Investigators explore bomber's links to larger network

A short time before, he promised to bring anyone caught leaking intelligence details to justice after British police stopped sharing information about Monday's atrocity at Manchester Arena with the US.

After chairing a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee, Theresa May said the terror threat level will remain at critical - meaning another attack is expected imminently.

Britain has named the suspected suicide bomber who killed 22 people in an attack on a Manchester concert Monday as Salman Abedi, who was born in Britain of Libyan origin.

But British ministers and security chiefs have been dismayed by leaks in the US media that made public details about the British investigation.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: "I want to reassure people that the arrests that we have made are significant, and initial searches of premises have revealed items that we believe are very important to the investigation".

According to media reports, Abedi was known to United Kingdom security services, but his risk to the public remained "subject to review". A statement from Libya's Special Deterrent Forces claims the brother told investigators both he and Salman belonged to the Islamic State group.

Lapan said the Homeland Security Department has shared some information about Abedi's travel with the British government, but declined to offer specifics.

Libya is working closely with Britain to identify possible "terrorist networks" involved in the attack at a pop concert in Manchester, a senior Libyan official said Thursday.

They said one thread of the investigation involves pursuing whether Abedi could have been part of a larger terror cell that included Mohamed Abrini, otherwise known as "the man in the hat", with connections to the Brussels and Paris attacks. It plans to unveil its policy pledges on Thursday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information hadn't been cleared for public release. It was apparently returned when he said he wanted to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Attacks in cities including Paris, Nice, Brussels, St Petersburg, Berlin and London have shocked Europeans already anxious over security challenges from mass immigration and pockets of domestic Islamic radicalism.

  • Leroy Wright