MI5 was warned about Manchester bomber Salman Abedi's support of Islamists
- Author: Leroy Wright May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 10:00
"In the past five days, we have gathered significant information about Abedi, his associates, his finances, the places he had been, how the device was built and the wider conspiracy", they said in a statement.
Police said on Saturday that overnight they had made two further arrests as they closed in on other possible cell members. On Saturday, May said that an attack is no longer imminent, but remains "likely".
Britain's official terror threat level was raised to "critical", the highest level, late on Tuesday, meaning an attack was expected imminently. The troops will gradually be withdrawn beginning on Monday, she said. But he said there were still "gaps in our understanding" of the plot, as investigators probed Abedi's potential links to jihadis in Britain, Europe, Libya and the Middle East.
Greater Manchester Police said two men, aged 20 and 22, were detained early Saturday in the northwest England city on suspicion of terrorism offenses. Abedi's younger brother and his father, Ramadan, are under arrest in Tripoli.
The decision to stop sharing police information with USA agencies was an extraordinary step as Britain sees the United States as its closest ally on security and intelligence.
Police said the investigation - which is "making good progress" - has around 1000 people working on it and hundreds more officers involved in the security across Greater Manchester.
It came amid searches at a separate property in Cheetham Hill and an address in the Longsight area in south Manchester, while a road in Moss Side was evacuated by officers searching a home there. Photos showed an army bomb-disposal unit at the property.
One search was at an apartment in a Manchester high-rise that British media say was rented by Abedi in the months before the attack. Mohammed El-Hudarey, a friend of the landlord, said after Abedi moved out about six weeks ago there was a strong smell of chemicals and debris, including metal rods and cut-up fabric. "We thought he must have been a drug dealer or doing witchcraft", Mr El-Hudarey told the broadcaster.
A huge bank holiday weekend security operation is under way as tens of thousands of people attend major spectacles including the FA Cup Final at Wembley and the Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham.
A minute's silence was observed in honor of the victims at a square in central Manchester, after which crowds broke into an emotional chorus of "Don't Look Back in Anger", an old hit song by the band Oasis who are from the city. And I don't like it because apparently he was in Libya and now he's the one that did the bombing in Manchester. Former U.S. President Barack Obama, meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel at an event in Berlin, said the pair were "heartbroken", while Trump told fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders the attack was "savage" and "barbaric".
The bombing on Monday night claimed the lives of 22 people, many of them teenagers and their parents.
The issue between Trump's administration and Britain's authorities began after the Times published an article Wednesday that included images of evidence found at the scene of the Manchester terrorist attack, which happened shortly after pop star Ariana Grande finished her show Monday night.
"There is no relationship we cherish more than the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom", the US President said in a statement released by the White House.