44-year-old man arrested in Manchester bombing inquiry

A Libyan official said investigations found Abedi made a final phone call to his mother and brother just before the attack.

The bomber's father Ramadan Abedi and another brother Hashim have been detained in Libya.

He said fans coming to football and rugby matches this weekend should come earlier than usual because of added security screening.

In a statement GMP said: "This morning we have been carrying out searches at an address in the St Helens area of Merseyside".

The dead at the Ariana Grande performance at the Manchester Arena on Monday evening included children, teenagers, and adults who had arrived to pick up those attending.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said these past few days have been "intense" for the officers and staff of the department, but that they continue to make progress in the investigation.

In a Thursday statement made in Brussels, Trump - who is already struggling domestically to stem a tide of damaging leaks from law enforcement agencies - slammed the information coming out in the United States media.

Leaks of information about the Manchester terror attacks to U.S. news organisations have caused caused United Kingdom authorities to stop sharing information with their USA counterparts and put significant strain on relations between the two allies.

May said she planned to "make clear" to President Donald Trump at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels later Thursday that "intelligence that is shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure".

On Wednesday, The New York Times published forensic photographs showing components of the bomber's device strewn across the foyer of the Manchester Arena, enraging British politicians, intelligence agencies and police.

Mohammed Shafiq, who heads the Manchester-based Muslim organisation Ramadhan Foundation, said some of Abedi's past statements had prompted a Libyan community activist in Manchester to report him to the national counter-terrorism hotline two years ago. "It is absolutely understandable that this has caused much distress for families that are already suffering terribly with their loss".

Authorities are also looking into Abedi's relationships with several known militants, including Raphael Hostey, an ISIS recruiter who was killed in a drone strike in Syria past year.

The images, shared with America by British authorities, showed a detonator the suicide bomber was said to have carried in his left hand, shrapnel including nuts and screws and the shredded remains of a blue backpack.

His father, Ramadan Abedi, was arrested in Tripoli soon after, and has been accused of being a member of the al-Qaeda-backed Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in the 1990s. "And it doesn't represent our community, and for sure doesn't represent this mosque here.This centre is one of the most open - open to the community".

The man, who only gave his first name Ahmad, said he frequently saw Abedi under the influence of cannabis, a claim repeated by another neighbour in the local newspaper, the Manchester Evening News.

A friend of the Abedi family, Salem Ammar, said in an interview that Abedi's father, Ramadan, had been so anxious about his son's frame of mind in the months before the Manchester bombing that he pressured him to come to Libya, and briefly confiscated his passport. German police said Abedi made a brief stopover at Dusseldorf Airport, while a Turkish official said he had transited through Istanbul airport without saying where he was travelling from.

The allegations clashed with what Abedi's father said a day earlier in an interview with the AP.

A source close to the family said Abedi wanted to avenge the murder in Manchester previous year of a friend of Libyan descent, with his sister Jomana Abedi also telling the Wall Street Journal he was driven by a desire for revenge.

In Manchester's St. Ann's Square, where a sea of floral tributes grew by the hour, a crowd sang the hometown band Oasis' song "Don't Look Back in Anger". Queen Elizabeth II visited Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, telling 14-year-old Evie Mills and her parents: "It's awful. Very wicked, to target that sort of thing". Grande didn't announce a date for the benefit concert but says she'll have more details once everything is confirmed. She recalled leaving the concert when the blast struck and remembered an intense ringing in her ears, but not being entirely aware that she was bleeding badly from her legs.

Reda Fhelboom, a Libyan journalist who has spent many years living in Manchester, said Britain was paying an "entirely predictable" price for allowing Libyan Islamists into the country.

  • Zachary Reyes