Britain has deployed soldiers to key sites Wednesday and raised its terror alert to the most highest after the Manchester Arena suicide bombing was carried out by a local man of Libyan origin who may also have been radicalized in Syria.
Though Security Service believe the suspected Libyan bomber, Salman Abedi, was probably to have had help from others in staging the attack that killed 22 people inclusive of an eight-year-old girl.
According to the Interior Minister Amber Rudd, the 22-year-old suspected bomber had been on the radar of the intelligence community before the massacre late Monday at a concert by American pop celebrity Ariana Grande.
Investigators had been seeking to piece together the ultimate actions of Abedi, a Manchester-born man of Libyan descent whose mother and father had reportedly fled the now fallen regime of Moamer Kadhafi.
After the arrest of the 22-year-old man on Tuesday, police stated that they’d taken additional three men into custody on Wednesday in south Manchester, in which Abedi lived.
Abedi was known to be a former business student who dropped out of university turned to radical Islam.
Also, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb stated the bomber had “probably” been to Syria, stating information provided by British intelligence services to their counterparts in Paris.
Collomb told French TV the suspect “grew up in Britain and then abruptly, after a trip to Libya after which possibly to Syria, have become radicalised and decided to carry out this attack”.
“In any case, the links with Daesh are proven,” he said, making use of a term for the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Tuesday.
– Nato have to ‘step up’ –
Due to the Manchester attack, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg stated that the military alliance had to “step up and agree to do further in the fight against terrorism” at summit talks set for Thursday.
The summit is to be joined by US President Donald Trump, who has criticized Nato for no longer doing more towards Islamist extremism and who referred to those responsible for the Manchester bombing “evil losers”.
In addition, Rudd declined to give any further information about Abedi but told BBC radio: “It was more sophisticated than some of the attacks we’ve seen earlier, and it seems in all likelihood — possible — that he wasn’t doing this on his own.”
The minister added “she was not surprised at all” that Islamic State Jihadists had claimed the attack but said there was no information yet to confirm the extremist organisation’s active direction.
It became the latest in a series of deadly incidents all over Europe claimed through IS Jihadists that have coincided with an offensive on the group’s redoubts in Syria and Iraq executed by US, British and other western forces.
British Prime Minister Theresa May also placed the country on its highest point of terror alert — “critical” — for the first time since June 2007, when it was sparked by an attack on Glasgow airport.
About 1,000 troops have been fanning out at sites like Buckingham Palace, Westminster and foreign embassies in London to free up armed police for anti-terror obligations.
Theresa May also stated that a new attack “may be impending” and lay emphasis that the soldiers would remain under police command.
The Changing of the Guard, a military rite in front of Buckingham Palace popular with tourists, was cancelled on Wednesday and the Houses of Parliament suspended all public occasions.
– ‘Sing with the angels’ –
The attack became the deadliest in Britain since July 7, 2005 while 4 suicide bombers inspired by Al-Qaeda attacked London’s transport system in the process of rush hour, killing fifty-two persons.
A polish couple residing in Britain had been confirmed to be among the Manchester victims, along with 15-yr-old Olivia Campbell, whose mom had issued heartrending appeals for assistance when her daughter was nevertheless missing.
Next to picture of Olivia, Charlotte Campbell wrote on Facebook: “RIP my darling precious gorgeous girl Olivia Campbell taken far too soon. Go to sing with the angels and keep smiling, mummy loves you so much.”
A total number of 59 victims were taken to hospital, many with life-threatening conditions. Twelve of the victims were aged below sixteen.
Twenty people are still in very critical condition, officials said Wednesday.
– Black armbands –
The plan for this form of troop deployment, codenamed Operation Temperer, became revealed after the November 2015 Paris terror attacks and is believed to allow up to 5,000 troops to be deployed.
The previous time troops have been deployed on British streets was after a suspected airliner plot in 2003.
France has already grown used to the sight of rifle-toting soldiers in its major towns under a state of emergency imposed after the attacks on the Bataclan live performance hall and somewhere else in Paris.
Earlier Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that he would seek an extension to the state of emergency till November.
British police had already introduced extra security measures for upcoming sporting fixtures which includes Saturday’s FA Cup football final.
In a city famed globally for its football teams and pop bands like Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Smiths and Take That, show business stars and teams have also joined political leaders worldwide to express their horror on the carnage.
Manchester United players are to wear black armbands at Wednesday evening’s Europa League final towards Amsterdam club Ajax in Stockholm, where a minute’s silence will take place.