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used hash­tags re­fer­ring to the blast to post cel­e­bra­tory mes­sages, with some users en­cour­ag­ing sim­i­lar at­tacks else­where.

Some mes­sages de­scribed the at­tack as an act of re­venge in re­sponse to airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

Twit­ter user Ab­dul Haqq said it seemed that bombs of the Royal Air Force, which killed chil­dren in Mo­sul and Raqqa had “come back to Manch­ester”, in ref­er­ence to the Iraqi and Syr­ian cities held by IS mil­i­tants where a United States-led coali­tion, of which the United King­dom is a mem­ber, is con­duct­ing air strikes.

IS sup­port­ers re­port­edly posted mes­sages en­cour­ag­ing each other to carry out “lone wolf ” at­tacks in the West and shared IS videos threat­en­ing the US and Europe.

One user said he hoped IS was re­spon­si­ble for the at­tack.

“We hope that the per­pe­tra­tor is one of the sol­diers of the caliphate,” he wrote on a chan­nel af­fil­i­ated to the group hosted by mes­sag­ing net­work Tele­gram.

It was re­ported that Twit­ter sus­pended dozens of ac­counts, but IS sup­port­ers posted mes­sages across Tele­gram and other se­cured mes­sag­ing sys­tems.

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