MANCHESTER RALLIES IN THE FACE OF TERROR
TROOPS are being deployed to Britain’s streets amid fears of a follow-up terror attack.
Theresa May announced the move last night, 24 hours after a suicide bomber killed 22 concertgoers, including a girl of 8.
The prime minister confirmed the identity of the Manchester attacker as British-born Salman Abedi, 22.
Intelligence agencies fear he may not have acted alone — meaning a terror cell may be on the loose.
The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre last night raised the attack threat to its highest level, critical — where an atrocity is “highly likely and may be imminent”.
Speaking inside Downing Street following a meeting of the emergency committee Cobra, May said: “We cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack.”
She insisted the terrorists would be defeated, adding: “The spirit of Manchester and Britain is far mightier than the sick plots of the terrorists.
“That is why they will never win and we will prevail.”
It is the first time troops have been deployed in mainland Britain since February 2003, when Tony Blair sent tanks to guard Heathrow in a terror scare. Soldiers will patrol key sites including sporting and concert venues.
Undercover SAS troopers will join regular soldiers under Operation Temperer.
Police were last night quizzing Abedi’s brother, Ismail, 23, on suspicion of involvement in the nail bomb attack, the worst UK atrocity since 2005.
Sources said although Abedi was known to the security services, he was not under surveillance and officers had no idea he was building a bomb. His father is a suspected jihadi who left the UK in 2011 to fight against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in his native Libya.
It was claimed Abedi travelled by train from London to Manchester on Monday, raising suspicions that he may have met coconspirators or picked up the bomb.
Experts checked his home for traces of chemicals or explosives.
Police have recovered Closedcircuit television footages of Abedi striding into the Manchester Arena on Monday night with what officers believe was a homemade bomb.
Special forces were yesterday moved forward from their base in Hereford to Manchester to provide assistance to the police and security services.
Under the direction of the Counter Terrorist Command the soldiers, many of who have worked with specialist police units in the past few years joined undercover teams and armed response units.
Army commanders have three infantry battalions of armed soldiers ready to deploy anywhere across the country to support the police.
The rotation of available soldiers changes on a regular basis with paratroopers from 16 Air Assault Brigade currently listed as the “in role” force ready to provide additional public security.
The Queen summed up the disgust of the nation at the Manchester attack yesterday, describing it as an “act of barbarity”.
She also expressed her “deepest sympathy” to all those affected by the “dreadful” events of Monday night.
In Tripoli, the younger brother of the suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a concert venue in Manchester has been arrested in Tripoli on suspicion of links with Islamic State, a spokesman for a local counter-terrorism force said on Wednesday.
The force, known as Rada, detained Hashem Abedi, who was born in 1997, on Tuesday evening, spokesman Ahmed Bin Salem told Reuters. Agencies
People attending a vigil in Albert Square in Manchester on Tuesday, in solidarity with those killed and injured in the May 22 terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.