Raids, arrests as on-edge United Kingdom seeks 'network' of attackers

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his country's deepest condolences and said India's prayers were with all of those affected", Downing Street said in a statement.

Monday's blast rocked the arena as a concert by American pop idol Ariana Grande was wrapping up.

News of the arrests came as authorities in England continue to investigate what they're calling a network behind the bombing at a concert that had drawn girls and teenagers to Manchester.

King Salman said Saudi Arabia strongly "denounces and condemns this brutal terrorist attack which defies all worldwide humanitarian norms" and Lofven praised the response of the people of Manchester and their determination to carry on as normal.

The Government raised the terrorism threat level to "critical" - the highest possible rating - on Tuesday amid fears another attack is imminent. Cheshire Police, in a statement, said the victim was an off-duty female officer. Armed police patrolled outside St. Paul's Cathedral in London, another popular tourist spot.

Abedi's father, Ramadan Abedi, was allegedly a member of the al-Qaida-backed Libyan Islamic Fighting group in the 1990s, according to a former Libyan security official, Abdel-Basit Haroun.

British soldiers arrive by bus and head toward a building next to New Scotland Yard police headquarters near to the Houses of Parliament. Neighbors recalled him as a tall, thin young man who often wore traditional Islamic dress and did not talk much.

United States military officials said that American and United Kingdom intelligence services, along with the Africa Command, are looking at the possibility Abedi could have met with ISIS members or operatives from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a North African militant organization.

"We believe the attacker was wearing an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity", Hopkins said.

Ramadan Abedi, 51, has denied his son was the bomber.

The French minister, who took office only last week, added: "At the moment we only know what British investigators have told us".

Meanwhile, it was reported that the bomber's younger brother, Hashem Abedi, had also been detained in Tripoli on suspicion of links with Islamic State.

"Based on the fact that we have a threat level which is now critical and the ongoing situation here, the prime minister now plans a shortened programme at the G7 so she is likely to return on Friday evening", a senior government official said yesterday.

The Abedi family, however, is close to the family of al-Qaida veteran Abu Anas al-Libi, who was snatched by US special forces off a Tripoli street in 2013, then died in USA custody in 2015.

Some concert-goers said security was haphazard before the show, with some people being searched and others allowed inside unhindered.

"So it is irritating if it gets released from other sources and I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again".

Mrs May, who spoke after chairing a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency committee, added: "All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people but this attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice - deliberately targeting innocent defenceless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives".

Sixty-four people are still hospitalized, Jon Rouse of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said Wednesday. "They are being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester", the law enforcement agency said.

  • Leroy Wright