternoon carried out a search at an address in Manchester city centre as part of the investigation into the horrific incident at Manchester Arena. That search is ongoing. In order to do this safely we briefly closed a railway line, but it has now been reopened.”

Jennifer Williams from the Manchester Evening News is at the scene.

Updated

Chelsea have cancelled Sunday’s planned victory parade following security advice in the wake of the Manchester terror attack, the Press Association reports. The Blues had planned an open-top bus tour to show off the Premier League trophy and hope to add the FA Cup in Saturday’s final with Arsenal. But following consultation with the authorities – and with the terror threat raised to critical – it has been determined “it would be inappropriate” for the parade to go ahead.

In a statement on its website the club says:

Having consulted with the Metropolitan police, Hammersmith and Fulham council, and other authorities, we know the emergency services would have been as professional as ever, but we would not want in any way to divert important resources by holding an additional, non-ticketed event on the streets of London.

Furthermore, as a mark of respect, our players will wear black armbands at the FA Cup final against Arsenal on Saturday. Chelsea football club will also make a donation to a fund supporting the victims of this horrific attack.

Updated

Half the victims named

The headteacher of Holmes Chapel comprehensive school has confirmed that 14-year-old Nell Jones was a victim of Monday’s attack in Manchester. She is the 11th of the 22 victims to be identified.

Nell had been missing since the blast, and a work friend had tweeted a picture of her. She had been on crutches, but it is understood she had left them in the car to go and see Ariana Grande perform in the Manchester Arena.

Headteacher Dennis Oliver, told Express.co.uk: “It has now been announced in the school that Nell has unfortunately died. I have just done six assemblies to tell the pupils. Children are all over the place crying. We are all devastated. The heart wrenches for me and everyone else.”

Updated

Sir Lawrence Freedman, the historian, strategic studies specialist and member of the Chilcot inquiry panel, has posted an interesting thread on Twitter, prompted by the Manchester attack, on what constitutes success for a counter-terrorism strategy.

Police now ‘confident’ all victims have been identified

Greater Manchester police have said they are now “confident” that they have identified all the people killed in the Manchester Arena attack. All the families have been contacted, and trained officers are supporting them.

But, because of the large number of victims, forensic postmortems are likely to take four or five days, according to police. It is only then that they will be in a position to formally name the victims, with guidance from the coroner.

Updated

Outside the house where another neighbour said that Adel Forjani had been taken away by police, there are two police vans and police officers keeping guard.

A woman living five doors down from the house, who would not give her name, said she was woken at about 3am by police going into the address. “It was a bit dark so I couldn’t see much, but some of the police were wearing reflective clothes. I know that most of the police cars were unmarked,” she said. “I’ve been living in this property over 24 years and they have been here over 10 years.”

Maya McKenzie, 23, lives in the house opposite. She said the family living at the address were friendly and that she would take in packages for them on occasion. “I never thought anything of them,” she said. “Just a normal family that keeps themselves to themselves.”

Updated

The opposition parties have not issued press statements about the decision to raise the threat level from severe to critical. (See 10.40am.) But Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP who chaired the Commons home affairs committee in the last parliament, has backed the move. She told BBC News:

I think all of us will want to support the police and the security service in the important work that they have to do. This was a truly vile attack – it’s just incomprehensible, the idea of attacking children in this way – and they have got a job to do in the police force, they have got a job that we have to support them in doing.

The expert advice about raising the threat level will be because they want to make sure that they have investigated every possibility about whether there is a network in place that this man was a part of. And we need to support them in doing that.

Yvette Cooper.
Yvette Cooper.
Photograph: Yvette Cooper/BBC

Updated

Armed police have been seen conducting a new raid in central Manchester, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Calum Knight, 26, from Manchester, has been part of a group of friends who have been calling up businesses to collect supplies for families stuck in hospitals.

He said that yesterday they rang around Asda and Tesco, picking up various items.

Knight said that some people needed clothes because they were waiting with family members affected and lived too far away to go home. “A lot of people [at the concert] don’t live in Manchester and have been visiting from Leeds, Liverpool and even Poland. They cannot leave their families to get a change of clothes or leave the hospital.

“The children’s wards at the moment are in dire need of clothes. Five stores in Manchester have donated and I am getting more today. All the Asdas have donated a lot of stuff – we have trolleys’ worth.”

He said some adults who had been there since the attack still had blood on their clothes. “I have spoken to loads of people affected, lots of nurses and training nurses and people on reception,” he said. “They are working flat-out doing overtime and lots of them are quite upset. Yesterday people were very upset and hugging us when we arrived with stuff. They were overwhelmed by all the support Manchester had.”

Knight added that he had spoken to a few patients, including one man whose daughter had not been injured in the blast but got caught in a stampede leaving the stadium. Her injuries came from that rush to leave, he said.

Updated

The BBC’s security correspondent, Frank Gardner, has been explaining why the security services think Abedi may have been a “mule” for a bomb made by someone else.

Speaking on Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 show he said the security services did not have credible intelligence that an attack was coming. But he added:

They are having to take no chances because they don’t think the bomber acted alone. This was too sophisticated a device for one man, particularly this particular individual, Salman Abedi, to have put together himself. Ergo, somebody did it for them.

In other words, he was the mule carrying a device built by somebody else. That person is still at large, so they have got to assume there is the possibility of another attack. Worst-case scenario, this guy is building more devices and lining up more people. Hopefully that is not the case.

He said the authorities believed Abedi had returned from Libya to the UK only a few days ago, “which wouldn’t have given him enough time to build the device himself, it is thought”.

Gardner added that he expected Britain’s security alert level to remain at critical for a relatively short time. He said: “Critical means that leave gets cancelled, the police get very, very stretched. They can only do this for a limited period of time. Probably not much longer than a week, frankly.

“But while there is this high state of anxiety that there could be a bomb-maker out there with other devices, possibly other suicide volunteers to carry them out, they have got to deploy all the police they can, including armed police.

Updated

More of those 984 troops have to guard key sites in London including the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and government departments on Whitehall.

British soldiers head past New Scotland Yard police headquarters to an adjacent building near to the Houses of Parliament in central London
British soldiers head past New Scotland Yard police headquarters to an adjacent building near to the Houses of Parliament in central London
Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images
British soldiers enter a Ministry of Defence building
British soldiers enter a Ministry of Defence building
Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images
A sign outside Buckingham Palace, London, after the Changing the Guard ceremony at the palace was cancelled
A sign outside Buckingham Palace, London, after the changing the guard ceremony at the palace was cancelled.
Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Updated

Greater Manchester police say they are “confident” it knows the identity of all the 22 people who died in the Manchester Arena suicide bombing. So far, the families of only 10 of the victims have named their relatives.

Updated

Summary

Here’s a summary of the latest developments following the Manchester concert attack:

  • Three more men have been arrested in south Manchester in connection with the ongoing investigation into the attack, which left 22 people dead and 59 injured. A 23-year-old man arrested on Tuesday is believed to be Ismail Abedi, the brother of the bomber Salman Abedi. He is still being questioned.
  • One of those detained overnight was identified by neighbours as Adel Forjani. He is said to be in his mid-40s and, like Abedi, from a Libyan family.
  • In messages posted online, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but this has not been confirmed by officials investigating the blast.
  • Ten victims of the attack have now been named. They are: Martyn Hett, 29; Angelika Klis, 40; Marcin Klis, 42; Georgina Callander, 18; Saffie Rose Roussos, eight; John Atkinson, 28; Kelly Brewster, 32; Olivia Campbell, 15; Alison Howe, 45; and Lisa Lees, 47.
  • Twenty people remain in “critical care” across Manchester. Injuries include major organ damage and potential loss of limbs, according to Jon Rouse, of the Greater Manchester health and social care partnership.
  • The home secretary, Amber Rudd, has confirmed that Abedi was known to the security services. Her French counterpart, Gerard Collomb, revealed that Abedi had travelled to Libya and probably Syria, and had proven links with Islamic State, citing information from British investigators.
  • Rudd criticised the Americans for revealing Abedi’s identity. She said: “The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise. So it is irritating if it gets released from other sources and I have been very clear with our friends that should not happen again.
  • Almost 1,000 troops will be deployed to Britain streets after the terrorist threat level was raised to critical for the first time since July 2007. About 984 troops will be stationed from later today, replacing police guards at No 10 Downing Street, parliament and Buckingham Palace, and elsewhere around London. The changing of the guard ceremony at the palace has been cancelled.

Updated

Ukip is not launching its manifesto until tomorrow (see 11.36am), but Patrick O’Flynn, its economics spokesman, has been using Twitter to criticise government defence and police cuts in light of the Manchester attack.

No one from the Labour party has been making these arguments in public, but at least one website influential with Corbyn-supporting leftwingers, the Skwawkbox, has been making similar arguments (see here and here.)

Updated

Soldiers have arrived at the House of Commons to help with guard duties, the Evening Standard’s Kate Proctor reports.

One of those arrested identified

Neighbours said they heard shouting and screaming when about a dozen armed police swooped on the semi-detached house at 2.30am.

Omar Al Faqhuri, who lives opposite the raided house, said a man in his mid-40s, who he identified as Adel Forjani, was led from the property in handcuffs and that a grown-up son was also taken away by police.

He said the family were from Libya and had lived in the red-brick house for about 15 years.

“I saw an armed police man shouting very loudly. I couldn’t tell what he was saying but he continued shouting right from the first arrest all the way until the rest of the family disappeared. The armed police were shouting mainly,” he said.

Al Faqhuri said Forjani lived at the property with his wife, their eldest son who he said goes to university, a young daughter and two younger sons.

Updated

Here are the main points from Amber Rudd’s interview after the Cobra meeting.

  • Rudd, the home secretary, said 984 members of the military were being deployed to help the police, initially in London, but then elsewhere as requested.
  • She said “good progress” was being made with the investigation.
  • She refused to comment on a claim from her French counterpart that Salman Abedi had proven links with Islamic State (Isis) and probably travelled to Syria. (See 9.09am.)
  • She refused to say whether Abedi was subject to a temporary exclusion order or a Tpim.
  • She said the Americans had assured her they would not leak information about the investigation to the media again. Asked about this, she said:

The Americans are very clear that we really need their support in maintaining operational integrity, and that means also controlling the information.

Amber Rudd arriving at Downing Street for the Cobra meeting this morning.
Amber Rudd arriving at Downing Street for the Cobra meeting this morning.
Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Abedi is believed to have been a “mule” using an explosive device built by someone else, according to the BBC’s security correspondent.

If confirmed, this would help explain why the threat level has been raised to critical for the first time in a decade. It means the threat of a further attack may be imminent.

Updated

Ukip says election campaign should resume and that it will publish manifesto tomorrow

Paul Nuttall, the Ukip leader, has announced that his party will publish its manifesto tomorrow. He says he believes it will be time then for electioneering to continue. In a statement he says:

We are all horrified by the horrific events that took place in Manchester. Following those events it is right and proper that political parties suspended their campaigns for a short period as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives or suffered appalling injuries.

But we cannot be cowed or allow our way of life to be undermined by those who wish to do us harm. These people hate the way we live, hate our freedom and hate our democracy.

The best response we can make is to ensure that the democratic process continues and therefore I have decided that we must go ahead with the launch of the Ukip general election manifesto tomorrow. For those who say that nothing must change, but then complain, it is by prolonging the disruption to normality that we allow the terrorists to win. Politics has never been more important, politicians must deal with these issues.

Ukip had planned to launch its manifesto today, but it cancelled that event in light of the Manchester attack.

Updated

Amber Rudd, the home secretary, has recorded a clip for broadcasters about this morning’s Cobra meeting. Sky News is playing it now.

She said good progress had been made with the investigation.

And 984 members of the armed forces were being deployed, initially in London but then elsewhere, she said.

Q: Your French counterpart says Salman Abedi had gone to Syria. (See 9.09am.)

Rudd says she is not going to comment on the operation.

Q: Was Abedi subject to a temporary exclusion order or a Tpim?

Rudd says she cannot comment.

Q: And can you say anything about Abedi’s father, who is reported to be in Libya.

Rudd says she cannot comment on the investigation. It must be allowed to proceed.

Q: Have you sent messages to the Americans about the leaking of information?

Rudd says the Americans understand the importance of maintaining the integrity of the UK investigation.

(That means, the Americans have agreed not to do it again – see 9.35am.)

Updated

800 troops to be deployed

The British army is to deploy about 800 troops around the UK to support police in the aftermath of the Manchester attack.

The troops will be stationed from later today, replacing police guards at No 10 Downing Street, parliament and Buckingham Palace, and elsewhere around London.

Regional police officers in Manchester and elsewhere will discuss specific deployments with their military regional counterparts.

The soldiers will be in uniform but under the command of the police.

The reason cited for troops replacing armed police on guard duty is to free up officers so they can focus on arrests and other duties.

The troops are being deployed under an operation codenamed Temperer. In 2015, after the attack in Paris on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the government discussed deploying troops on the streets as the French did.

At the time, there was resistance from the military, citing that the army, down to 82,000 – its lowest figure since the 19th century – was overstretched. Military chiefs also raised concerns that the troops would become bored with guard duty once the novelty wore off.

A bigger strategic concern was that once troops are deployed, as they were in Northern Ireland, it can become hard to withdraw them.

The French government, after deploying thousands of troops, went on to deploy even more.

Another concern was becoming embroiled in political controversy, as happened after Tony Blair sent armoured vehicles and troops to Heathrow in response to a plot to blow up airlines.

Updated

The information provided by Greater Manchester police has unusually limited.

In its latest statement, GMP did not say what the men were arrested for and there was none of the details usually given by police forces, even during high-pressure investigations.

It is not clear whether the warrants were to search the premises or whether those detained were found at the properties and arrested while they were being investigated. It is also unclear whether police were specifically looking for any of the arrested men.

Updated

Donovan Kinsey, 29, a neighbour of Salman Abedi, said he seemed “very quiet” but would often have friends to visit at his semi-detached home in Fallowfields in Manchester.

“Occasionally he’d wear hooded tops and jeans and occasionally you’d see him in traditional dress,” he told journalists outside the police cordon.

“He didn’t seem [violent], he was very quiet. He had people going in to visit him quite a lot, but apart from that you didn’t hear anything from the family.

“There used to be an older lady that lived there with them and a young child, and two young men.”

Asked whether the family seemed religious, Kinsey said: “I’d say so yeah because they did wear traditional dresses occasionally, but I didn’t speak to them that much.

“It’s just a bit of a shock what’s happened – it’s cowardly attacking young children. There’s other ways of going about things. You don’t attack young children. It’s disgusting what he’s done.

“Everyone’s friendly with each other, everyone gets along, there’s never any trouble round here. It’s quite a multicultural area and you don’t expect anything like this to happen.”

Updated

Here’s confirmation from Greater Manchester police of the three arrests.

A total of four men have now been arrested as part of the inquiry into the attack by suicide bomber Salman Abedi.

Abedi’s 23-year-old brother, Ismail, was one of those arrested according to the BBC.

Updated

Tattoo artists in Manchester are offering to ink the city’s bee symbol on to people for £50 to raise money for the victims of the bombing and their families. The worker bee was first used as a motif for Manchester during the industrial revolution – standing for Mancunians’ work ethic and community spirit – and it appears on dustbins, lampposts, bollards and paving stones across the city.

A mosaic of the Bee, Manchester’s emblem, at the town hall in Manchester.
A mosaic of the bee, Manchester’s emblem, at the town hall in Manchester.
Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Updated

Police Scotland has apparently not yet asked the army to supply guards for key sites and government buildings despite the threat level being raised to critical, but confusion reigned over what decision had been taken and who is responsible for announcing it.

Theresa May said troops would be deployed to provide static guards in England under the government’s Operation Temperer plan to free up armed police officers from guarding duties. Those sites included Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and foreign embassies in London.

Neither Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister, nor Scotland’s chief constable, Phil Gormley, addressed the army deployment question in their latest statements on security on Wednesday morning, implying they had opted not to call up the army or that the question had not yet been resolved.

It is possible the decision is seen as far more politically sensitive here, given the Scottish independence question or instead the police believe the threat level is not as serious.

A police spokeswoman said that was a question for the Scottish government. A Scottish government spokesman said he needed to find out. A British army spokeswoman in Scotland said the police were the lead on deployment decisions.

“We are on standby to be of any use to Police Scotland if they wish, but it’s really their call,” she said. The army would be used “to allow them to release their authorised firearms officers where they are currently deployed to assist where they are needed.”

Updated

Martyn Hett, 29, from Stockport, went missing after he became separated from friends at the concert.

His brother, Dan, said on Tuesday that he had still not had news of Hett, who was due to travel to America for a two-month holiday on Wednesday.

On Wednesday he tweeted: “They found my brother last night. We are heartbroken.”
Russell Hayward, who is believed to be Hett’s partner, said: “We got the news last night that our wonderful iconic and beautiful Martyn didn’t survive. He left this world exactly how he lived, centre of attention. I’m in a really bad way so please forgive if I don’t reply. Thankfully I have his wonderful family and amazing friends to keep each other strong. I love you Martyn. I always will. X”

Another friend, Christina, also paid tribute to “my best friend, my maid of honour”.

Updated

The House of Commons authorities have announced that the building is being closed to non-passholders today. That means that tours of the Palace of Westminster, and any events booked to take place in rooms in the building, have been cancelled. The authorities will decide later today whether these restrictions will continue to apply tomorrow.

Changing of the guard cancelled

The Changing the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace has been cancelled today to redeploy police officers following the Manchester attack, the Ministry of Defence said.

Earlier, Scotland Yard revealed that troops will be deployed at Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, embassies and the Palace of Westminster, after the terrorist threat level was raised to critical.

Grenadier Guards taking part in the Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace in London
Grenadier Guards taking part in the Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace in London
Photograph: Clive Gee/PA

Updated

Tenth victim named

A tenth victim of the Manchester attack has been named as Martyn Hett. His brother, Dan, confirmed Hett was among the dead. He tweeted that he was “heartbroken”.

Hett previously appealed for help in locating his brother.

The names of 10 of the 22 victims have now been revealed.

  • Martyn Hett, 29
  • Angelika Klis, 40
  • Marcin Klis, 42
  • Georgina Callander, 18
  • Saffie Rose Roussos, eight
  • John Atkinson, 28
  • Kelly Brewster, 32
  • Olivia Campbell, 15
  • Alison Howe, 45
  • Lisa Lees, 47

Updated

None of the opposition parties has put out a press statement about the decision taken last night to raise the threat level from severe to critical. A Labour source said the party was not commenting, and a Lib Dem source said the party had not issued a press statement because the decision was one taken by an independent panel, and not by ministers, and that therefore they did not want to politicise it.

The silence is slightly odd because political parties issue press releases about almost everything, including decisions taken by non-partisan officials. It may be a sign of how nervous all the political parties are about being seen to in any way capitalise on the Manchester atrocity.

But Shami Chakrabarti did comment in an interview on Newsnight last night. Chakrabarti is the shadow attorney general, but she was introduced as someone speaking not in that capacity, but in her capacity as a former director of the civil rights group Liberty.

Asked if she was satisfied that the joint terrorism analysis centre (JTAC), which took the decision to raise the threat level, was independent, and not subject to politicisation, she replied:

Look what I would say on a night like this one is that this is not the moment for conspiracy theories. So if anybody is, you know, feeling panicked about the timing of this, I would just urge them to be calm and united.

Asked, again, if she supported the decision to raise the threat level, she replied:

I am not a privy counsellor and I have not seen the intelligence, but nor am I going to take a knee-jerk in the other direction, and to be a conspiracy theorist. I don’t think that would be good for anybody this evening.

Shami Chakrabarti on Newsnight last night.

Updated

A surgeon who treated a victim of the Manchester attack said the injuries were similar to those he encountered while working as a volunteer in hospitals in rebel-held Syria.

Mounir Hakimi, from Lancashire teaching hospitals NHS foundation trust, said on Wednesday morning that he was about to operate on a woman who came to the Preston hospital as one of the walking wounded. He would be removing shrapnel that was lodged in her body after the blast.

Hakimi, who runs Syria Relief, a charity that has provided training to Syrian doctors, said her injuries were similar to ones he faced working in Syria.

He said: “When I go to Syria we get these blast injuries, but at a much higher scale. I’ve treated patients who have lost limbs and more severe injuries. I also see people with injuries similar to one I am operating on [this morning]. Missiles fired in Syria involve lots of shrapnel in them, nails and debris, but in Syria on a much higher scale.”

The surgeon said his colleagues at other NHS hospitals had treated people with shrapnel wounds, as well as those with crush wounds. “I don’t know how many people have crushing injuries but this happens in the confusion. These injuries involve people breaking bone or damaging
soft tissue,” he said.

He said doctors were treating patients who had faced trauma. He said: “It’s so difficult when you have a patient who is mentally and psychologically badly affected.
“I live 15 minutes away from the arena so I was thinking my daughter could have been there. Treating patients affected with this you think, what if this was my daughter and wife?

“I have not had a chance to speak in full detail to colleagues involved. Most stayed up all night and are emotionally tired and I was at a vigil yesterday. We were all badly affected and don’t want to talk to people. The mood is still bad … It will take time for everyone to recover and get back to normal life.”

Updated

Three men arrested in south Manchester

Three men have been arrested in south Manchester, in connection with the ongoing investigation into the attack, Manchester police has announced.

Updated

Police have been deployed outside Didsbury mosque, in south Manchester following the attack.

A van, a video unit and a handful of uniformed officers could be seen outside the mosque, which was attended by the bomber Salman Abedi and members of his family. There appears to be little activity in the mosque.

There are no searches going on as far as we can tell. There are also unmarked police cars moving about the neighbourhood and police community support officers on foot.

Updated

The frustration of the security services with the American leaks was obvious on Tuesday, with the release of the name of the Manchester killer and other details while the investigation was still live.

And on Wednesday the home secretary, Amber Rudd, said: “The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise. So it is irritating if it gets released from other sources and I have been very clear with our friends that should not happen again.”

The irritation would have turned to despair with the French interior minister, Gerard Collomb, on Wednesday, revealing further details of British intelligence on television. He let it be known not only that Salman Abedi had recently been to Libya, but may also have been in Syria.

The police and security services usually have good reasons for not disclosing information immediately to the media as they accumulate it. One of the main reasons is that it is helpful when investigating a suspect’s network of family, friends and colleagues not to alert them by disclosing the name. So it was awkward for the police when Abedi’s name was revealed by US officials in Washington to American journalists two hours before they disclosed it to the UK.

Earlier in the day, the security services had no plans to disclose the name and may only have done so because of the Americans.

There are other reasons. They do not want to reveal to those they are hunting – and their opponents in general – the extent of the information they hold and, sometimes, the techniques they use for gaining that information.

On a purely practical level, the police would have preferred time searching the home of Abedi and speaking to neighbours without the media descending on the location after the US released the name.

One of the basic tenets of intelligence sharing is that other agencies do not disclose it. The problem is that those intelligence agencies, whether the US or French, pass it upwards to their presidents, prime ministers and departmental ministers. In the past, that secrecy was usually respected.

But in quick succession, Donald Trump revealed to Russia information obtained by Israeli intelligence from a Middle East source, the US revealed UK intelligence about Abedi and now the French have done so too.

The temptation for the UK police and intelligence services would be to stop sharing some of that intelligence. But the UK relies so heavily on the sharing of intelligence from the US and also benefits from intelligence, especially on counter-terrorism, from European colleagues such as France and Germany.

Updated

Fears are growing for Eilidh MacLeod, the 14-year-old girl from Barra in the Outer Hebrides, who had travelled to the Ariana Grande concert with her friend Laura MacIntyre.

Angus MacNeil, the MP for the Western Isles and a close friend of the MacIntyres, said there was still no word of Eilidh, a pupil at Castlebay community school on Barra. “Poor Eilidh, there’s no sign,” he said.

It emerged yesterday evening that Laura was very ill in hospital with extremely serious burns. The parents of both girls are now in Manchester, helping police and in a vigil at Laura’s bedside.

The Scottish government said last night that six concert-goers had been treated for injuries in hospitals in Scotland.

Four of those had been discharged by 9pm yesterday and two were still being treated in hospital. None had life-threatening injuries.

Meanwhile, the Scottish parliament closed all staff entrances and asked all officials, visitors, media and MSPs to pass through the x-ray screening and search point at its main public entrance in response to the raised threat level of critical.

Phil Gormley, the chief constable of Police Scotland, said a new multi-agency response centre had been established given the raised security level, and there would be more visible policing across the country.

He added: “Yesterday morning, we increased the number of armed police on patrol at key locations and the public should expect to see armed officers on foot patrol.

“We are reviewing all significant events along with event organisers taking place within the next 14 days and will increase the security footprint around those events where it is deemed appropriate.”

Updated

The arena bomber, Salman Abedi, is now known to have studied at the University of Salford.

He reportedly started a business and management course in 2014 but dropped out two years later. He would have graduated this year, had he continued with the course.

This morning, students arriving for exams at Salford Business School on the quiet campus grounds were not aware of Abedi’s connection to the university.

One student, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s spooky to learn he was here at the same uni as us.”

Eighth and ninth victims named

Polish couple Angelika and Marcin Klis who were killed in the Manchester attack
Polish couple Angelika and Marcin Klis who were killed in the Manchester attack
Photograph: Alex Klis/Facebook

The identity of the two Polish citizens killed in the Manchester terror attack has been confirmed as Angelika and Marcin Klis.

On Tuesday, the couple’s daughter shared an appeal to find her parents, who had not been seen since the attack. The student shared a photo of the pair taken before the concert on Facebook, writing: “Anyone who is in any safe place or hospital in Manchester, if anyone comes across my parents please please let me know as they’ve been missing ever since the attack.

Poland’s foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, this morning identified the victims as a couple who had been waiting for their daughters at the arena. The Polish embassy in London has confirmed that they were Angelika and Marcin Klis.

We now know the identities of nine of the 22 people killed in the attack. They are:

  • Angelika Klis, 40
  • Marcin Klis, 42
  • Georgina Callander, 18
  • Saffie Rose Roussos, eight
  • John Atkinson, 28
  • Kelly Brewster, 32
  • Olivia Campbell, 15
  • Alison Howe, 45
  • Lisa Lees, 47

Updated

Alfonso Dastis
Alfonso Dastis
Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

The Manchester atrocity has prompted the Spanish government to urge better intelligence sharing and increased trust across the EU.

Speaking on Tuesday Spain’s foreign minister, Alfonso Dastis, said member states had to work together to put an end to what he called “this wretched scourge”.

Dastis, who previously served as Spain’s representative to the EU, added: “We have to work together, especially by pooling the information we have, with the awareness that no one is exempt from this madness.”

To that end, he said, all the members of the union needed to “establish a level of trust that allows for the fluid exchange of information”.

While he acknowledged progress on cooperation was being made, Dastis said: “I think that when it comes to this fight we must still improve the sharing of information and our joint work in this area.”

Following the attacks in Paris in November 2015, which killed 130 people, it emerged that the intelligence services in France and Belgium had previously identified the perpetrators as radicals. But despite compiling dossiers on them, the security services failed to join them up.

The home secretary, Amber Rudd, has spoken of the British government’s irritation that the name of the Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Ramadan Abedi, was released by the Americans. As she was speaking, her French counterpart revealed that Britain had told French officials Abedi probably travelled to Syria.

Updated

Amber Rudd’s Today interview – Summary

Here are the main points from Amber Rudd’s Today programme interview earlier.

  • Rudd, the home secretary, took the rare step of issuing a public reprimand to the American authorities for releasing information about the Manchester investigation to the media. Asked about the leaks of information coming out of the US (see 7.40am), she said:

The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise. So it is irritating if it gets released from other sources and I have been very clear with our friends that should not happen again.

It is very unusual for a government minister to criticise the Americans explicitly in this way.

  • She suggested that the raising of the threat level from severe to critical may not last long. She said that this was an assessment made by the joint terrorism assessment centre (JTAC), not by ministers. But it was being kept under constant review, she said. And she went on:

I do note that the last time the threat level was raised to critical it lasted five days, and before that four days. So we will see.

  • She said that she only expected the deployment of troops on to the streets (Operation Temperer) to be temporary. She said:

This is not going to be a situation which we are going to move to and arrive at a new level of need for defence or support or protection. This is a temporary arrangement in order to respond to an exceptional event.

  • She said it has not been proved that Salman Abedi was directed by Islamic State.
  • She defended Prevent, the government’s anti-radicalisation programme, saying it had stopped 150 people travelling to Syria last year, 50 of whom were children. After the election the Tories plan to increase its funding, she said.
  • She said it was “likely” that Abedi was not acting on his own.
  • She said she did not believe anti-terrorism laws had to be strengthened. After the investigation was over, there would be time to review legislation, she said. But she went on:

I have confidence that the police and the intelligence services have the tools they need. And also in my conversations with them there has been no additional request for strengthening of Tpims [terrorism prevention and investigation measures, which replaced control orders] or additional tools. And that’s not just over the past few days, that’s over the past few months.

My colleague Alan Travis says this is surprising in the light of what the Conservative manifesto says.

Alan is referring to this passage in the manifesto (pdf).

To defeat extremism, we need to learn from how civil society and the state took on racism in the twentieth century. We will consider what new criminal offences might need to be created, and what new aggravated offences might need to be established, to defeat the extremists.

Updated

The French interior minister called an emergency meeting of security officials and police with a view to reviewing security at sporting and cultural events in France.

Gerard Collomb told BFMTV that the Manchester bomber had “no doubt” trained in Syria (see earlier) after being informed by British investigators.

“These are people who are born in a country and who radicalise through the propaganda of IS [Isis],” Collomb said.

Asked if he had information that the bomber belonged to a network, Collomb replied: “We don’t know at this time, but perhaps … in any case he had proven links with Islamic State.

“Everyone is touched by this, it could have happened in France it could be your child dying in an atrocious manner. I have spoken to the mayor of Manchester and the interior minister and we have reaffirmed that, despite Brexit, the links between our security forces will remain strong.”

France has been under a state of emergency since the wave of bombings and shootings across Paris in November 2015, which killed 130 people. Thousands of soldiers are patrolling the country’s streets as part of Operation Sentinelle.

France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, has promised to set up a terrorism “taskforce” made up of 50-100 experts working around the clock to identify and foil possible attacks.

Updated

These are the key points from the response of the Met police to the increased terrorism threat level.

Soldiers will help guard key sites

“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.

More armed police will be freed up and the public will see more police officers with guns on the streets

“The public will see more armed officers, working alongside their neighbourhood and specialist colleagues, on proactive operations and targeted patrols, both on foot and in vehicles. Locations of their deployments, types of tactics and numbers on duty will continually change to be the most effective and avoid predictability.

Armed police will be part of a tactic to be deployed in London aimed at psyching out terrorists, called Project Servator

“Those armed officers will also provide support to colleagues working on Project Servator. This tactic uses teams of specialist police officers who have been trained to spot the tell tale signs that a person may be carrying out hostile reconnaissance or committing other crime. The approach is based on extensive research into the psychology of criminals and what undermines their activities.”

More stop and search and vehicle checkpoints

“As a highly visible deterrent and disruptive tactic officers will be making more use of stop and search; vehicle checkpoints and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology.

Commander Jane Connors, leading the London policing operation, said: “The reality is that we must be prepared to be able to respond to and deal with armed and deadly attackers, so we must be in a position to respond with firearms officers who will use force to stop those attackers in their aim. That is why is we have increased the number of firearms who are on duty, both out walking and in roaming patrols, at fixed points and carrying out a range of operations.

“We are using every tactical option – not just through the use of armed officers but ongoing work by the counter-t errorism command; working with partner agencies and gathering community intelligence.

“Whilst some of what we are doing will be obvious to the public there is a huge amount of work happening day and night that the public will never know about.”

Updated

France reveals Abedi ‘probably travelled to Syria’

Gerard Collomb
Gerard Collomb
Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images

British investigators told French authorities that the suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedi had probably travelled to Syria and had links with Isis, according to the French interior minister, Gérard Collomb.

Earlier, the UK home secretary, Amber Rudd, confirmed that intelligence services knew of Abedi “up to a point”. She admitted it was “irritating” when information about him came from other countries after his identity was first revealed by the US intelligence services.

The French government has revealed more information about Abedi. Collomb told BFMTV: “Today we only know what British investigators have told us – someone of British nationality, of Libyan origin, who suddenly after a trip to Libya, then probably to Syria, becomes radicalised and decides to carry out this attack.”

Pressed on how he knew Abedi had been in Syria, Collomb said this was the information held by French and British intelligence services.

Asked if he believed Abedi had the support of a network, Collomb said: “That is not known yet, but perhaps. In any case, (he had) links with Daesh (Isis) that are proven.”

Updated

What Theresa May said about the threat level being raised

For the record, this is what Theresa May said in her statement last night about the threat level being raised. She was speaking after chairing a meeting of the emergency committee Cobra.

This morning, I said that the joint terrorism analysis centre – the independent organisation responsible for setting the threat level on the basis of the intelligence available – was keeping the threat level under constant review.

It has now concluded, on the basis of today’s investigations, that the threat level should be increased, for the time being, from severe to critical. This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely, but that a further attack may be imminent.

The change in the threat level means that there will be additional resources and support made available to the police as they work to keep us all safe.

As a result of the JTAC’s decision, the police have asked for authorisation from the secretary of state for defence to deploy a number of armed military personnel in support of their armed officers. This request is part of a well-established plan, known as Operation Temperer, in which both the armed forces and the police officers involved are well-trained and well-prepared to work in this kind of environment. The secretary of state for defence has approved this request, and Operation Temperer is now in force.

This means that armed police officers responsible for duties such as guarding key sites will be replaced by members of the armed forces, which will allow the police to significantly increase the number of armed officers on patrol in key locations. You might also see military personnel deployed at certain events, such as concerts and sports matches, helping the police to keep the public safe. 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. We have faced a serious terrorist threat in our country for many years. And 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 everybody to be vigilant, and to cooperate with and support the police as they go about their important work.

Theresa May speaking in Downing Street on Tuesday night
Theresa May speaking in Downing Street on Tuesday night.
Photograph: AP

Updated

Reinforcements of armed police officers are to be sent to Manchester to help the city guard against further attacks and help the hunt for those behind the atrocity.

Greater Manchester police (GMP) asked for the help, which will see extra officers with guns drafted in from other parts of Britain. The move was requested by GMP on Tuesday and comes as police trigger plans for a national mobilisation.

It is being coordinated by the National Police Coordination Centre (NPOCC). In a statement, it said: “NPOCC has provided additional firearms support to Greater Manchester police following the recent attack and is working closely with the force to assist with reviewing the security procedures.”

Specialist counter-terrorist specialist firearms officers have also been sent to Manchester and on Tuesday could be seen carrying out at least one raid.

Armed police outside Manchester Piccadilly station after a suicide bomber killed 22 people leaving a pop concert at Manchester Arena on Monday night
Armed police outside Manchester Piccadilly station after a suicide bomber killed 22 people leaving a pop concert at Manchester Arena on Monday night
Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Updated

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has issued a video message to Londoners about the raising of the threat level.

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, is being interviewed on the Today programme now.

Q: Amber Rudd says the police have the resources they need. Do you agree?

Burnham says he asked this question on his first day as mayor. He was told the police did have what they need. And the police have had the resources to deal with this attack. He says there is a wider question about police funding, but that is for another day.

Q: Are you sure the police have got what they need?

Burnham says he asked if they had the firearms capacity to deal with something like the Bataclan attack in Paris, with attacks in multiple places. But that is not what Manchester had to deal with.

Q: Do you think this attack was acting alone?

Burnham says there is a limit to what he can say. But he says the evidence suggests that this was not a lone wolf attack.

Q: Are you happy with the Prevent programme?

Burnham says he has expressed reservations about some aspects of it.

He says he does not like the way this has been described as a Muslim attack. The attacker was a terrorist. He did not represent the Muslim community, any more than the person who killed Jo Cox represents the white community.

Updated

20 people remain in critical condition

Twenty people remain in “critical care” across Manchester after suffering “horrific injuries”, a health official in Manchester has revealed. Injuries include major organ damage and potential loss of limbs, Jon Rouse of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership told the BBC. He said:

“They’ve been the sort of traumatic injuries that you would expect in terms of the type of device used, the proximity to the people who were injured. We’re dealing with injuries to major organs, we’re dealing with loss of limbs potentially, we’re dealing with embedded objects – all the horrific injuries that you would expect from the event that happened.”

He said the victims were receiving round-the-clock treatment from doctors and nurses.

Fifty-nine people were hurt in the attack and 12 of those taken to hospital were children.

Updated

Q: Some people will say that, with this happening just before an election, it is opportunistic.

Amber Rudd says the decision to raise the threat level was taken by an independent body.

Q: Some people think Tpims (terrorism prevention and investigation measures) need to be strengthened.

Rudd says the time to consider this will be after the investigation is over. But the police have not asked for extra powers, she says.

Q: And how would you respond to a request for extra powers?

Rudd says the government will always ensure the services are supported.

Q: People will say this event is of a different magnitude from what has happened before.

Rudd says she is focusing on making sure the police have the help they need now. After the investigation, she will consider if there are lessons to be learnt.

Q: Do you accept that Prevent has been seen as a form of spying by some communities.

Rudd says some people don’t like Prevent. But last year 150 people were stopped from travelling to Syria by Prevent, 50 of whom were children.

That’s it.

Updated

Rudd criticises US authorities for releasing information about Manchester investigation to media

Q: Can you tell us any more about Salman Abedi?

Rudd says she cannot.

Q: Do we know that Islamic State directed this operation?

Rudd says we do not know that yet.

Q: Are you worried about the information coming out from the US?

Rudd says the British authorities want to control the information that is coming out. It is “irritating” when information comes out from other countries. She says she has made it clear to the Americans that this must not happen again.

Q: Has it compromised the operation?

Rudd says she would not go that far.

  • Rudd criticises American authorities for releasing information about the Manchester investigation to the media. (See 7.40am.) It was “irritating”, she said, and she revealed that the Americans have been told it must not happen again.

Updated

Amber Rudd, the home secretary, has already given an interview to Sky News (see 7.55am). She is now being interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Q: Do you know another attack is imminent?

Rudd says, if the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre says an attack may be imminent, the government will support that assessment.

Q: You said in other interviews that Salman Abedi was known “up to a point”. What does that mean?

Rudd says the security services know a lot of people. But they cannot arrest everyone.

Q: Do the security services have all the powers they need?

Rudd says she thinks they do. They have constantly reassured her that they have the money and the laws that they need.

Q: The military will now be joining the police. Did the police ask for help?

Rudd says this is a protocol that is in place to allow the military to support the police when that is needed. The army will be “backfilling”, to allow the police to focus on other areas. The government “fully expects” this to be temporary, she says.

She repeats the point.

This is a temporary arrangement in order to respond to an exceptional event.

Updated

A police cordon was still in place on Wednesday morning in the suburban cul-de-sac where Salman Abedi lived in Fallowfield, south Manchester.

Neighbours making their way to work described their shock and disbelief that the suspected bomber lived on their street of redbrick, semi-detached houses. One man, who would give his name only as Terry, said Abedi’s family once had a Libyan flag hung from the television aerial on their chimney, about four years ago.

He described the scene when armed officers carried out a controlled explosion to gain entry to Abedi’s house on Tuesday afternoon. “The lady next door – she’s quite elderly – was just getting in the shower and she said ‘My house shook!’ She thought it was her shower blowing up.

“There was about 30 vans there with guns [aimed] on the house. I’ve lived here 50-plus years and we’ve never experienced anything like this.”

Terry said he had been told that police marksmen threw an explosive charge through Abedi’s letterbox to blow open the door to the premises. He said he had not seen Abedi loudly chanting Islamic verses in the street, as had been reported, but said the area was full of many different cultures living peacefully alongside each other.

Another neighbour, who gave his name only as Mark, added: “When we came home five minutes later there was a huge explosion and there was police everywhere. It’s quite shocking really when you see it on your own street. To be 10 doors down from where you live – that’s just something else that.

“It’s reassuring that the police are here. At least you know things are moving on.”

Updated

A statement from the Metropolitan police provides more details of the operation that will see soldiers patrolling key sites across London:

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has increased police numbers and operations across the capital with immediate affect. The plans that have been in put in place reflect efforts by the MPS to protect London against the current threat from international terrorism.

The public will see more armed officers, working alongside their neighbourhood and specialist colleagues on proactive operations and targeted patrols, both on foot and in vehicles. Locations of their deployments, types of tactics and numbers on duty will continually change to be the most effective and avoid predictability.

Those armed officers will also provide support to colleagues working on Project Servator. This tactic uses teams of specialist police officers who have been trained to spot the telltale signs that a person may be carrying out hostile reconnaissance or committing other crime. The approach is based on extensive research into the psychology of criminals and what undermines their activities.

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.

Updated

Military to guard Downing Street and Buckingham Palace

Scotland Yard says soldiers will help guard Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, embassies and the Palace of Westminster. This will free up armed officers, police say.

Updated

Rudd: Abedi known to intelligence services ‘up to a point’

Amber Rudd, the home secretary, has been speaking to Sky News about the raising of the threat level, ahead of another meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra meeting this morning.

She says it is a necessary step:

What we are being told is that it’s an ongoing investigation, an active operation … Until we can be reassured there is no continued activity … that it is entirely safe … then it is right that we are at this heightened state of alert.

Rudd says the decision to raise the threat level was “intelligence-driven”, but she is reluctant to say whether the attacker, Salman Abedi, was on a watch list:

We do know that he was known, up to a point, to the intelligence services. I can’t be drawn on [how].

She says the intelligence services “do a remarkably good job”, adding that they have “foiled 13 plots since 2013”:

We need to give them the space they need to continue their investigation.

Rudd says officials are very aware that there are a lot of large public events this weekend, including the football cup finals in England and Scotland, and says the police “will provide additional support”:

I am reassuring people by saying we need to carry on with our way of life but we need to be aware … staying alert, reporting anything that they see, being a bit more vigilant than normal.

Manchester Arena incident(Left-right) Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham attend a vigil in Albert Square outside Manchester Town Hall after a 23-year-old man was arrested in connection with the Manchester concert bomb attack. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. The attack killed 22 people, including children, and injured dozens more in the worst terrorist incident to hit Britain since the July 7 atrocities. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Amber Rudd, Andy Burnham, Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron attend a vigil in Manchester’s Albert Square.
Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

Updated

The names of the two Polish citizens killed in the attack have not been confirmed. But Poland’s foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, identified them as a couple who had been waiting for their daughters at the arena:

Updated

In the hours after the attack took place, much of the information about the victims – along with the name of the perpetrator – was reported first on US news networks, prompting questions over the apparent leaking of intelligence, David Smith and Ewen MacAskill report:

American officials have been criticised for leaking the identity of the Manchester bomber before British police officially named him.

Although UK journalists had Salman Abedi’s name, the UK government and Greater Manchester police declined to confirm it more than two hours after it appeared in the US press. Earlier in the day, the government indicated it might not release the name at all on Tuesday because the investigation was continuing.

The Trump administration’s apparent indiscretion seems likely to cause consternation in London and could raise questions about future cooperation in the long term.

The Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, chaired a meeting of the devolved government’s resilience committee in the early hours of this morning, at which ministers were briefed by Police Scotland about the raising of the UK threat level.

Sturgeon said:

While raising the UK terror threat level to critical has been judged a necessary response to the despicable attack in Manchester, we must not allow terrorism to triumph.

I urge the people of Scotland to be vigilant but not alarmed and, as far as possible, to go about their business as usual. Police Scotland have already visibly increased their presence in locations such as transport hubs and city centres as a precaution.

Security arrangements for upcoming public events, including this weekend’s Scottish Cup final, are being thoroughly reviewed and the public should anticipate additional safety measures such as full body and bag searches.

Our emergency services prepare extensively for situations such as this, and those well-rehearsed plans are now being put into practice.

Updated

Two Polish nationals among the dead

The Polish foreign minister has confirmed that “at least two Polish nationals” were killed in the attack on Manchester, and one is injured.

Updated

Theresa May last night said the government had raised the threat level from severe to critical for the first time since July 2007. The elevation to the highest notch means “not only that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack may be imminent”.

What it also means is that soldiers will be immediately deployed to Britain’s streets to support the police. In an operation codenamed Temperer, military officials will patrol key sites and public events.

This will include an extra armed presence at the FA Cup final at Wembley and the Premiership rugby final at Twickenham this weekend. The Scottish government is also reviewing security for the Scottish Cup final at Hampden.

Theresa May raises UK threat level to ‘critical’ – video

Updated

A 23-year-old man arrested in Chorlton, south Manchester, on Tuesday morning is still being questioned by police. It is believed that he is Ismael Abedi, the brother of the perpetrator, Salman Abedi, but police have not confirmed this.

Updated

The decision to raise the official threat level to critical and to deploy troops under Operation Temperer, meaning that an attack is expected imminently, is the first time for a decade that it has been set at its highest level.

The last time troops under Operation Temperer were deployed was immediately after the terrorist attacks in Brussels last year, but they were only used covertly as backup for the visible armed police presence at railway stations and airports.

It means that up to 5,000 armed troops can be deployed at transport hubs and other crowded public places in order to release the armed police for other duties.

The threat level has only twice before been raised to critical since the system of official threat levels was introduced on 1 August 2006. It was raised for three days from 10 August 2006 at the time of the transatlantic airliner plot, and on 30 June 2007 when the security services uncovered a plot to bomb a nightclub on London’s Haymarket. This was a plot that culminated in the attack on Glasgow airport.

Updated

Alison Howe and Lisa Lees confirmed among dead

Two more victims of the blast have been named. They are Alison Howe and Lisa Lees.

The two women were waiting in the foyer of Manchester Arena to collect their 15-year-old daughters, who were at the Ariana Grande concert. The girls are safe, the Mirror reports this morning, but their mothers both died in the attack.

Lee Hunter, Lisa Lees’s brother, wrote on Facebook: “For those who don’t know, Lisa is gone but never, ever forgotten. I love you Lisa. I’ll miss you so much.”

Jordan Howe, who yesterday spoke to the Guardian as he searched hospitals for his missing stepmother, confirmed she too had died, posting on Facebook: “They took a caring beautiful mum and step mother away from us all. She was amazing to us all x love you loads Alison Howe.”

Updated

Greater Manchester police have welcomed the upping of the threat level. In an overnight statement, the deputy chief constable, Ian Pilling, said:

Raising the threat level to critical … will support our ongoing investigation. People across Greater Manchester have seen an increased police presence throughout the day and this will continue. They will be seen at key locations across the region.

We are continuing to work with the national counter-terrorism policing network and UK intelligence services as part of the response to dealing with the tragic events that took place 24 hours ago.

We would ask people to remain vigilant as they have been throughout the day and report anything in confidence to the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789321 or in an emergency 999.

People have shown tremendous strength and resilience throughout the day and we need this to continue in the difficult days ahead.

Updated

We now know the names of five of the 22 people who died in the terror attack. They were:

  • Olivia Campbell, 15
  • Kelly Brewster, 32
  • Saffie Rose Roussos, eight
  • Georgina Callander, 18
  • John Atkinson, 28

An emergency number is available for those concerned about loved ones or anyone who may have been in the area. The National Casualty Bureau number to call is 0800 096 0095.

Updated

In recent years a shift has occurred: attacks on “lifestyle” targets have become increasingly common. Why this shift, and why are such targets so apparently attractive to a terrorist?

One reason is that the more obvious targets – the military bases, embassies, government offices, airports and so on – are better protected than they were a decade ago. Terrorist targets are often determined by what is feasible, not by what fits a master plan.

Another reason for the shift is that al-Qaida, now relatively weaker than before, and Islamic State, which has become pre-eminent among jihadis, differ on tactics and strategy, even if their aims coincide. The veterans of al-Qaida prioritise building support for their extremist project and try to strike targets that they believe potential sympathisers will regard as legitimate. They may justify some attacks as being in line with their reading of Islamic law which calls for fair retaliation – in their case for Muslim casualties of western military actions. Others can be justified by deeming citizens of western nations collectively responsible for the acts of their governments.

But even al-Qaida would probably consider killing teenagers at a concert to be beyond the pale.

Not Isis however. The group relies on escalating brutality to terrorise target populations, whether in the west or the Middle East.

Updated

Kelly Brewster’s partner, Ian Winslow, has confirmed that she was among those killed in the attack.

He wrote on Facebook:

Not sure how this works but it isn’t good news. Kelly Brewster wasn’t one of the unidentified hospital patients. She has sadly passed away in the terror attack yesterday.

Kelly really was the happiest she has ever been and we had so many things planned together. My daughter Phoebe will be absolutely devastated, like we all are.

Updated

Killer had recently visited Libya – reports

There are reports that Salman Abedi, named as the perpetrator of the attack, had visited Libya recently, with some saying he returned to the UK only days before he killed 22 people at the Manchester Arena.

The Times reports that he spent time in Libya, citing an unnamed school friend:

He went to Libya three weeks ago and came back recently, like days ago.

Abedi was British, but his family is from Libya. The Guardian understands that his father, Abu Ismail Abedi, is thought to be in Tripoli. The Sun reports that Salman Abedi may have used trips to Libya to travel to Syria. This has not been confirmed.

The Guardian has one of the first pictures of Abedi, taken during an Islamic class at the Didsbury mosque:

EXCLUSIVE: By Nazia Parveen, north of England correspondent. This is one of the first pictures of Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Abedi. It was taken during an Islamic class (madrassa) at the Didsbury mosque. A much younger Abedi can be seen sat cross-legged dressed in a camouflage type jacket reading the Quran placed in a stand in front of him.
Salman Abedi.

Updated

Kelly Brewster, who was 32, also died in the blast, her family has confirmed to the Daily Mail.

Brewster had attended the Ariana Grande concert with her sister Claire and niece, Hollie Booth. They were both injured in the attack and are being treated in hospital.

Friends of Brewster have paid tribute to her on on social media. Her uncle, Paul Dryhurst, earlier described how she had been caught up in the blast:

Kelly has shielded Hollie and Claire from the damage. The three were walking out in single file, with Claire in front, Hollie behind her, and Kelly behind her.

When the bomb has gone off, the impact has broken Claire’s jaw and broken Hollie’s legs. They are both currently in hospital having nuts and bolts removed from all places.

Olivia Campbell, 15, who had been missing since the blast, has died, her mother has confirmed. The teenager was the subject of a massive social media campaign to find her after she could not be contacted in the wake of the explosion.

Her mother, Charlotte Campbell, confirmed overnight that Olivia had died, in a public Facebook post dedicated to “my darling precious gorgeous girl”.

She spoke to the media on Tuesday about her desperate attempts to make contact with her daughter:

I’m at home phoning everybody: hospitals, police, the centres that the children have been put in. Her dad’s in Manchester looking for her. I’ve got friends looking for her. I’ve got people I don’t even know looking for her, people messaging me, saying we’ve got her photo, looking for her, we’ll get in contact if we see her. And I’m just hearing nothing. Her phone’s dead…

They’ve basically told me to stay put and wait for a phone call. I daren’t leave the house just in case she somehow gets home.

Olivia Campbell, 15, a victim of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack. Her mother Charlotte Campbell confirms her death on Facebook on 24 May 2017.

Updated

What we know so far

  • Soldiers are to be deployed on Britain’s streets after the threat level was raised from severe to critical, meaning officials believe another terrorist attack may be imminent.
  • The move came in the wake of the suicide bombing of Manchester Arena, which killed 22 people and injured 59 more.
  • The perpetrator has been identified as Salman Abedi, 22, a Mancunian of Libyan descent. He walked into the lobby of the arena on Monday evening as thousands of people were exiting an Ariana Grande concert, detonating an improvised device that murdered and maimed many.
  • Among those he killed were eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos; Georgina Callander, 18; and John Atkinson, 28.
  • Overnight, the names of two more victims have been revealed: Kelly Brewster, 32, and Olivia Campbell, who was 15. Her mother Charlotte Campbell paid tribute to her “darling precious gorgeous girl”.
  • Several people remain missing, many of them teenagers, with family and friends continuing to share their names and pictures on social media.
  • In messages posted online, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but this has not been confirmed by officials investigating the blast. There are reports today that Abedi had recently returned from a trip to Libya.
  • A 23-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday morning in south Manchester, and is believed to be Ismael Abedi, the brother of the perpetrator.
  • All parties have suspended campaigning for the 8 June general election.
  • The prime minister, Theresa May, condemned the attack as:

Appalling, sickening cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent, defenceless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives.

Candlelit Vigil To Honour The Victims Of Manchester Terror Attack(170523) -- MANCHESTER, May 23, 2017 (Xinhua) -- A young girl holds up a sign and a flower during a candlelit vigil to honour the victims of Monday evening’s terror attack, at Albert Square in Manchester, Britain on May 23, 2017. (Xinhua/Han Yan) PHOTOGRAPH BY Xinhua / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com

Updated

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