Closed Police launch Manchester terror probe – as it happened

Britain on high alert following Manchester terror attack

Police are trying to establish whether a male suicide bomber acted alone when he detonated a device outside a concert venue in the UK’s third biggest city just after 10.30pm on Monday night as crowds were leaving the venue

Key points

  • Death toll rises to 22; children among the dead; 59 people injured
  • Suicide bomber named as 22-year-old, Manchester-born Salman Abedi
  • 23-year old man arrested in south Manchester in connection with the attack
  • Isis claims responsibility for bombing of Manchester Arena
  • Authorities trying to establish whether attacker acted alone or as part of a network
  • Arena is biggest indoor venue in UK with capacity for 21,000
  • Bomb detonated as people were leaving concert by US artist Ariana Grande
  • UK political parties suspend all campaigning for general election on June 8


Hello and welcome to the FT’s live coverage of a terror attack in the northern UK city of Manchester.

Within the last half an hour, Greater Manchester police have confirmed the death of 22 people, including children. 59 are injured.

Chief constable Ian Hopkins of Greater Manchester Police said:

We have been treating this is as a terrorist incident, and we believe at this stage the attack last night was conducted by one man. the priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or was part of a network.

The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated, causing this atrocity

We would ask people not to speculate on his details or share names.

https://twitter.com/gmpolice/status/866828529098530817


UK politicians react

Philip Hammond, chancellor, has been speaking before attending an EU finance ministers’ meeting in Brussels this morning. “It is as far as we know a terrorist incident and wer’re treating it as such”.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester said:

“It is hard to believe what has happened here in the last few hours and to put into words the shock hurt and anger that we feel today. These were children, young people and their families who those responsible chose to terrorise and kill. This was an evil act”.

“We are grieving today but we are strong.”

At Downing St this morning, the Union Jack flag is flying at half mast. Pic from the BBC’s Chris Mason:

https://twitter.com/ChrisMasonBBC/status/866905224149184512


What do we know so far

- A bomb exploded at around 10.30pm at the Manchester Arena during a concert by US pop singer Ariana Grande

- 22 people have been killed including children. Injuries total 59 so far

- Police confirm incident was a terrorist suicide attack carried out by a single male using an “improvised explosive device”; he was killed at the scene

- There have been no official claims for the attack

- UK cabinet will hold emergency Cobra meeting this morning; prime minister Theresa May will give a statement to the press on its conclusion

- Main political parties will suspend election campaigning for at least today


US national security updating Trump

A tweet from president Donald Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer this morning:

https://twitter.com/PressSec/status/866897907655495681


Emergency numbers to call for anyone worried about loved ones

Greater Manchester police have given out the following telephone numbers for people to call looking for information about loved ones who might be missing:

0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900

https://twitter.com/MENnewsdesk/status/866880077270745088


European politicians react to ‘abominable crime’

France’s new prime minister Edouard Philippe has called the Manchester attack an “abominable crime.”

“The most cowardly form of terrorism has struck once again, targeting – as in Paris more than a year ago – a concert venue,” Mr Philippe said in a statement in a reference to a similar attack at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris in November 2015.

Other senior EU politicians have also been reacting this morning:

https://twitter.com/donaldtusk/status/866844046618226688

https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/status/866907853239484416

https://twitter.com/MichelBarnier/status/866909141981429761


Sterling slips

The pound is lower 0.3 per cent against the dollar this morning to $1.2959 as news trickles in from last night’s Manchester suicide bomb. Sterling is also around 0.3 per cent lower against the euro, while the UK’s benchmark FTSE 100 has gained in early Tuesday trading.


#manchestermissing

People who cannot find family and friends who attended the concert have been taking to social media. The hashtag #manchestermissing is being used on Twitter


Jean-Claude Juncker: “Today we mourn with you”

https://twitter.com/JunckerEU/status/866914851356016640

The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said the EU will work “side by side” with the UK to “fight back against those who seek to destroy our way of life”.

In a full statement, Mr Juncker said:

It was with great sadness and profound shock that I learnt of the brutal attack that struck Manchester.

It breaks my heart to think that, once again, terrorism has sought to instill fear where there should be joy, to sow division where young people and families should be coming together in celebration.

I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to Prime Minister May and to the British people.

Today we mourn with you. Tomorrow we will work side by side with you to fight back against those who seek to destroy our way of life. They underestimate ours and your resilience – these cowardly attacks will only strengthen our commitment to work together to defeat the perpetrators of such vile acts.”


Emmanuel Macron statement

https://twitter.com/Elysee/status/866910521420853249

Here is a translation:
It was with dismay and consternation that Emmanuel Macron, president of the republic, learned of the murderous attack that hit the Arena Hall in Manchester last night during a concert.
He addresses to the British people all the compassion and solicitude of France, which stands in mourning with a special thought for the victims and their families.
The president will continue to combat terrorism with the British government and authorities.
The president will have a telephone interview with Mrs. May and will be informed in real time of the progress of the investigation


Philip Hammond to leave Brussels to attend Cobra

British chancellor Philip Hammond is in Brussels this morning to attend a scheduled meeting of his counterparts at the ECOFIN.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Hammond told journalists he would leave immediately after the discussion to attend today’s emergency Cobra cabinet meeting in London.


Putin: “A cynical, inhuman act

The Kremlin is the latest to express its sympathies with the victims of the Manchester attack, with president Vladimir Putin promising that “those responsible will not escape punishment”.

A statement from the Kremlin in Russian said:

[Putin] expressed willingness to support anti-terror activities with British partners and expressed sympathy and support with the families of the dead and injured.

I strongly consider this to be a cynical, inhuman act. Those responsible will not escape punishment.


Cobra meeting to start at 9am

The Press Association is reporting that this morning’s emergency Cobra meeting will begin at 9am, chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May. Home secretary Amber Rudd has already arrived at Downing St.

Elsewhere, London Mayor Sadid Khan has called the attack “sickening” adding that the London Met police are “reviewing” the security situation in the capital this morning.

https://twitter.com/SadiqKhan/status/866919739972603904


Merkel: Germany stands by your side

German chancellor Angela Merkel has said last night’s attack will “only strengthen our resolve to continue to work together with our British friends against those who plan and carry out such inhumane deeds”.

https://twitter.com/RegSprecher/status/866923352157548544


Home secretary enters Downing St ahead of Cobra meeting


Sterling recovers; UK stocks inch up

The pound has recovered some poise this morning after slipping as much as 0.3 per cent earlier this morning. Sterling is now trading broadly flat on the day against the dollar at $1.2984.

The benchmark FTSE 100 is up 0.1 per cent, with the FTSE 250 up 0.31 per cent. The 10-year gilt is also stable slipping 1 basis point this morning.


EU Commission flags at half mast in Brussels

Following in the wake of Downing St, the European Commission has also lowered its flags at half mast today. Tweet from president Juncker’s chief spokesman:

https://twitter.com/MargSchinas/status/866920990353346560


Manchester mayor Andy Burnham’s full statement

https://twitter.com/MayorofGM/status/866915668553322500


Manchester Utd Europa Cup final to go ahead in Stockholm – Uefa

Tomorrow’s Europa League Final between Manchester United and Ajax in Stockholm remains on, Uefa has said this morning, advising all Manchester based travellers is to arrive early as security will be high.

A statement from the European football body said:

There is currently no specific intelligence which might suggest that any of the UEFA Europa League Final activities in Stockholm may be the target of attacks.

UEFA has been closely working with local authorities and the Swedish FA for many months and the terrorist risk had been taken into account since the very beginning of the project. Furthermore, a number of additional security measures were implemented following the attacks in Stockholm last April.

Due to the tight security arrangements, UEFA urges fans to arrive at the stadium as early as possible, as detailed checks will be made at the entrances, resulting in potential delays in accessing the stadium.


UK exam body to make arrangements for affected students

Ofqual, the UK’s exam watchdog, has said it will consider making arrangements for those who can’t sit their exams following last night’s attacks.

“We will consider with the exam boards how the provisions that are normally made for students who are unable to sit their exams when planned, or who take their exams but whose performance might be affected, will be applied”, said a statement.


Brendan Cox – widower of murdered MP Jo Cox reacts

He wrote on Twitter: “Thinking of every family whose lives have been destroyed today by a cowardly hate filled attack. So much pain and so pointless.
“The pain these attacks inflict is profound & real, & it lasts long after the headlines have moved on.”
He added: “Britain will respond as it always does under attack; with love for the bereaved, unity & resolve. They will not change us. They will not win.”


Armed police at Manchester train stations

Tweet courtesy of Buzzfeed’s Emily Dugan on the heightened security in the northern city this morning. Earlier this morning, Greater Manchester Police said more than 400 officers have been deployed since last night.

https://twitter.com/emilydugan/status/866925350294519808


Trump press conference with Mahmoud Abbas

The US president is continuing his tour of the Middle East today and is poised to address journalists following a meeting with Palestinian authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

The first lady, Melania Trump, has tweeted this morning:

https://twitter.com/FLOTUS/status/866915551725187074

We’ll have Trump’s comments live as they happen.


Online book of condolences

Manchester City Council has opened an online book of condolences


Trump in Bethlehem: “this wicked ideology must be obliterated”

President Trump has delivered some tough words on the Manchester attacks in Bethlehem today.

Terrorists must be driven our from our society forever. This wicked ideology must be obliterated. Completely obliterated. Innocent life must be protected.

Mr Trump added the world should not “for a moment longer stand for the slaughter of innocent people…and innocent children.” He described the perpetrators of such attacks as “losers”.

I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term. I’ll call them losers. We’ll have more of them but they’re losers. Remember that.

https://twitter.com/CNN/status/866931475693920256


Iranian reaction

Reuters is reporting that Iran has condemned the Manchester attack, but in an apparent swipe at western security cooperation with Gulf Arab states said “artificial alliances” would not eliminate such threats.

Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasem was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying:
Terrorism will be uprooted only by taking comprehensive measures, and avoiding double standards. Artificial alliances would not stop the expansion of cancerous terrorism in the world.


Trump statement in full

I would like to begin by offering my prayers to the people of Manchester. I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured in this terrorist attack and to the many killed and the families, so many families, of the victims.

We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom. So many young beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered 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. I will call them, from now on, losers, because that’s what they are. They are losers. And we will have more of them. But they are losers, just remember that.

Our society can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed, we cannot stand a moment longer for the slaughter of innocent people. And in today’s attack it was mostly innocent children. The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society for ever.

This wicked ideology must be obliterated and I mean completely obliterated, and the innocent life must be protected. All civilised nations must join together to protect human life and the sacred right our citizens to live in safety and in peace.


Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick says more officers will be on patrol in the capital

Ms Dick described the attack as “utterly appalling”, said her thoughts were with the people of Manchester and praised the city’s police officers.

She added: We are providing every possible support through the counter terrorism network as investigators work tirelessly to understand what has happened.
Here in the Capital we put extra police officers on duty as Londoners started their journeys into work. This will continue for as long as it is needed, and the mix of armed and unarmed officers are there to reassure.
Looking ahead to the weekend – a normal busy and vibrant weekend in our city – we are working with all those planning events to make sure we are doing all we can.
Terrorists seek to spread fear and undermine our way of life. We must work together to stop that from happening. If you have suspicions, tell us; if you see something that concerns you, report it. Together we can protect London.


Manchester Evening News starts fundraising page for victims

One of the leading papers in Manchester has, in response to readers’ requests, started a fundraising drive for the victims of the attack. You can donate here

https://twitter.com/MENnewsdesk/status/866937460013576193


Muslim Council of Britain: “This is horrific, this is criminal”

Harun Khan, secretary general at the MCB – the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body – has issued the following statement this morning:

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. I understand teenagers and children have been caught up in what the police has confirmed to be a terrorist attack.

This is horrific, this is criminal. May the perpetrators face the full weight of justice both in this life and the next.

I pay tribute to the police and emergency services who have worked valiantly to save lives last night. They were helped by civilians who rushed in to offer their support. I urge all those in the region and around the country to pool together to support those affected.


PM chairs cabinet meeting

The British cabinet is hosting an emergency summit with police chiefs in Downing St as we speak. The meeting kicked off around 9am this morning. Prime Minister Theresa May will. who is chairing, will be making a statement as soon as it breaks up.


Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev condemns attack.

The FT’s Henry Foy reports from Moscow that Mr Nazarbayev has sent a telegram to Theresa May:

To all the people of the United Kingdom, the families and loved ones of the victims of the tragic attack, from the people of Kazakhstan and on my own behalf, I express my condolences. I wish speedy recovery to the victims
Today, the spread of terrorism is a common threat to all States. We condemn any kind of terrorism and extremism that threatens international security.


Vigil to be held at Manchester’s Albert Square

https://twitter.com/MayorofGM/status/866939480736976896


The London O2 which is due to host two Ariana Grande concerts on Thursday and Friday has a statement on its website saying no decision has yet been made on whether those gigs will go ahead:

“Along with everyone else, we are shocked and saddened by the terrible tragedy in Manchester. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected and their families. Ariana is due to perform at The O2 on Thursday and Friday and we will advise as soon as we can as to the status of those shows.”


More reaction from Uefa

Further to the announcement that the UEFA Europa League final between Manchester United and Ajax will go ahead, the organisation’s president Aleksander Čeferin said:

I am deeply saddened by the horrible terrorist attack in Manchester last night. It shocks me that so many innocent people lost their lives and I would like to send my condolences to the families of those affected.


Cobra meeting breaks up; PM statement imminent

Sky News is reporting the government’s emergency Cobra meeting has ended. Theresa May will appear outside Downing St to deliver a statement imminently. We’ll bring you more as soon as we have it.


The FT’s North of England correspondent Andrew Bounds is in Manchester this morning, where calls for missing people are still going out.

https://twitter.com/AndyBounds/status/866944002792226816


Manchester City, whose Etihad Stadium is being used as a support centre following the attack, has issued a statement:

“The thoughts and prayers of our ownership, Board and everyone at
Manchester City are with the people of Manchester and all those affected
following the horrifying events of last night’s Manchester Arena attack.

“We have offered our full support throughout the night and this morning to
the leaders of the City of Manchester itself and to the Emergency Services
who are doing so much to support our city in these most challenging of
circumstances.”

Anyone needing assistance relating to the attack can access that help at the Etihad Stadium via Gate 11.


Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy has tweeted her reaction:

https://twitter.com/FedericaMog/status/866945116602347520


Tony Lloyd, former Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner and interim Mayor of Greater Manchester, has just given an interview to BBC Radio 5 Live, paying tribute to the emergency services, adding that the reaction from the police and ambulance services in keeping people safe following the attack was evidence of a “decent society” and in “complete contrast to people who put a bomb to kill children. It’s almost impossible to contemplate the mindset.”


France steps up security – French interior ministry

Reuters reports that the French government has given instructions to organisers of sporting and cultural events in the country on security measures after the Manchester attack, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said.

“We have given a certain number of instructions to the organisers of sporting and cultural events to make sure our citizens are best protected everywhere,” Collomb said in a televised statement, adding that a government note would be circulated to police chiefs on this measure.

President Emmanuel Macron will also speak to British Prime Minister Theresa May later on Tuesday, the news agency reports


Manchester United statement

Manchester United, who play in the final of the Uefa Europa League in Stockholm tomorrow night issued the following:

Everyone at Manchester United is deeply shocked by last night’s terrible events at the Manchester Arena.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected, including our supporters, club staff and members of our community such as the children from our Manchester United Foundation partner schools who were attending the concert at the Arena.
Club staff are ready to help the police and other emergency services in any way that may be required at this challenging time for our city.
Old Trafford’s Megastore, Museum, Red Cafe and Stadium Tour are all closed to the public today.
Greater Manchester Police have provided an emergency number for those who are concerned about loved ones or anyone who may have been in the area. The number is 0161 856 9400.
The police are asking people to be alert and to report any suspicious activity on the Anti-Terrorist Hotline 0800 789321 or by dialling 999. Anyone who may have images or footage from last night that could aid the investigation should upload them to Ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk or Ukpoliceimageappeal.com.
People who wish to help by donating blood can do so at several medical centres in Manchester. For opening times and locations, see https://my.blood.co.uk/SessionFinder or call 0300 123 23 23.


Police urge people to stay away from Manchester city centre

https://twitter.com/gmpolice/status/866946935189630977


Turkey: terror has no reliegion, language, or race

Ibrahim Kalin, the spokesman for Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack today.

“We strongly condemn the terror attack in Manchester and express our deep condolences,” he said. “Turkey and the United Kingdom will continue in their joint and resolute fight against terrorism in all its forms.”

Turkey’s Europe minister Omer Celik has also been tweeting this morning:

https://twitter.com/omerrcelik/status/866951650283597825

https://twitter.com/omerrcelik/status/866951712661270528


Trump and May speak

Following comments in Bethlehem earlier today, the White House has said Donald Trump spoke to Theresa May to offer his condolences following the Manchester bombing today.

Earlier today, Mr Trump called the perpetrators “losers”. Ms May meanwhile will be delivering a statement outside Downing St shortly. She will also be travelling to Manchester later today.

US president Donald Trump’s spokesman has tweeted:

https://twitter.com/PressSec/status/866954710959259649


Did the bomber act alone?

The FT’s Sam Jones has analysed what the police will be looking for in their investigation and who might be responsible:

Though no claim has been made, the attack fits with the targeting patterns of the Islamist militant groups, with concert venues and clubs targeted previously: for instance in the Islamic State’s attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, in November 2015 which killed 89 people,” said Otso Iho, senior analyst at IHS Jane’s terrorism and insurgency centre.


Theresa May: Police know identity of the attacker

The prime minister is delivering a statement outside Downing Street.

She called the Manchester attack a “callous” event which “is among the worst terrorist incidents we have ever experienced in the UK”. It was an attack of “appalling, sick cowardice” she said.

Ms May also confirmed the perpetrator was “a single terrorist who detonated his improvised explosive device near one of the exits” at the Manchester Arena. Police do not know if the man was acting alone or part of a group.

The PM did not issue the name of the attacker, but police are thought to have confirmed his identity.

Britain’s terror threat level is at severe, meaning an attack is highly likely. This will be reassessed by authorities throughout the day said the PM.

Ms May will later travel to Manchester and chair another meeting of Cobra today.

“While we experience the worst of humanity in Manchester, we also saw the best. The attempt to divide us met countless acts of kindness that bought people together. Those must be the things we remember”, said Ms May.

“Our way of life will always prevail”.


What do we know so far

Theresa May has just finished delivering her statement following the Cobra meeting at Downing St. Here’s what we know so far:

- Police know the identity of the suicide attacker, a male, who was killed at the scene. Security services have not yet released his name

- It is not yet known if the attacker worked alone or part of a group

- Death toll stands at 22 – not including the bomber

- UK’s terror threat level is “severe” and will be reassessed throughout the day

- Prime minister May will travel to Manchester today and chair another emergency meeting of Cobra

- “This was among the worst terrorist incident we have ever experienced in the UK” said the PM


Name of first victim of attack has been confirmed

Sixth form college student Georgina Callander (picture below left with the singer Ariana Grande at an earlier date) is the first victim to be named

The college has put out this statement:

It is with enormous sadness that it appears that one of the people who lost their lives in Monday’s Manchester attack was one of our students here at Runshaw College.

Georgina Callander was a former Bishop Rawstorne pupil studying with us on the second year of her Health and Social Care course.

Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to all of Georgina’s friends, family, and all of those affected by this loss.

We are offering all available support possible at this tragic time, including counselling with our dedicated student support team.


23-year old man arrested in connection with attack

https://twitter.com/gmpolice/status/866970384033251328

Greater Manchester Police has said a 23-year old man has been arrested in connection with the attack in south Manchester


False alarm at the Arndale shopping centre in central Manchester

There was panic at the biggest shopping centre in central Manchester a bit earlier, with people screaming that someone had a gun. Manchester police have confirmed they have arrested a man at the shopping centre but say the arrest is “is not currently believed to connected to last night’s attacks.”

The Arndale centre was completely rebuilt after it was badly damaged by a 1,500kg truck bomb planted by the IRA in 1996. Only one person was injured in that attack as the IRA gave prior warning.


Sturgeon: Scottish police in contact with families of two missing girls

Press Association reports that Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed police are in contact with the families of two Scottish teenagers who are missing after attending last night’s Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Ms Sturgeon said a further four people have attended hospitals in Scotland following the attack.

“There can be nothing more cowardly than to attack children and young people enjoying a night-out,” Ms Sturgeon said.


England’s national football team sends its sympathies

The Twitter account for England’s football team posted a message a bit earlier:

https://twitter.com/England/status/866895733756223489

The men’s national team usually play home fixtures at Wembley stadium in London but have over recent years used other grounds around England. The Tweet references the England v Turkey friendly played at Manchester City’s Etihad stadium last May.

For those that can’t access Twitter, it reads:

Today our thoughts are with the people of Manchester – a city of pride, passion and hope that welcomed us so warmly this time last year.


Queen and royal family: “an act of barbarity”

Queen Elizabeth II has sent this message to the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester this afternoon:

The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert.

I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured.

I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care.

And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity.

By way of explanation, a Lord Lieutenant is appointed by British monarch’s personal as a representative in each of the counties of the UK. It is a largely ceremonial position


Rare statement from MI5

Andrew Parker, the head of the UK’s domestic counter-intelligence and security services MI5, does not often comment publicly but he has put out a statement today sending the organisation’s condolences and describing the attack as “disgusting”.


David Beckham: “what has happened truly saddens me”


Manchester Evening News readers raise £75,000 for families of victims
The city’s local newspaper has launched an online fund raising page to help support the families in the aftermath of the attack. It is aiming to raise £220,000 but has already raised £75,000 in a few hours.
The Just Giving page is here.


Pleas for the missing

Social media is full of pictures from relatives looking for missing relatives. It’s unclear how many people are unaccounted for after last night’s sold out concert at the Arena, which seats 21,000. There are other reports of people putting up fake posts of people missing, so until things become clearer we are not going to use the photos unless we can verify them.


Rex Tillerson says US working closely with British government

Associated Press report a statement from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:

“While it is too early to determine those responsible for this atrocity, we are working closely with the British government and supporting their efforts to investigate and respond to this attack.”


Isis claims responsibility

Reuters is reporting that Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack and there is a Tweet from SITE, which monitors radical Islamic terror groups online, backing that claim up. Reuters reports the group says the attack was carried out with an explosive device that was “planted” at the concert venue. This would run counter to the police statement that a suicide bomber was responsible. Any statement purporting to be from Isis should be treated with caution as they often make such claims.


Manchester United’s players pay their respects
Ahead of their Europa Cup Final against Dutch team Ajax tomorrow in Stockholm Manchester United’s players hold a minute’s silence to pay their respects to the victims of the Manchester bombing.


Donald Trump tweets

The US president has tweeted his sympathies over the Manchester attack. Mr Trump is currently on a trip to Israel.

The FT’s John Reed reports:

Donald Trump condemned what he called a “heinous attack on humanity” at the top of a speech he gave at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Trump said the “thoughts and prayers of the entire American people” were with the victims of the terrorist attack in Manchester.

We want to send our condolences to the many families who lost their loved ones (or had) horrific, horrific, injuries, terrible.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/866988278184116224


Isis statement in English

Jihadi monitoring group SITE has the Isis statement claiming responsibility in English. It is worth noting that the number of dead and wounded are higher than the official confirmed total. It also appears to claim there was more than one bomb, which contradicts the official accounts. Again these claims from Isis should be treated with caution.


The FT’s North of England correspondent Andrew Bounds is at the scene of today’s arrest in the south of Manchester. Earlier today, police said they arrested a 23-year old man in connection with the attack.

Armed police arrested a man believed to be linked to the bombing outside a supermarket in the prosperous suburb of Chorlton on Tuesday around 11am, according to witnesses.

Majid Novin, owner of the Metro café, said he saw half a dozen officers pin a man to the ground outside the Morrison’s supermarket.

He said one had a machine gun and another a taser. “When he was face down on the floor they cuffed him. Before I thought it was homeless fighting. Then I saw it was the police.”

Mr Novin, 54, (pictured below) said he was an Asian man, slightly built and wearing glasses. “They forced him against the wall and it surprised me that he was smiling.”
He said he had no time to resist. He was bundled into a van and taken away.

Mr Novin said he had been burgled but never seen any violence in the area.
People living nearby said they heard a helicopter going over at the time of the arrest. It took place by a phone box on a busy road near a tram stop and the Morrison’s supermarket


Wounded being treated at 8 hospitals

North West Ambulance Service put out a statement a bit earlier in which it said it ferried the 59 wounded to 8 hospitals in the Greater Manchester area: 9 to Manchester Royal Infirmary, 6 to Salford, 6 to Wythenshawe, 12 to Manchester Children’s, 6 to Stepping Hill, 8 to Royal Bolton, 7 to Royal Oldham and 5 to North Manchester.

It added that there were approximately 60 “walking wounded” who were treated by ambulance crews.


Read-out from call between Donald Trump and Theresa May

The White House has released a read out from the call between the US president and the UK prime minister – here it is in full:

Readout of President Donald J. Trump’s Phone Call with Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom

President Donald J. Trump spoke this morning from Jerusalem with Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom about the apparent terrorist act in Manchester, England.
The two leaders agreed that this attack—which targeted teenage children and their friends at a joyous event—was particularly wanton and depraved.

The President reassured the Prime Minister that Americans stand with the people of the United Kingdom and that our resolve will never waiver in the face of terrorism. He offered American aid in the United Kingdom’s investigation and vowed to continue the mutual fight against terrorism.

Both leaders commended the courage, speed, and professionalism of those who responded to the wounded, secured the innocent, and tended to the survivors and their families.

The President said he looks forward to seeing Prime Minister May in person this week and discussing America’s unbreakable commitment to the United Kingdom and the ways both countries can work with allies and partners around the world to defeat terrorism.


More details reflects how young some of the victims are

The Press Assocation reports that Lancashire County Council has said 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos from Leyland was killed in the attack last night.

David Ratcliffe, medical director of North West Ambulance Service has said 12 children under the age of 16 were among the 59 casualties taken to hospital.


PM arrives at police HQ in Manchester

Prime minister Theresa May and her home secretary Amber Rudd have arrived at Greater Manchester’s Police headquarters in the last few minutes.

The PM will also be holding another emergency Cobra meeting later today.


Merkel cancels planned Munich election event

German chancellor Angela Merkel has cancelled a planned election campaign event in Munich out of respect for the Manchester attack, reports Stefan Wagstyl in Berlin.

Ms Merkel and Horst Seehofer, her Bavarian conservative ally, were due to speak in front of 2,500 people at a so-called “beer tent event” often held in summer in southern Germany.

Campaigning ahead of the UK’s general election on June 8 has also been suspended for at least a day in the aftermath of the bombing.


Manchester Police carry out controlled explosion following armed raids

https://twitter.com/gmpolice/status/867001194023194630


The FT’s Andy Bounds has just sent us this video of an interview with an eyewitness to the arrest of a 23-year-old man in connection with last night’s bombing.

Majid Novin owns the Metro café in the prosperous suburb of Chorlton, which is directly opposite the Morrison’s supermarket where armed police swooped on the suspect.


Manchester United vice chair Ed Woodward: “Manchester is a resilient city”

United chief Ed Woodward has sent an email to club staff confirming that the club has cancelled a party at Victoria Warehouse tomorrow out of respect for the victims and their families. The event was arranged after United only received around 10,000 tickets for tomorrow’s Europa Cup Final in Stockholm.

Full email here:

Dear Colleague

I am sure you will all have heard of the tragic and horrifying events in Manchester last night. Our thoughts go out to the victims and families affected.

These senseless acts are designed to shake the confidence of people and to turn communities on each other. Members of our family of fans and our home community have been affected and we will be reaching out to provide the support of the club in what must be an unimaginably difficult time.

Manchester is a resilient city and I am sure that its people will defy the wishes of those who have perpetrated this awful crime and demonstrate what a magnificent place this is.

The club provides counselling and support services in times of crisis; please do not be afraid to ask if you have been affected.

As a sign of respect for the victims and their families, we have decided that we should cancel the event planned for tomorrow evening. We are sure that in the circumstances you will all understand and support this decision. Ed


Manchester property searched; controlled explosion takes place

A property in Manchester’s Fallowfield district in the south of of the city is the site of a police investigation this afternoon. Police earlier carried out a controlled explosion in the area.


Who is smaller?

From the Evening Standard’s cartoonist, Christian Adams today:

https://twitter.com/inglesi/status/867005512751226880


RMT union suspends strike

A planned strike on Mersey Rail, Northern Rail and Southern Rail next Tuesday has been called off. General secretary Mike Cash has just posted a statement:

“In light of the horrific bombing in Manchester last night, and the heightened safety and security alerts on our transport services, RMT’s executive has taken the decision to suspend the 24 hours of strike action scheduled for Tuesday 30th May on Merseyrail, Northern Rail and Southern Rail. Our thoughts and solidarity at this time are with the people of Manchester.”

https://twitter.com/RMTunion/status/867003166138748929


Police appeal for vehicle camera footage

https://twitter.com/gmpolice/status/867013446298193921


Police search

A police forensic investigator photographed earlier today at an address in Elsmore Road, in the Fallowfield district of Greater Manchester. Police have carried out searches at several properties in the southern part of the city


Prince Charles: “we are filled with intense sadness”

https://twitter.com/BBCPeterHunt/status/867015393717702656



Isis claim not verified – US Director of National Intelligence

Reuters reports that Dan Coats, the US Director of National Intelligence, has cast doubt on the Isis claim to have carried out the Manchester bombing.

“I might mention that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack in Manchester although they claim responsibility for virtually every attack. We have not verified yet the connection,” Mr Coats told a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.


May: “We will not let terrorism win”

Prime Minister Theresa May has just done an interview with Sky News giving a firm commitment that police and security services will have the “resources they need to ensure they continue their investigation”. She described the attack as “barbaric in its nature”, adding: “we will not let terrorism win”


Manchester holds interfaith prayers ahead of evening vigil

Religious communities across Manchester are holding a joint prayer session in the city today. A vigil for the victims will also be held from 6pm at Albert Square.

Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, has tweeted: “Faith communities in #Manchester saying there is more that unites us than divides us. #WeStandTogether”.

Elsewhere in the city, Mancunians are soaking up the sunshine:

https://twitter.com/ShafikFM/status/867020825798610945


Met Police announces review of security

The Met has just posted a statement saying it is now “reviewing in detail” all the plans for upcoming events in the capital this weekend including the FA Cup and Aviva Premiership finals:

Whilst all policing operations in London are currently planned to the backdrop of a severe threat level from terrorism, specialist officers from our event planning teams and protective security experts

This includes smaller events which may not have had a police presence seeing a greater focus; an increase of armed and unarmed officers on highly visible reassurance patrols around key locations and crowded places and work with event organisers.

The Met is reaching out to event organisers through licensing officers to ensure that they are given the latest protective security advice to keep their music events as safe as can be. Using well established local and London-wide briefing systems, the Met is ensuring that refreshed advice is given to all those venues hosting events.

A full review of the security and policing operations for the weekend’s sporting events – the culmination of the football and rugby seasons at Wembley and Twickenham – is underway. This will include the deployment of extra armed officers.

The Met will continue to do everything possible to protect the capital not just through the use of armed officers but the ongoing work by specialist detectives in the Counter Terrorism Command; working with partner agencies and gathering community intelligence.


Manchester Evening News fund raiser hits £300K

Update on the newspaper’s fund raising effort which has attracted donations from more than 10,000 people and almost reached a revised target of £300,000


Theresa May arrives at Manchester Childrens Hospital

Guardian reporter Jamie Grierson took a video of the PM arriving at the hospital which is treating victims of the attack.

https://twitter.com/JamieGrierson/status/867026941441921024


Queen holds minute’s silence

BBC reports that the Queen held a minute’s silence at Buckingham Palace at 4pm this afternoon as a tribute to the victims of the attack. The Duke of Cambridge has also issued a statement via twitter

https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/867029868248223744


UN Security Council condemns Manchester attack

The UN Security Council called the Manchester bombing an “atrocious terrorist attack” on Tuesday as it met to discuss chemical weapons in Syria.

The body held a moment of silence after Uruguay’s UN ambassador, Elbio Rosselli, issued the statement, the Press Association reports.


UK election campaign may be suspended until Friday

BuzzFeed News reports that campaigning in the UK general election may be suspended until Friday. They cite “senior campaign sources in the major political parties” and say no date for a restart has been decided.


Slaughter of Ariana innocents

This is how the Evening Standard reports on the story on its front page this evening


Suicide bombing suspect named

Whitehall officials have identified the suspected suicide bomber as Salman Abedi. According to public records seen by the FT, Abedi was born in Manchester.


Paul Ryan calls attack “cowardice in its most heinous form”

Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, said at a press conference in Washington: “To deliberately target innocent children is cowardice in its most heinous form”.


Theresa May signs book of condolence in Manchester

https://twitter.com/singharj/status/867045308836061184


Manchester Arena postpones Take That concerts

Manchester Arena, where the attack on Monday evening took place, has postponed a series of Take That concerts later this week.

https://twitter.com/ManchesterArena/status/867041698228183040


Manchester police confirm suspected attacker was Salman Abedi

Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police, has confirmed the suspected suicide bomber was 22-year-old Salman Abedi. He said Mr Abedi had not yet been formally named by the coroner.

In a brief statement, he called on the “diverse communities” of Greater Manchester to “stand together and support each other”.


Full statement from Manchester police

Here are the full remarks from Ian Hopkins, Great Manchester Police Chief Constable:

“Can I start by once again passing on our heartfelt sympathies to all the innocent people caught up in last night’s despicable act.

“We now have a team of specially-trained Family Liaison Officers who are supporting families.

“There has been much speculation and names of those who may have been killed in the media and social media. We accept that this is inevitable however we ask that people allow the police and coroner to release the names once the families are ready and appropriately supported.

“As you would expect the police response to this across Greater Manchester has been significant as we support people to go about their daily business.

“Part of this response has seen us arrest a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack and we have also carried out two warrants, one in Whalley Range and one in Fallowfield that included a controlled explosion to enable safe entry.

“We understand that feelings are very raw right now and people are bound to be looking for answers. However, now, more than ever, it is vital that our diverse communities in Greater Manchester stand together and do not tolerate hate.

“We have been visited by the Prime Minster and Home Secretary and we have taken them through the emergency response so far and what we plan to do in future days.

“I can confirm that the man suspected of carrying out last night’s atrocity has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. However, he has not yet been formally identified and I wouldn’t wish, therefore, to comment further.

“The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.”


Crowds gather for Manchester vigil

https://twitter.com/helenpidd/status/867057309087936514


The crowd is growing in Manchester for the vigil which starts at 6pm in Albert Square. Here’s a selection of photos:


High profile police presence at public events

Earlier Greater Manchester Police stepped armed patrols in the city and the London Metropolitan police said it would increase security at this weekends big sporting events in the capital: the FA Cup final at Wembley and the Aviva Premiership rugby final at Twickenham.

There was also tight security at the Chelsea Flower Show (below), in west London, the annual flower fest that is popular with bankers and socialites.


Black armbands at Wednesday evening’s Europa League final

https://twitter.com/ManUtd/status/867064127172358146

Manchester United are playing Amsterdam’s Ajax in Stockholm on Wednesday evening.


Evacuation at Salford University

People are being evacuated from buildings at Salford University in Greater Manchester. At present it is unclear why.

https://twitter.com/SalfordUni/status/867060355775832065

https://twitter.com/SalfordUni/status/867063797252595713


Manchester Victoria station to remain closed

An update on the situation at Victoria, one of the city’s main station, will remain closed for “several days” says Northern Rail, the biggest train operator in the north of England. The concert venue is built almost entirely above the station.

The area around the venue remains sealed off by police.


Barack Obama expresses condolences on Manchester attack

https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/867061620027076608


Thousands attend vigil in central Manchester

Albert Square in front of Manchester Town Hall, the impressive neo-gothic building that is home to the city council, was packed this evening as crowds paid their respects to the victims of the bombing last night


Eyewitness account

The FT’s Robert Wright arrived in Manchester early this morning and immediately began talking to some of those who were at the Ariana Grande concert.

You can read his account here including the thoughts of 24-year-old Fraser McKenzie (below):

“The fact that this person went to target even children, particularly young girls who were just going out to enjoy music by one of their favourite music artists, it’s just absolutely disgusting to me,” Mr McKenzie told the FT.


Profile of the bomber

FT reporters have dug up a bit more detail on the suicide bomber, Salman Ramadan Abedi, here’s an excerpt:

The suicide bomber who killed 22 people at the Manchester Arena had been involved with gangs and turned to radical Islam in the last few years, according to a friend of his family.

Born as Salman Ramadan Abedi in Manchester in January 1995, he lived with his older brother Ismail at 21 Elsmore Road, a two-storey red brick semi-detached house in the city’s Fallowfield suburb. The home was raided by police on Tuesday.

Abedi was the second oldest of four children born in the UK and his parents from Libya, according to neighbours. After spending some time in London, the family moved to Manchester at least a decade ago. Two of the children list their home town as Tripoli on Facebook.

According to the family friend, the family was “very religious” and has now returned to Libya, leaving only Salman and his Ismail behind.

Read the full profile here.


A quick summary

We are going to wrap up our coverage of events in Manchester as police continue to investigate whether the suicide bomber, who killed at least 22 people on Monday night at a concert venue in the city, acted alone.

Here is what we know so far:

- The identify of two of the dead have been confirmed by the authorities:-8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos and a sixth form student Georgina Callander are both from the same town of Leyland, about 30 miles north-west of Manchester.

- Another 59 people are in hospital, including 12 under the age of 16.

- The suicide bomber is named as Manchester-born Salman Abedi

- Police conduct raids in the southern part of the city, arresting one man

- Isis have claimed responsibility but senior US intelligence official says the claim cannot be confirmed

- UK political parties suspend all campaigning for the general election. As yet it is unclear when it might resume

Thank you for joining us