Salman Abedi named as the Manchester suicide bomber - what we know about him
Police seal off Elsmore Road in Manchester and search an address further down the street in the aftermath of the Arena bombing
Victoria Ward 23 May 2017 • 5:23pm
The suicide bomber who killed 22 people and injured dozens more at the Manchester Arena has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi.
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 parents 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.
They had three sons in total and a daughter, who is now 18-years-old.
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.
Abedi was named by Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins on Tuesday.
"Can I start by once again passing on our heartfelt sympathies to all the innocent people caught up in last night's despicable act.
"We now have a team of specially-trained Family Liaison Officers who are supporting families.
We understand that feelings are very raw right now and people are bound to be looking for answers. However, now, more than ever, it is vital that our diverse communities in Greater Manchester stand togetherChief Con Ian Hopkins
"There has been much speculation and names of those who may have been killed in the media and social media. We accept that this is inevitable however we ask that people allow the police and coroner to release the names once the families are ready and appropriately supported.
"As you would expect the police response to this across Greater Manchester has been significant as we support people to go about their daily business.
"Part of this response has seen us arrest a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack and we have also carried out two warrants, one in Whalley Range and one in Fallowfield that included a controlled explosion to enable safe entry.
"We understand that feelings are very raw right now and people are bound to be looking for answers. However, now, more than ever, it is vital that our diverse communities in Greater Manchester stand together and do not tolerate hate.
"We have been visited by the Prime Minster and Home Secretary and we have taken them through the emergency response so far and what we plan to do in future days.
"I can confirm that the man suspected of carrying out last night's atrocity has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. However, he has not yet been formally identified and I wouldn't wish, therefore, to comment further.
"The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network."
Salman Abedi named as suicide bomber
As with the Westminster atrocity in March, the most pressing question is whether Abedi was a so-called "lone wolf" or part of a wider terror cell.
On Tuesday, it was reported that the Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the attack.
While the working theory is that the perpetrator triggered the blast alone, the national police counter-terror network, assisted by MI5, are urgently piecing together his background to see whether he had any help in planning the outrage.
They will be looking to build a picture of the attacker's movements both in recent weeks and months as well as immediately before the strike.
Another priority will be to establish whether any further linked attacks or copycat incidents are planned.
It is likely that the bomber's communications will form a significant part of the inquiry, while investigators will also be checking if he was known to authorities in any way.
One area of focus will be examining the remnants of the device used in the attack as officers work to establish whether the perpetrator built it himself or had help.
As well as seeking to identify any potential accomplices in Britain, authorities will also be looking into the possibility of any link to international groups.
In the first hours after an attack on this scale investigators were sifting through a number of theories as they work to settle on the most likely lines of inquiry.
The official threat level from international terrorism stands at severe in the UK - indicating that an attack is "highly likely". It has stood at this level - the second highest of five - since August 2014.
There has so far been no indication that this will change in the wake of the events in Manchester.
Shashank Joshi, senior research fellow at security think tank the Royal United Services Institute, said: "The most important point is that police have found the body of what they believe to be the lone suicide attacker.
"If they have identified him, they will be able to begin establishing his movements, his contacts, and his background.
"This, in turn, will help establish whether he acted alone, in concert with a small number of other conspirators, or as part of a larger network.
"The method of attack is likely to downgrade the likelihood that this was perpetrated by a far-right individual or group, as they have not typically used suicide bombers.
"We know that both al Qaida and Islamic State seek to conduct attacks in the UK, and that the UK's terror threat level has been at 'severe' for three years."
Commentators also pointed out that the Manchester attack took place on the fourth anniversary of the killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south-east London.
Chris Phillips, the former head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, told BBC Radio Four's Today programme: "That may be significant as well."
Meanwhile, Greater Manchester Police have confirmed a 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the attack.
Muslims cannot be trusted and no Mulsim should be allowed to enter non-Muslim countries. The bigger concern is not necessarily the suicide bombers, but the potential for sabotage of our food supplies. The Muslims can easily contaminate our food and water. Have you thought about that Muslim server who may have put something in the food you just ordered? Just think about the potential damages that these people can cause if they are left uncontrolled and unchecked. Wake up! Leave aside that "cute" animal video clip or the snapchat crap and smell the real danger.