MI5 Is Investigating Itself After The Manchester Bombing

Elias Hubbard
May 30, 2017

Hours before he set off a bomb believed to be hidden in a backpack, Manchester Arena suicide attacker Salman Abedi walked city streets toting a bright blue suitcase.

Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said they had no evidence to suggest the suitcase is unsafe but warned people to be "cautious".

Greater Manchester Police have said Abedi returned to the United Kingdom from overseas on May 18. "I want to stress that this is a different item than the one he used in the attack", he said.

"If you have any details about it you we need you to get in touch and let us know".

He added: "We have no reason to believe the case and its contents contain anything unsafe, but would ask people to be cautious".

A total of 16 arrests have been made in the investigation so far.

A 23-year-old man was arrested in the southern coastal town of Shoreham-by-Sea, more than 400km from Manchester yesterday over the attack claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Issuing a new appeal for information, including for any new photos or video footage of the attack that has not yet been passed to investigators, GMP said they were particularly interested in Abedi's whereabouts in the four days prior to the attack.

Meanwhile, Abedi is believed to have been filmed shopping for hardware and snacks on the day of the attack.

Did you see Abedi carrying this suitcase?

Amber Rudd the home secretary said this review is the "right step" for the service to take following last week's terror attack that killed 22 people.

MI5 is subject to scrutiny by a committee of Parliament, and it is highly unusual for British authorities to make public that the security service is conducting its own internal investigation into possible lapses.

MI5 is looking at decisions taken in the case of Abedi, who was on a terror watch list but was no longer on it at the time of the attack, and whether warnings about his behaviour were ignored, amid mounting criticism of the security services.

Although Abedi was born in Manchester, his parents came from Libya, fleeing to Britain as refugees from the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

The Bank Holiday raids followed the arrest of a 25-year-old man in Old Trafford and a 19-year-old man in Gorton in connection with attack.

"This is an ongoing investigation, so I'm not going to be drawn into comments on the actual man who committed this crime", Ms Rudd told BBC television, declining to say what was known about Abedi, and when.

Authorities say Abedi returned to Britain from Libya on May 18, and likely completed assembling his bomb at a rented apartment in central Manchester.

The move to scale back the threat level from critical to severe was announced by Prime Minister Theresa May who said there were now 11 suspects in custody over Monday night's bombing targeting young fans at a pop concert. The country remains on high alert, however, as officials caution that some suspects who helped Abedi may still be at large.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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