The suicide bomber responsible for last night’s terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena has been identified and named as Salman Abedi. The 22-year-old detonated a bomb just towards the end of Ariana Grande’s concert, leading to the death of 22 people with many others injured.
Abedi’s identity was revealed after teams of armed cops swooped on his address in Fallowfield, Manchester. Theresa May had earlier stated that the attacker was known to the authorities prior to the attack and that security services were working to establish if he was acting alone or as part of a terror cell. The police have already arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack as investigation continues.
A mother, Emma Johnson, believes she saw the suicide bomber just before he carried out the attack. Ms. Johnson had gone to the concert to collect her daughter, 15, and son, 17, and was waiting in the foyer when she said she saw a person in an “intense” red coloured top among the sea of teens dressed in Ariana themed pink, white and black clothes.
She told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I was about 15 feet away from the blast. We were waiting for our children to come out and we stood at the top of the foyer – you go up some stairs and we were protected glass on a barrier. As the doors all opened – it was just before the end of the Dangerous Woman song – it hadn’t quite finished and obviously people were leaving to miss the traffic. So we said we’d stand up there so the children could see us. As people were coming out they were wearing the clothes of Ariana – you know the white, the black, the pink, because they all sold the merchandise. But for one split second I turned and saw what I can only describe as a bright red – that’s why it stood out – bright red, with a grey panel down the front with risen bits all over it. It was that that stood out because it was so intense, the colour, in this crowd of people. As quick as I saw it the explosion happened.”
MI5 spooks and anti-terror cops are working to uncover Abedi’s links to any possible terror cell. Sources said their aim would be to establish if Abedi himself had built the deadly device – or if a bomb-making mastermind was behind the blast.