CBS News confirmed Tuesday that the man who blew himself up the previous night at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, was 23-year-old Salman Abedi, who was known to British authorities prior to the attack.
Officials said one man was arrested Tuesday in southern Manchester in connection with the attack, and urged people to avoid the center of the city as operations continued. Police and British Prime Minister Theresa May made it clear the focus of the investigation was to determine whether the bomber “was acting alone, or was part of a wider group.”
Manchester police confirmed the arrest of a 23-year-old man in the southern part of the city on Tuesday morning. They also said there was at least one controlled explosion carried out at the scene of a raid.
The suspect taken into custody on Tuesday was not identified, but police said the arrest was linked to the bombing. Witnesses said the man was smiling as he was apprehended.
The bomb was designed to kill and maim as many as possible;suffered shrapnel wounds and ball bearings were found at the scene.
There was security at the concert, but the bomber apparently didn’t try to get into the venue, instead blowing himself up in an entrance foyer area as concertgoers flooded out of the arena. Prime Minister May said the attacker had deliberately chosen “his time and place to cause maximum carnage” in the young crowd.
Previous report here.
More info filtering in: Salman Abedi named as the Manchester suicide bomber
The suicide bomber who killed 22 people and injured dozens more at the Manchester Arena has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, according to US officials.
Born in Manchester in 1994, the second youngest of four children his parents were Libyan refugees who came to the UK to escape the Gaddafi regime.
His mother, Samia Tabbal, 50, and father, Ramadan Abedi, a security officer, were both born in Libya but appear to have emigrated to London before moving to the Fallowfield area of south Manchester where they have lived for at least ten years.
After giving birth to two sons, they had son Hashem Abedi, now 20, and daughter Jomana, 18.
Jomana, who has two Facebook profiles, attended Whalley Range High School before apparently working at Didsbury Mosque in 2013.
Although born in Manchester, she states online that she is from Tripoli and has many Libyan connections.
Abedi grew up in the Whalley Range area, just yards from the local girl’s high school, which hit the headlines in 2015 when twins and grade A pupils, Zahra and Salma Halane, who were both aspiring medical students, left their homes and moved to Isil controlled Syria.
There were unconfirmed reports in Manchester that the whole family apart from the two elder sons recently returned to Libya.
Lina Ahmed, 21, told MailOnline: ‘They are a Libyan family and they have been acting strangely.
‘A couple of months ago he [Salman] was chanting the first kalma [Islamic prayer] really loudly in the street. He was chanting in Arabic.
‘He was saying ‘There is only one God and the prophet Mohammed is his messenger’.’
Abedi’s former school friend Leon Hall told MailOnline he saw the killer last year and said he had grown a beard.
Hall said: ‘I saw him last year and he had a beard thing going on. We didn’t speak but just nodded to each other. I don’t remember seeing him with beard before.’
Hall said they grew up playing together on the street around their home.
‘He and I had a tussle many years ago when we were kids. It was over nothing, but he always had a bit of an attitude problem. I can’t say I really liked the man.’
Hall, who was sat outside his home with his sister, said Abedi was a Muslim.
Other family members at the house, who asked not to be named, confirmed that Abedi was a Muslim.
The Sun can reveal Abedi had secret jihadi training during family trips to Syria and spooks fear he was not acting alone when he carried out the atrocity that ISIS has claimed responsibility for.
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said British investigators had told French authorities Abedi had probably travelled to Syria as well. “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 radicalized and decides to carry out this attack,” Collomb told BFMTV.
The mother of a schoolgirl rape victim has said Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was part of a group who waged a two-month campaign of intimidation against her daughter and family.
Salman Abedi was an associate and childhood friend of Bilal Ahmed, who was jailed with two others for a total of 29 years in 2016 for taking part in the brutal gang rape of the 16-year-old.