Hallmark Islamic Terror Attack Kills 22 in Manchester
More Dead as Terrorist Jihad Continues in the UK
A suicide bomber has killed 22 people and injured 59 at a concert in Machester, England, according to latest reports. One of those present told Reuters:
It was a huge explosion. You could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming just trying to get out.
The suicide bomber detonated himself in the lobby of the 21,000 seat Manchester Arena at the end of a concert by American pop star Ariana Grande.
After the attack, Manchester police deployed hundreds of officers overnight and at one point conducted a precautionary controlled explosion near the arena of an object they later said turned out to not be anything suspicious.
Abandoned shoes, phones and jackets were scattered throughout the arena. Some witnesses said the ground near the blast was covered with nuts and bolts.
Worried parents who had brought their children to the show crowded the streets outside the building. A nearby hotel opened its doors to children looking for their mothers and fathers. Cab drivers turned off their meters and offered to drive people from the ill-fated concert to wherever they want to go.
Islamic State Terror Tactics
The use of suicide bombers is hallmark Islamic State terrorism. The last suicide bomb attack in the UK was carried out by four Islamic extremists on July 7, 2005, killing 52 and injuring over 700 innocent people in London. In this latest attack, the explosion occurred on the 4th anniversary of the Islamic attack on British Army soldier Lee Rigby on May 22, 2013. White House official Sebastian Gorka made the connection immediately, tweeting late Monday:
Manchester explosion happens on 4th anniversary of the public murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby. Dates matter to Jihadi terrorists.
Raffaello Pantucci, Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London, described the attack as involving a sophisticated waepon that may point to a wider network. He told CNBC Tuesday:
The type of weapon is disturbing in some ways because a functioning bomb is actually a fairly sophisticated device to make. There are easy bombs and there are harder bombs, but it does always require a certain level of technical ability which either requires a certain amount of training or some practice or some sort of technical skills. And that’s always quite worrying.
Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, said Tuesday:
We have been treating this as a terrorist incident and we believe at this stage the attack last night was conducted by one man.
Hopkins said investigators believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, and that he died at the site.
Police are working with national counter-terrorism and intelligence officials to figure out more details about the attacker with a priority on determining whether he was acting alone or as part of a network, Hopkins said.
Islamic Terrorists Targeting the Most Vulnerable: Children
This was a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society, young people, children, out at a pop concert.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called an emergency meeting of COBRA, Tuesday morning. In a public statement May said her thoughts are with the victims of what she called an “appalling terrorist attack.” May and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, agreed to suspend campaigning ahead of the country’s June 8 elections.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it was monitoring the situation in Manchester, and that it did not have any information showing a “specific credible threat” to music venues in the U.S.
President Donald Trump said the victims in Wednesday’s attack were killed by “evil losers in life.”
“I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term, they would think that’s a great name,” Trump said. “I will call them from now on losers, because that’s what they are.”
He added, “We cannot stand a moment longer for the slaughter of innocent people.”
Islamic Terror Connection
As yet, Islamic State has not claimed responsibility, but affiliated Islamic terror groups have reportedly been celebrating the attack. US terrorism analyst, Michael S. Smith II, said the celebrations on ISIL’s social media channels were a “strong indicator” that the attack is linked to the jihadist group.
To date, 119 terrorist attacks have been reported across the world for the month of May alone, most of the conducted by Islamic groups. The intensity of Islamic terrorist attacks has been increasing across Europe. In a video released on the internet, ISIL gloated over the atrocity, according to the Dail Telegraph, with a warning in English:
This is only the beginning. The lions of Islamic State of Iraq and Sham are beginning to attack all the crusaders.
Update: Suicide Bomber Named as Salman Abedi
US officials have named the Manchester suicide bomber as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, according to The Telegraph. He is the son of Libyan refugees and worked at the Didsbury Mosque in Manchester. Islamic State have also now claimed responsibility for the attack.
Greater Manchester Police also confirmed that a 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the attack.
Image: Islamic Terrorism in Manchester 2017, Manchester Arena (then the Manchester Evening News Arena) by David Dixon (2010).