Salman Abedi, the Manchester suicide attacker who detonated a bomb at Ariana Grande’s concert on Monday, May 22, 2017, is thought to have bought most of the bomb parts himself, according to police. The head of the North West counter-terrorism unit, Russ Jackson, said that the majority of Abedi’s actions were “carried out alone” the four days leading up to the attack.
However, the police have not ruled out whether Abedi was part of a wider network. The head of the North West counter-terrorism unit said that there were a “number of things” about Abedi’s behavior that concerned law enforcement. Det. Chief Supt. Jackson made a statement to the public today about how Abedi bought the bomb components.
“Our enquiries show Abedi himself made most of the purchases of the core [bomb] components and what is becoming apparent is that many of his movements and actions have been carried out alone during the four days from him landing in the country and committing this awful attack.”
One of the key pieces of information police are still investigating is why Abedi kept returning to the area of Wilmslow Road in Manchester, and the police are still trying to find the blue suitcase that Abedi used during those trips.
Police arrested 16 people in connection with the Manchester attack last Monday. Of the 16 arrested, five have been released without charges, with two of them just this past Tuesday. There are still 11 suspects in custody. The 16 who were arrested were held on “reasonable grounds of suspicion,” but reasonable suspicion does not fulfill the requirements of “realistic prospect of conviction,” which the police need in order to charge suspects.
The recent news of police still investigating whether Salman Abedi is part of a wider network has raised questions as to whether authorities have come to a clear understanding of the attack. Until now, police spoke with a near certainty about Abedi forming part of a network.
According to BBC News, the police are still trying to piece together a timeline of Abedi’s movements prior to the attack. Det. Ch. Supt. Russ Jackson stated that the focus of the police investigation thus far has been working through the attacker’s last movements. Authorities have been tracking Abedi’s movements on CCTV footage and his interactions with people, as well as investigating calls he made prior to the Manchester attack.
As this case-building phase progresses, police are trying to piece together a cohesive case with the various pieces of evidence and information against Abedi’s purported co-conspirators. According to Det. Ch. Supt. Jackson, police made “huge progress,” but he cautions that it will “take considerable time before we fully understand what happened.”
The National Police Council stated that every police force in the U.K. has helped in some capacity since the Manchester attack took place. A total of 28 police departments, in addition to the National Crime Agency, have assisted the Manchester police force with the investigation as well as the response to the disaster of the bombing itself.
The Manchester bombing claimed 22 people’s lives on Monday, May 22, 2017, after an Ariana Grande concert, according to the Inquisitr.
The support for the city has been overwhelming with an outpouring from artists and prominent people. Liam Gallagher played in Manchester on Tuesday, May 30. He donated the proceeds of the concert to the victims of the bombing. Gallagher applauded audience members who shouted, “Stand up for the 22,” referencing the 22 lives that were taken that night.
On Sunday, June 3 Ariana Grande will be joined by Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Coldplay, and Take That when they will have a benefit concert called “One Love Manchester,” which will also be in lieu of the Manchester bombing victims.
[Featured Image Ahmed Bin Salman, Special Deterrent Force/AP Images]