Suicide bomber may have acted alone
THE Manchester suicide bomber may have acted alone, counterterrorism police said last night.
In the four days between travelling to the UK from Libya and carrying out the atrocity that killed 22 people, Salman Abedi bought most of the components and built the bomb by himself, they said.
Police said they could not rule out that the Libyan was part of a wider network, but after seven days of investigation involving 1,000 officers and ‘hundreds’ of witnesses, they concluded that he mostly acted alone.
This runs counter to the impression given so far in the investigation, which has seen 16 arrests. Last night three suspects, aged 20, 24 and 37, were released without charge. Officers said a blue suitcase Abedi was seen with hours before he launched the attack remains a focus of their inquiry.
It may contain crucial evidence that could allow forensic experts to piece together the gaps in his final movements.
Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said: ‘Our enquiries show Abedi himself made most of the purchases of the core components. Many of his movements and actions have been carried out alone during the four days from him landing in the country and committing this awful attack.
‘It is vital that we make sure that he is not part of a wider network and we cannot rule this out yet. There remain a number of things that concern us.’