MANCHESTER, England – British police have conducted raids and arrested members of a terror network associated with Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi.
“It is very clear that this is a network we are investigating,” said Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins.
Among those arrested was a woman in the Blackley area of Manchester in connection with the bombing while in Libya, Abedi’s brother was also apprehended.
The 22-year-old Abedi detonated himself outside the arena late Monday night just after a concert by pop star Ariana Grande, killing 22 people, including an eight-year-old girl, and wounding 59 others.
British Prime Minister Theresa May earlier raised the terror threat level from severe to critical – the highest level – because another attack is “imminent”. It is the first time the highest terror alert has been raised since the 2005 London bombings.
Police revealed Abedi’s alleged links to a terror group, his brushes with the law after a friend’s death, his travel to Libya with a younger sibling and their father’s attempt to stop them from returning to Britain.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd told BBC that Abedi was on the radar of intelligence services while US officials assigned to US Africa Command told CNN that he was in Libya for three weeks and returned to Britain days before his attack on the Manchester Arena.
This, as Libya’s Special Deterrence Force said Abedi’s brother – 20-year-old Hashim Ramadan Abu Qassem al-Abedi – was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of links to the Islamic State.
Hashim was allegedly planning a terror attack in Libya when arrested while allegedly receiving a money transfer from Salman Abedi, the Libyan militia claimed.
The Islamic State earlier claimed responsibility for the Manchester bombing but gave no evidence to back it up.
Meanwhile, Britain observed a minute of silence today for the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing.
More than 3,000 military personnel have been put on standby since the terror threat level was raised to critical and 1,000 have been deployed in Britain. GAC/Expat Media
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