Manchester bomber was 'likely' acting with others: minister

A girl leaves flowers for the victims of an attack on concert goers at Manchester Arena, in central Manchester, Britain.
PHOTO: Reuters

LONDON - The attack on a Manchester pop concert that killed 22 people was "likely" the work of more than one person, British interior minister Amber Rudd said Wednesday.

"It was a devastating occasion, it was more sophisticated than some of the attacks we've seen before, and it seems likely - possible - that he wasn't doing this on his own," she told BBC radio.

Photos: Explosions at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

  • Salman Abedi has been named by police as the suspected suicide bomber. Source: Twitter/ @STcom
  • Police have arrested the suspect's brother, Ismail Abedi, and raided his house. Source: Twitter
  • A man adding a single rose to a the messages and floral tributes in Albert Square in Manchester, on May 23. Source: AFP
  • Women lighting candles following a vigil in central Manchester, on May 23. Source: Reuters
  • Messages and floral tributes are seen in Albert Square in Manchester, on May 23. Source: AFP
  • Source: Reuters
  • Source: AFP
  • Several monuments also lit up in blue, red and white colours, like the Orlando Eye. Source: Twitter/ @theorlandoeye
  • Zagreb: fountain tribute Source: AFP
  • London: Kingsbury Mandir Source: Twitter/ @SGadiLondon
  • Hong Kong: HSBC buidling Source: Twitter/ @breaking9news
  • Amsterdam: Central Station Source: Twitter/ @sebasvds
  • Abu Dhabi: Adnoc Group HQ Source: Twitter/ @AdnocGroup
  • Belfast: City Hall Source: Twitter/ @stuartrobinson1
  • Berlin: Brandenburg gate Source: Twitter/ @Nikiiide
  • Dubai: Burj Khalifa Source: Twitter/ @DCFCdubai
  • The Empire State building in NYC goes dark in remembrance of the attack victims. Source: Twitter/ @breaking911
  • Photos of the victims were shared on Twitter. Source: Twitter
  • Source: Twitter
  • Source: Twitter
  • Source: Twitter
  • Source: Twitter
  • Source: Twitter
  • The arena broke into chaos, with people rushing to leave. Source: Twitter/ @hannawwh
  • Source: Twitter/ @hannawwh
  • Source: Twitter/ @hannawwh
  • Source: Twitter/ @JSMcbrearty
  • People were seen rushing out of the arena. Source: Instagram/ @zachwhiteguybruce
  • Source: Instagram/ @zachwhiteguybruce
  • A woman posted on Facebook the results of the explosion on her belongings and body. Source: Screengrab from Abby Mullen's Facebook
  • A rumour about the explosion being a "big balloon" being popped was addressed by a twitter user who was in the arena. Source: Twitter/ @cj_coulter
  • The exit of the arena was packed. Source: Twitter/ @JSMcbrearty
  • The chaos of everybody leaving the arena led to heavy traffic. Source: Twitter/ @1875SHA
  • The police also released a statement on their Twitter page. Source: Screengrab from Twitter account @gmpolice
  • A bomb disposal unit was pictured to arrive at the scene. Source: Twitter/ @pavbeee
  • The police released another statement later. Source: Screengrab from Twitter account @gmpolice
  • Forensic police search the Manchester Arena in Manchester, Britain on May 23. Source: Reuters
  • Ariana Granda sent out a tweet after the incident.

Rudd confirmed that bomber Salman Abedi, a British man of Libyan heritage who died in the explosion on Monday night, had been on the radar of the security services.

"We do know that he was known up to a point to the intelligence services," she told Sky News.

Clarifying this on the BBC she said: "The security services will know a lot of people. It doesn't mean that they're expected to arrest everybody they know.

"But it is somebody that they had known." She said she had "complete confidence" in the security services.

The minister said she was "not surprised at all" that the attack had been claimed by the Islamic State group, but said there was no information yet to confirm the extremist organisation's active direction.

Britain's national terror threat level was raised late Tuesday to "critical", meaning another attack may be imminent, following the attack on the concert of US singer Ariana Grande.

London police said Wednesday they would be calling in the army to help guard key landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and foreign embassies.

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