On-edge U.K. seeks bomb ‘network’
Concert hall bomber’s brother arrested in Libya; ‘knew all the details’ of Manchester atrocity
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.