Manchester Update

The latest regarding the explosion at

Increased Security, Social Media Blackouts After Manchester Attack  Gideon Gottfried

Friends Arena Security
AP Photo / Martin Meissner)
– Friends Arena Security
Policemen stand by a tunnel leading to the pitch at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, May 23, one day before Ajax Amsterdam and Manchester United were to play the Europa League soccer final.

In what is becoming familiar practice, governments in Europe have announced to increase security at public venues in light of the attack on Manchester Arena.

“The security forces are reviewing public safety and issuing advice to the public in the South after the bombing at Manchester Arena last night. People are being advised to go about their ordinary lives, but at the same time to be on alert and to report any suspicious incidents,” London’s ITV reported. 


Scotland is no exception, with Glasgow’s

“The Scottish Event Campus is entering a very busy period with events in The SSE Hydro, The Armadillo and the SEC Centre over the next few days,” the SEC stated. “The safety of the public attending events on our Campus is paramount. 

“We have been liaising with the appropriate authorities including Police Scotland. Security measures at the Campus have been enhanced including carrying out bag searches and full body searches. Only small bags (35cm x 40cm) will be permitted into The SSE Hydro and The Armadillo. Larger bags may be checked into the cloakroom in the SEC Centre and will be searched. At certain times, ticket checks will take place at entry points to the Campus with some access routes (such as the walkway to the station) restricted to ticket holders only.

“These arrangements will mean that entry to the venues will take longer and therefore we would strongly encourage visitors to arrive early to allow time for access to the events.”

New French President Emmanuel Macron said he would set up a new counter-terrorism body following the Manchester attack. According to Reuters, “Paris police chief Michel Delpuech said he had ordered a stepped-up police presence around theatres particularly at the start and end of events.

“The police were also drawing up a list of ‘sensitive’ events likely to draw young spectators, such as cinema, theatre and sports venues, including the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris next week.”

As reported by The Guardian, Macron told French radio in April, after the shooting on the Champs Élysées: “This threat, this imponderable problem, is part of our daily lives for the years to come.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said something eerily similar, after an explosion in New York in September 2016 left 29 people injured: “Part and parcel of living in a great global city is you have got to be prepared for these things.”

Many UK venues and festivals have engaged in a 48-hour social media blackout to show sympathy for the victims of the attack on Manchester Arena.

“For the next 48 hours our social media activity will be silent in sympathy with all those that lost their lives or were injured, physically and/or mentally, by the devastating attack in Manchester last night. Our thoughts are with those affected as well as the emergency services working tirelessly to keep us safe in all that we do,” could be seen on the socials of many venues and festivals throughout the UK.

All Concert Dead Identified – Associated Press
9:24 AM PDT, Wednesday, May 24

British police say they are now confident they know the identities of all the people who lost their lives in Monday’s concert attack in Manchester.

Moving Forward
Dave Thompson/AP
– Moving Forward
People walking through the city centre in Manchester, England, two days after the bombing at Ariana Grande’s concert at the Manchester Arena.

But Greater Manchester Police said Wednesday that it could not formally name the victims until forensic post-mortems are concluded. The force said because of the number of victims, that is likely to take four to five days.

It said all the families affected have been contacted and trained officers are supporting them.

Officials said 22 people were killed in the suicide bombing of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, including teenagers and children. Some of them have been named by friends and family. The youngest victim was 8-year-old Saffie Roussos.

3 More Arrests In Manchester; London Tourist Sites Protected – Associated Press

British police and intelligence agencies arrested three more suspects Wednesday in connection with the Manchester suicide bombing and moved quickly to secure key sites across the country, including Buckingham Palace and the British Parliament at Westminster.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the bomber, identified as British-born Libyan Salman Abedi, “likely” did not act alone when he killed 22 people and wounded dozens at an Ariana Grande concert Monday night in Manchester. She said he had been known to security forces “up to a point.”

Officials are examining Abedi’s trips to Libya as they piece together his allegiances and try to foil any new potential threats.

Police said three men were arrested Wednesday in south Manchester, where a day earlier a 23-year-old man was also arrested and a number of homes were searched.

Britain raised its threat level from terrorism to “critical” after an emergency government meeting late Tuesday amid concerns that the 22-year-old Abedi may have accomplices who are planning another attack. British soldiers have been deployed in place of police officers to guard high-profile sites such as Buckingham Palace and Parliament.

The changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace was canceled Wednesday so police officers can be re-deployed, Britain’s defense ministry said. The traditional ceremony is a major tourist attraction in London.

The Palace of Westminster, which houses the British Parliament in London, was also closed Wednesday to all those without passes, and tours and events there were cancelled until further notice. Armed police were also seen on patrol outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, another popular tourist spot.

Officials said 984 soldiers were deployed Wednesday in London and in other locations.

Suicide bomber Abedi was born in Britain to a Libyan family, grew up in Manchester’s southern suburbs and attended local Salford University for a time.

Police on Tuesday raided his house, using a controlled explosion to blast down the door. Neighbors recalled him as a tall, thin young man who often wore traditional Islamic dress and did not talk much.

British Prime Minister Theresa May chaired a meeting Wednesday of her emergency security cabinet group to talk about intelligence reports on Abedi and concerns that he might have had outside support.

Police also raided and searched a property elsewhere in Manchester where Abedi’s brother Ismail is thought to have lived.

Officials are probing how often Abedi had traveled to Libya, which has seen an eruption of armed Islamist groups since dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011.

France’s interior minister said Abedi is believed to have traveled to Syria and had “proven” links with the Islamic State group.

Minister Gerard Collomb said Wednesday on BFM television that British and French intelligence have information that Abedi had been to Syria. He did not elaborate but said it’s unclear whether Abedi was part of a larger network of attackers.

British officials have not commented on whether Abedi had links to IS or other extremist groups.

Rudd said Britain’s increased official threat level will remain at “critical” as the investigation proceeds and won’t be lowered until security services are convinced there is no active plot in place.

She also complained about U.S. officials leaking sensitive information about Abedi to the press. Rudd said Britain’s operational security could be harmed by the leaks, taking “the element of surprise” away from security services and police.

“I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again,” she said.

In addition to those killed in the concert attack, Manchester officials raised to 119 the number of people who sought medical treatment after the attack, including those who traveled to hospitals on their own.

Sixty-four people are still hospitalized, Jon Rouse of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said Wednesday. Officials say 20 of them are being treated for critical injuries.

Many of those still hospitalized had serious wounds that will require “very long term care and support in terms of their recovery,” Rouse said.

Officials said all those hospitalized had been identified.

Soldiers were replacing armed police on Wednesday at sites like Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street and Parliament.  London Police Commander Jane Connors said the goal is to “make our city as hostile an environment as possible for terrorists to plan and operate.”

She said armed police patrols had been increased and will be ready to respond quickly to any incidents.

Collomb, who spoke with May after the attack, said the two countries should continue cooperating closely on counterterrorism efforts despite Britain’s pending exit from the 28-nation European Union.

Some Musicians Cancel Concerts After Manchester Blast – Associated Press
11:49 AM PDT, Tuesday, 5/27/2017

The suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England has shaken the music world, with some artists canceling upcoming gigs and others planning to go ahead as planned.

Honoring The Fallen
Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
– Honoring The Fallen
People attend a vigil in Albert Square, Manchester, England the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead as it ended on Monday night.

Blondie canceled a Tuesday night concert in London “as a mark of respect for the victims of the terrible attack” at the Manchester Arena. Lead singer Debbie Harry tweeted that the

Take That, formed in Manchester, also canceled their Tuesday night concert in Liverpool and May 25-27 dates in Manchester “out of respect” for the victims of the attack which left 22 people dead.

As for Grande, a person close to the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to publicly talk about the topic, said the pop star’s tour was not canceled or postponed. The person said that Grande and her team are more focused on the victims at the moment, not the tour. It was unclear if Grande’s next scheduled show – Thursday in London – would take place.

But a number of music acts with upcoming summer gigs in Europe said Tuesday they don’t plan to change their.

A representative for Guns N’ Roses, currently on tour with upcoming stops in Dublin, Lisbon, Madrid, Zurich, Munich, London and Paris, said the rock band wasn’t making any changes.

The manager for Phil Collins, scheduled to play Liverpool’s

If the shows do go on, there are likely to be more security precautions. The

The Morning After
Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
– The Morning After
People sit under a billboard in Manchester city centre the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert on Monday night.

Manchester Police Name Bomber, Hunt For Accomplices – Associated Press
9:56 AM PDT – Tuesday 5/23/2017 

Investigators hunted Tuesday for possible accomplices of the suicide bomber who attacked an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 people and sparking a stampede of young concertgoers, some still wearing the American pop star’s trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and police said the bomber died in the attack on Manchester Arena – something that went unmentioned in the Islamic State claim, which also had discrepancies with the events described by British officials.

Manchester police chief Ian Hopkins identified the bombing suspect as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. British election rolls listed Abedi as living at a modest red brick semi-detached house in a mixed suburb of Manchester where police performed a controlled explosion Tuesday afternoon.

Neighbor Natalie Daley said she was frightened by a loud bang, then police yelling “get in your houses – get away from the windows!”

“When it’s like two seconds from your house, when you walk past it every day, you do live in fear,” Daley said.

Islamic State Group Claims Deadly Manchester Concert Bombing – Associated Press
5:35 AM PDT – Tuesday 5/23/2017 

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Tuesday for the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande show that left 22 people dead as young concertgoers fled, some still wearing the American pop star’s trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons.

Manchester Catastrophe
Peter Byrne/PA via AP
– Manchester Catastrophe
Armed police stand guard at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England.

Suicide Bomber Blamed For Explosion – Associated Press

A suicide bomber blew himself up as young concert-goers left a show by the American singer Ariana Grande in the northern English city of Manchester, killing at least 22 people, some wearing the star’s trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons as they fled.

Teenage screams filled the arena just after the explosion Monday night, which also killed the attacker and injured dozens. British Prime Minister Theresa May said Manchester had fallen victim to “a callous terrorist attack.”

“We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage,” she said.

Greater Manchester Police announced Tuesday that they had arrested a 23-year-old man in the south of the city in connection with the attack.

The attack sparked a nightlong search for loved-ones – parents for the children they had accompanied or had been waiting to pick up, and friends for each other after groups were scattered by the blast. Twitter and Facebook were filled with appeals for the missing.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, which took place at the end of the concert when the audience was streaming toward the exits. Witnesses said they saw bolts and other bits of metal, indicating the bomb may have contained shrapnel intended to maximize injuries.

Public transport shut down, and taxis offered to give stranded people free rides home, while residents opened their homes to provide lodging.

The concert was attended by thousands of young music fans in northern England. Grande, who was not injured, tweeted hours later: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”

Explosion Aftermath
Rui Vieira/AP
– Explosion Aftermath
Police block a road near to the Manchester Arena in central Manchester, England.

May said authorities believe they have identified the attacker, but did not release the name. She said authorities were trying to determine if he had an accomplice.

Hayley Lunt was staying at a hotel nearby and had taken her 10-year-old daughter Abigail to her first concert at Manchester Arena on Monday evening.

She said the explosions rang out as soon as Grande left the stage. “It was almost like they waited for her to go.”

“We just ran as fast as we could to get away from that area,” Lunt said. “What should have been a superb evening is now just horrible.”

Campaigning for Britain’s June 8 election was suspended.

The explosion struck near the exit around 10:30 p.m. Monday as Grande was ending the concert, part of her Dangerous Woman Tour. Police cars, bomb-disposal units and 60 ambulances raced to the scene as the scale of the carnage became clear. More than 400 officers were deployed.

“A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena,” said 22-year-old concertgoer Majid Khan. “It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit.”

Home Secretary Amber Rudd decried “a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society – young people and children out at a pop concert.”

The local ambulance service said 59 people were taken to hospitals.

The city’s regional government and its mayor, Andy Burnham, were among scores of Twitter users who circulated the MissinginManchester hashtag, used by people looking for family members and friends.

Among the names being circulated was Olivia Campbell. Her mother, Charlotte Campbell, said the 15-year-old attended the concert with her best friend from school. He is hospitalized but Olivia is missing, the mother told ITV television’s Good Morning Britain breakfast show.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Supporters of the extremist Islamic State group, which holds territory in Iraq’s Mosul and around its de facto capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa, celebrated the blast online.

U.S. President Donald Trump, in Bethlehem, said the attack preyed upon children and described those responsible as “evil losers.”

“This wicked ideology must be obliterated. And I mean completely obliterated,” he added.

Manchester Arena Explosions
Peter Byrne / PA via AP
– Manchester Arena Explosions
Armed police gather at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England, May 22. Police say there are “a number of fatalities” after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England

If the explosion is confirmed as a terrorist attack it would be the deadliest in Britain since four suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on subway trains and a bus in July 2005.

Video from inside the arena showed people screaming as they made their way out amid a sea of pink balloons.

The Dangerous Woman tour is the third concert tour by 23-year-old Grande and supports her album of the same name.

Grande’s role as Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon’s high school sitcom “Victorious” propelled her to teen idol status, starting in 2010.

After Manchester, Grande was to perform at venues in Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France, with concerts in Latin America and Asia to follow.

Pop concerts and nightclubs have been a terrorism target before. Most of the 130 dead in the November 2015 attacks in Paris were at the Bataclan concert hall, which gunman struck during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal.

In Turkey, 39 people died when a gunman attacked New Year’s revelers at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul.

Manchester, 160 miles (260 kilometers) northwest of London, was hit by a huge Irish Republican Army bomb in 1996 that leveled a swath of the city center. More than 200 people were injured, though no one was killed.

Ariana Grande Reportedly Suspends Tour – Joe Reinartz
8:34 PM PDT – Monday  5/22/2017

TMZ is reporting that sources close to Ariana Grande say the singer is suspending the rest of her tour following the explosion at Monday’s concert in Manchester, England. The incident, which occurred outside of Manchester Arena as fans were leaving the show, killed at least 19 people and is being investigated as a terrorist attack.

Hours after the attack, Grande tweeted, “Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.” 

The singer is said to be inconsolable. She was scheduled to perform in London on Thursday. The entire European tour, composed of England, Belgium, Poland, Germany and Switzerland, is apparently on hold.

Explosion, Fatalities Confirmed At Ariana Grande Show – Joe Reinartz
3:27 PM PDT – Monday 5/22/2017 

Greater Manchester Police released the following statement via Twitter about the incident: “So far 19 people have been confirmed dead, with around 50 others injured. This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise.”

Joseph Carozza, a representative from Grande’s US record label, said the singer is OK and they are investigating what happened.

The 21,000-capacity arena in Manchester, England, is the largest indoor venue of its kind in the area.

Manchester Attack
AP Photo
– Manchester Attack

The venue released the following statement on Twitter May 23 at 1:08 a.m. GMT: “We can confirm there was an incident as people were leaving the Ariana Grande show last night. The incident took place outside the venue in a public space. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims. Please follow @gmpolice on Twitter for all further updates.”

Sources originally told Pollstar that the crew is safe and that the explosion was possibly from an electrical transformer but unconfirmed reports say nail bomb.

NBC News reports the incident is being considered a “suspected suicide bombing.” 

According to BBC News, officers carried out a controlled explosion in nearby Cathedral Garden on a second suspect device. Officers confirmed via Twitter it was abandoned clothing and not suspicious. 

NYPD is said to be on high alert.