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

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, but British and USA intelligence have not confirmed that the extremist group was involved.

However, a woman arrested last night was released without charges.

Just hours after the deadly bombing, USA intelligence officials also prematurely leaked information about the suspected bomber which led to the publication Salman Abedi's name, as well the fact that the attack was a suicide bomb.

Live crime scene photos were leaked by the U.S. to the New York Times, which published them along with details of the bomb used by Salman Abedi in Monday's devastating attack.

"Initial searches of premises have revealed items that we believe are very important to the investigation", he said.

Ramadan Abedi says he spoke to his 22-year-old son, Salman Abedi, five days ago and he was getting ready to visit Saudi Arabia and sounded "normal".

"Another man has been arrested in the Manchester area in connection with this investigation, bringing the total number of men in custody to eight", the Greater Manchester Police said. The BBC reported that one of the men is Abedi's brother.

The Libyan antiterror force that arrested the men said that the brother, Hashim Abedi, 18, confessed that he and his brother were linked to the Islamic State and that he was aware of the arena bombing plan. He left for the U.K.in 1993, returning to Libya in 2008, where he was joined by most of his family after the ouster of Qaddafi in the 2011 revolution. The British government has elevated the national terror threat level to "critical", meaning that more attacks may be imminent.

Abedi was born in Britain to a Libyan family, grew up in Manchester's southern suburbs and attended the local Salford University for a time.

A source said British investigators were hunting for anyone who may have helped build the suicide bomb.

The photo leak undercut comments from UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who hours earlier said she had spoken with United States officials about the "flow of information" and made clear "it should not happen again".

In addition to the fatalities, another 64 people were wounded, several of whom remain hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

The leaks have opened a diplomatic row as the United Kingdom officials are said to be "furious" that their investigation was compromised when photos appearing to show debris from the attack appeared in the New York Times.

  • Zachary Reyes