British police make two more arrests after Manchester bombing

Police hunting the network behind Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi said they made "significant" arrests and seized items they believe are "very important" in raids linked to the investigation.

Investigators are focused on tracking down associates of Abedi, a British-born national of Libyan descent, saying it is clear they are investigating a network.

"There was a policeman, armed policeman, shouting at my neighbour. and I realised there is something wrong here", he said.

Abdul Wahab Hafidah was run over and stabbed in Manchester in May 2016 in what is believed to have been a gangland killing.

British-born Salman Abedi, 22, who was known to security services, killed 22 people and injured 64 others at the Manchester Arena which was packed with children and teenagers for USA singer Ariana Grande's performance on Monday night.

"A woman has been arrested at an address in connection with the investigation", the Greater Manchester Police said on Wednesday.

When arrested he is reported to have told Libyan authorities: "I have ideology with my brother".

Prior to his detention Ramadan Abedi confirmed that British authorities had arrested another son, Ismail, 23, on Tuesday as part of the concert attack probe.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said Abedi had "likely" been to Syria after the trip to Libya, citing information provided by British intelligence services to their counterparts in Paris.

It is unclear the extent to which authorities in the US and United Kingdom were aware of Salman Abedi before his attack, though the Daily Telegraph reported that officials were warned at least five times about potential danger.

Armed police officers stand near the Manchester Arena, where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing on Tuesday.

Interior minister Amber Rudd had described the leaks as "irritating" early on Thursday, after details about bomber Salman Abedi, including his name, first appeared in USA media, adding that Britain's allies were perfectly clear that it "shouldn't happen again".

British police chiefs on Thursday condemned the release of potential evidence while inquiries were ongoing, and said that the leaks represented breaches of trust which undermined their investigation.

While it is not known what part Hashem played in the Manchester attack, he told interrogators, according to Libyan officials, that "we knew what we were doing".

One suspect device was blown up in a controller explosion and security sources previously said there is a possibility that other materials are yet to be found.

But, hours after the warning, the New York Times published the detailed photographs.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will confront U.S. President Donald Trump over leaks of intelligence about the suicide bomb attack at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels on Thursday, the Guardian newspaper said.

Salman Abedi was not the only one in his family who caused concern in Manchester. Meanwhile, eight of the 22 victims of the attack are known to be eight-year-old Saffie Roussos, Lisa Lees, 50- year-old Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 29-year-old Martyn Hett, 15- year-old Olivia Campbell, 32-year-old Kelly Brewster, 28- year-old John Atkinson, and 18-year-old Georgina Callander. He ordered Salman and Hashem to move to Libya a few weeks ago - an order which the young men complied with, but apparently failed to stop them from carrying out the Manchester attack.

So far a total of 984 soldiers had been drafted into helping police in London and elsewhere, and as many as 3,800 could be used, according to Rudd.

The force has reportedly stopped sharing intelligence relating to the attack with the U.S. government after concerns that American intelligence officers were continuing to leak confidential details of the investigation to the American media.

The BBC reported that security services thought the bomb was too sophisticated for Abedi to have built by himself.

Ariana Grande has postponed her tour through June 5 following the terrorist attack on her concert in Manchester, England on Monday.

The Chelsea soccer team announced it would cancel Sunday's victory parade in London that was to have celebrated the team's Premier League title win this season.

The government said a minute's silence would be held at all official buildings at 1000 GMT on Thursday.

The father and younger brother of the suspect in the Manchester concert bombing have been detained in Libya, where anti-terror authorities said the brother confessed to knowing "all the details" of the deadly plot. They said they would formally name the victims after forensic post-mortems, which would take four or five days.

Monday's bombing, which killed 22 people and wounded 64, also resulted in the cancellation of next week's London premiere of the superhero film "Wonder Woman" and increased security for a music festival this weekend featuring pop star Katy Perry in the northern English city of Hull.

France, which has repeatedly been hit by devastating militant attacks since 2015, extended emergency powers.

  • Audrey Hill