ISIL claims responsibility for deadly Manchester attack
The Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group has taken responsibility for Monday night’s attack at the Manchester Arena that killed 22 people, including children, and wounded 59 others.
“One of the soldiers of the Caliphate was able to place an explosive device within a gathering of the Crusaders in the city of Manchester,” the group said in a statement Tuesday.
Daesh did not publish a name or picture of the attacker, which they have previously done for some major attacks they claimed responsibility for.
A suicide bomber with an “improvised” explosion device targeted a concert arena in Manchester as thousands of young people streamed from the venue.
British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack as “among the worst terrorism” in the United Kingdom.
“All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people, but this attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice,” May said in a statement outside Downing Street on Tuesday.
“We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room of young people as an opportunity for carnage.”
She also described the terrorist incident as “the worst ever to hit the north of England.”
The prime minister said the security services believe they know the identity of the assailant but are not yet able to confirm it.
The statement came as British police said that they had arrested a 23-year-old man in Chorlton in connection with the deadly attack.
“With regards to the ongoing investigation into last night’s horrific attack at the Manchester Arena, we can confirm we have arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester,” police said in a statement.
Authorities are trying to determine if the suicide bomber acted alone or was part of a larger network.
Andrew Parker, director general of MI5, said the attack was “disgusting,” adding that the security service remained “relentlessly focused, in numerous current operations” to combat the “surge of terrorism” in the UK.
The first victim of the attack has been identified as 18-year-old student Georgina Callander. The teenager was one of the first people to be transported to hospital, but she later died with her mother at her bedside.
Relatives are using social media to get information on their loved ones, and an emergency number has also been established.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said more police officers had been ordered to beef up security in the British capital.
The incident was the worst terrorist attack in Britain since the July 7, 2005 bombings in central London, which killed 52 people.
US President Donald Trump, who is currently on a Middle East tour, said Tuesday “evil losers” were behind Monday’s night attack.
“I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured in this terrorist attack and to the many killed and the families – so many families of the victims,” Trump said.
“This wicked ideology must be obliterated – and I mean completely obliterated – and the innocent life must be protected. All civilized nations must join together to protect human life and the sacred right our citizens to live in safety and in peace,” the president said, echoing statements
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the American authorities were “working closely” with British officials to help them investigate the attack.