The UK's terror threat has been raised to its highest state critical by Prime Minister Theresa May after Monday night's attack in Manchester. This threat level, which has only been implemented three times now the last being a decade ago, indicates another attack is expected. A report from Financial Times says that this decision was made by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Committee after information was made available to them, giving them a reason to act. This information could have been the theory that the attack is connected to a network of terrorists planning to strike again.
The attack on Monday was made directly following the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in Manchester Arena at approximately 10:30 pm. Twenty-two people were killed and more than fifty were injured, the victims including both parents and children. The attack was made by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, who has been confirmed by Chief Constable Ian Hopkins in a CNN report to be found dead at the scene after detonating an improvised explosive device.
Who is Salman Abedi?
Following an investigation into the man responsible for the attack, it has been found that 22-year-old Salman Abedi, of Libyan descent, was a British citizen who recently traveled to Syria and Libya. It is thought that he became radicalized after traveling to Syria. It is also rumored that Abedi has known connections with terrorist networks, jihadists, and experienced bomb makers. Although people who knew him while he was alive all comment that he was a "normal" and "non-violent" kid, it is clear that something changed him to provoke his life-ending attack.
Arrests Made Following Attack
Close to 1,000 soldiers have been deployed to the streets to protect the safety of Manchester further. At this point, the primary objective is to arrest any persons who may have assisted the bomber and to stop a second attack from occurring. A total of seven people have been arrested so far, so it seems to be safe to say that the troops in Manchester are doing their job well. Among the several people arrested so far are Abedi's father and brothers, upon suspect of plotting a second attack. Abedi's father, Ramadan Abedi, has also been quoted as saying that his son is innocent.
The Investigation Now
When Prime Minister Theresa May raised the terror threat level to critical, she also implemented Operation Temperer, which is a government plan started back in 2015 that provides up to 3,800 soldiers to be put on the streets for protection following a terrorist attack, as explained in an article by The Telegraph. Soldiers have now been dispatched and are protecting "key locations" including the Palace of Westminster (which is currently closed to the public), Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, and the embassies.
Although it is unclear whether or not a second attack will be executed, it is important to remember that the police and troops are doing all they can to protect the people and find all people involved in planning the attack or any attacks to come. The best thing to do at this point is to stay calm and stay safe while authorities continue to update us on the situation.