British police said on Monday they had arrested a 16th person in connection with the Manchester suicide bombing last week. The 23-year-old man was arrested in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, “on suspicion on offences contrary to the terrorism act”, Greater Manchester Police said on Twitter. A total of 16 people have been arrested in connection with the attack, in which 22 people died. Two were released without charge, while 14 men remained in custody for questioning, the police said.
Greater Manchester Police said the two men — one of them aged 19 and the other 25 — were arrested yesterday on suspicion of terror activities. The 19-year-old was arrested in a raid on the former home of Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber behind Monday night’s bombing at the Manchester Arena that claimed 22 lives. Abedi, 22, was listed at the property along with his older brother, Ismail, who was arrested shortly after the terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert and remains in police custody.
Residents described their houses shaking and hearing a loud blast as officers forced their way into the semi-detached property in the Gorton area of Manchester, the Guardian newspaper reported. Explosions were reported at several of the search sites yesterday, although police have not commented on whether a controlled explosion was used to gain entrance to the property. Earlier yesterday, police had conducted raids in Moss side area of Manchester and arrested the 25-year-old man. As the large-scale operation continued, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) said 54 people injured in the attack were still being treated in eight hospitals with 19 receiving critical care. A total of 116 people had required hospital care in the wake of the massacre, police previously said.
Britain’s terror threat level has also been reduced to “severe” from “critical”. The terror threat level now indicates that an attack remains highly likely rather than imminent. The Army troops deployed as a result of Operation Temperer will be reduced from Monday night. Prime Minister Theresa May made the announcement after leading a meeting of the government’s emergency committee Cobra. About 1,000 armed police officers have been freed up by the decision to deploy the army to protect key sites including Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.
Investigators believe 22-year-old Manchester-born suicide bomber Abedi, from a family of Libyan origin, acted as part of a terrorist network.
Abedi was known to UK security services, but his risk to the public remained “subject to review”, according to reports. In the Libyan capital Tripoli, Abedi’s younger brother 20-year-old Hashem and their father, Ramadan, are being held by special forces linked to the country’s interior ministry.