The man behind the deadly Manchester Arena suicide attack which killed 22 people and injured 59 has been named as British born Libyan, Salman Ramadan Abedi.
Police confirmed the attacker’s identity after security officials in the United States gave it to journalists, allegedly against the wishes of the British security services.
Abedi, 22, was known to MI5 but was not under any ongoing investigation or regarded a threat.
He was viewed as a low-risk figure similar to the Westminster attacker, Khalid Masood.
The security services and the police are trying to find out whether he operated alone or was part of a group that assisted him with making the bomb.
Although ISIS has claimed responsibility, the police have found no evidence to substantiate this.
ISIS’s claim of responsibility for the Manchester Arena attack was posted in Arabic and English on channels that the group uses on the encrypted Telegram messaging app.
The English version stated that the suicide attack was “in revenge for Allah’s religion, in an endeavour to terrorize the [infidels], and in response to their transgressions against the lands of the Muslims”.
Yesterday afternoon, armed police sealed off Elsmore Road, a street in the Fallowfield area of south Manchester, and then carried out a controlled explosion at the terraced house where Abedi resided.
Officers also searched the home of his brother Ismail in the Chorlton area of south Manchester.
They arrested a 23-year-old man near an address where the family had previously lived, sparking speculation that Ismail Abedi may have been detained.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced yesterday evening that the security level in the UK has increased to “critical” and 5,000 military personnel will be deployed in key sites around the country in the coming days.