Manchester attacks: MI5 probes bomber 'warnings'

Media caption,
CCTV footage appears to show the Manchester bomber Salman Abedi shopping at a convenience store

MI5 is to hold an inquiry into the way it dealt with warnings from the public that the Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was a potential threat.

The security service, which was alerted to Abedi's extremist views three times prior to last Monday's attack, will examine how it dealt with the warnings.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said it was right for MI5 to review its processes.

Early on Monday a man, 23, was arrested in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, on suspicion of terrorism offences.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police also began searching a site in Pilsworth near Bury on Monday afternoon.

On Sunday, two men were arrested in Manchester - a 19-year-old man in Gorton and a 25-year-old man in the Old Trafford area.

In all, 14 men are now being questioned in connection with the investigation into the attack.

Searches were also carried out at addresses in the Whalley Range area of Manchester and in Chester on Sunday night.

Seven children were among the 22 people who died when Abedi detonated a bomb on 22 May at the end of a concert by US singer Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena.

NHS England said 52 people were still being treated in hospital - including 19 in critical care.

Manchester Victoria station will reopen on Tuesday, just over a week after the suicide attack, British Transport Police have said.

The station, which is connected to Manchester Arena where the bomb went off, suffered structural damage in the incident.

MI5 has launched a "post incident investigation" into how the Manchester bomber was overlooked, while a separate report is being prepared for ministers and those who oversee the work of the service.

A Whitehall official said previously that Abedi was one of a "pool" of former subjects of interest whose risk remained "subject to review" by the security service and its partners.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Flowers and tributes lined St Ann's Square in Manchester on Monday

Born in Manchester to Libyan parents. BBC Newsnight reported that when Abedi was 16 he fought against the Colonel Gaddafi regime with his father during the school holidays.

It was while at Manchester College that two people who knew Abedi have confirmed they made separate calls to an anti-terrorism hotline to warn the police about his extremist views.

One of the mosques attended by Abedi and his family in Didsbury, south Manchester, has said it has a "lot to learn" to deter young people from extremist ideologies.

Greater Manchester Police have made an appeal to the public for information about Abedi's movements since 18 May, when he returned to the UK from abroad.

The home secretary would not comment specifically on what the security service knew about Abedi, but insisted it was right for MI5 to review its processes because "the threat is always changing".

Media caption,
Amateur footage shows armed police on Searby Rd, Gorton

The Times is reporting that a "key" tool which gives law enforcement the power to stop Britons suspected of involvement in terrorist activity abroad at the UK border has only been used once since it was introduced in 2015.

Ms Rudd said it was not for her to demand that a certain number of Temporary Exclusion Orders be used, but to make sure the security service has the "tools they can use" to protect the public.

"We need to put our efforts into protecting young people," she told BBC News. "People in our communities who are being targeted by Daesh [the Islamic State terror group] and fed a false ideology."

She said the government had "never understated" the threat of a terror attack in the UK, adding: "We have to level with people."

Reality Check: How can police stop terror suspects travelling?

Image source, Getty Images

Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 gives the police the power to stop, search and hold individuals at ports, airports and international railway stations.

Initially individuals could be questioned for up to nine hours - although a change in the guidelines means it is now up to six hours. The police also have the power to inspect electronic devices such as phones and laptops.

The police also have the power to seize travel documents for up to 14 days if they believe someone is travelling in order to engage in terrorist activity.

Another option is a Temporary Exclusion Order (TEO), which can be used against British citizens suspected of involvement in terrorist activity abroad. They are designed to stop suspects from re-entering the UK unless they give themselves up at the border.

Police say their investigation is "making good progress" and has around 1,000 people working on it.

In total 16 people have been arrested - but a woman and a 16-year-old boy were later released without charge.

The UK threat level has been reduced from critical to severe and soldiers deployed to support the police will be gradually withdrawn from Monday night.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Well-wishers left tributes at St Ann's Square for the victims of last Monday's attack

Additional security measures were in place for the Great Manchester Run on Sunday, which attracted tens of thousands of participants.

A huge round of applause for the emergency services followed a minute's silence for the victims and casualties.

There was also higher security at weekend events such as the FA Cup final in London.

Anyone with information is asked to call the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789321. You can upload images or footage that might be of assistance to