Salman Ramadan Abedi, the 22-year-old terrorist held responsible for the deadly blast in Manchester, was born in the United Kingdom. The Sun, a UK-based daily, reported that Abedi received secret military training during his family’s trips to Syria. Both of his parents were once refugees from Libya. However, in recent years they had visited the war-torn country regularly. The Islamic State, through its official Amaq news service, claimed him as one of its "soldiers."
 
The threat level in the UK has been raised to “critical,” as fears are being sparked that Abedi may not have acted alone. He detonated an improvised explosive device on the evening of May 22 at the Manchester Arena, killing himself and 22 others. He maimed approximately 100 more. Shrapnel from the nail bomb in his backpack spewed from the explosion at the foyer of the concert venue, gouging and maiming its victims. Many of them were children. Eight-year-old schoolgirl Saffie Roussos was named as one of the victims along with student 18-year-old Georgina Callander, 26-year-old John Atkinson, and 32-year-old Kelly Brewster, who sacrificed herself to shield her niece from the deadly blast.
 
This is the first time in 10 years that the threat level in the UK has been raised to the critical level. There are reports that the military may be deployed to ensure safety out of fear that another attack may be “imminent.”
 
Armed police raided the home of the suicide bomber in the Fallowfield area of Manchester on Tuesday. There are fears that Abedi may have taken advantage of the ongoing conflict in Libya to travel to Syria without alerting British authorities. According to official sources cited by The Sun, “His potential ties to Syria now very much forms one line of inquiry.” Abedi was already known to British security services, which are seeking to find out if he acted alone or in concert with a larger network to carry out the worst terrorist attacks in Britain in years. Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley admitted there are “gaps in our knowledge” about Abedi. Prime Minister Theresa denounced the “cowardly” attack and admitted that it is possible that a “wider group of individuals” could have been involved.


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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