On-edge U.K. seeks bomb ‘net­work’

Con­cert hall bomber’s brother ar­rested in Libya; ‘knew all the de­tails’ of Manch­ester atroc­ity

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - JILL LAW­LESS, MAG­GIE MICHAEL AND GRE­GORY KATZ

MANCH­ESTER, ENG­LAND — Se­cu­rity forces rounded up more sus­pects Wed­nes­day as the deadly Manch­ester con­cert blast left Bri­tain on edge.

Sol­diers fanned out across the coun­try to na­tional land­marks amid fears of ad­di­tional at­tacks.

Across London, author­i­ties re­con­sid­ered se­cu­rity plans.

The chang­ing of the guard cer­e­mony at Buck­ing­ham Palace was can­celled so po­lice of­fi­cers could be re­de­ployed.

The Palace of West­min­ster, which houses Par­lia­ment, was shut­tered to those with­out passes.

Tours and events were can­celled un­til fur­ther no­tice.

Armed po­lice pa­trolled out­side St. Paul’s Cathe­dral in London, an­other pop­u­lar tourist spot.

Mean­while, of­fi­cials said the Bri­tish-born eth­nic Libyan iden­ti­fied as the bomber who killed 22 was likely part of a wider ter­ror­ist net­work.

“I think it’s very clear this is a net­work we are in­ves­ti­gat­ing,” Chief Const. Ian Hop­kins of the Manch­ester Po­lice said as author­i­ties raided Bri­tish prop­er­ties thought to be con­nected to Sal­man Abedi, 22, who grew up in Manch­ester and died in the at­tack.

Taken into cus­tody in Libya were the bomber’s fa­ther and his younger brother, Hashim Abedi, 18.

The brother con­fessed to know­ing “all the de­tails” of the at­tack plot, Libyan anti-terror author­i­ties said.

A sec­ond brother, Is­mail Abedi, 23, was taken into cus­tody in Manch­ester a day ear­lier.

Bri­tish Home Sec­re­tary Am­ber Rudd said Abedi “likely” did not act alone in the strike at the close of an Ari­ana Grande con­cert Mon­day night.

He had been known to se­cu­rity forces “up to a point.”

Bri­tain’s terror threat level was raised to “crit­i­cal” — the high­est level — on Tues­day over con­cern an­other at­tack could be im­mi­nent.

French In­te­rior Min­is­ter Ger­ard Col­lomb said Abedi was be­lieved to have trav­elled to Syria and had “proven” links to the Is­lamic State group, which claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack.

“It looks like we’re not deal­ing with a lone wolf sit­u­a­tion. There’s a net­work — a cell of Isis-in­spired ter­ror­ists,” said U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), chair of the House Home­land Se­cu­rity Com­mit­tee.

He said the bomb’s con­struc­tion sug­gested a “level of so­phis­ti­ca­tion” that might in­di­cate for­eign train­ing.

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