• The hunt continued for the “network” that might have helped Salman Abedi in the Manchester bombing. Eight men were in custody and the authorities scrambled to find a possible bomb maker who might have helped Mr. Abedi assemble the device he used.
• The New York Times was given access to photographs of materials found at the scene of the bombing. Other news organizations, like CBS and NBC, had been among the first to reveal Mr. Abedi’s name.
• Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain said she would confront President Trump over leaks by American intelligence officials about the bombing investigation. Mr. Trump called the leaks “deeply troubling.”
• Five more victims have been identified: a young couple, a Scottish schoolgirl, an off-duty police officer and a teacher.
• The American pop singer Ariana Grande is suspending her tour until at least June 5. It was after her concert in Manchester that the terrorist attack occurred.
View more photographs from the investigation and aftermath of the attack here.
Eight Men in Custody in Connection With Attack
At an early afternoon news conference, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police said that eight men had been arrested in connection with the attack on Monday. The arrests took place in Manchester; in the town of Wigan to the northwest; and to the south, in the town of Nuneaton, which is near the city of Birmingham. A woman who was arrested on Wednesday has been released.
“I want to reassure people that the arrests that we have made are significant, and initial searches of premises have revealed items that we believe are very important to the investigation,” Chief Constable Hopkins said. “These searches will take several days to complete, as you would expect. Therefore will there will be some disruption. However, it is very important that we continue with these searches.”
— Sewell Chan
Army Bomb Experts Destroy Suspicious Package
At 10:54 a.m. on Thursday, the Manchester police announced that an army bomb disposal unit was heading toward Linby Street in the city’s Hulme neighborhood, just west of the city center. Helicopters flew overhead and sirens blared; some of the commotion could be heard as far away as St. Ann’s Square, where Mancunians gathered to observe the national minute of silence at 11 a.m. A half-hour later, the police announced that the “the incident has now been deemed safe” and that the security cordon had been removed.
— Sewell Chan
A Moment of Silence for the Dead
Hundreds of people filled St. Ann’s Square in Manchester for a moment of silence at 11 a.m. in remembrance of the 22 people killed in the attack.
People gently made their way through the packed crowd to lay contributions to a carpet of flowers, stuffed toys and cards. Individuals could be seen consoling loved ones as well as strangers standing next to them.
After a bell tolled, signaling that the moment of silence had ended, someone in the back of the crowd began singing “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” by the band Oasis, which was formed in the city. Applause, chants and shouts of “Manchester, we love Manchester!” followed.
People stood together around the flowers for about 20 more minutes after the vigil ended.
— Camilla Schick
Bomber Passed Through Turkey and Germany Before The Attack
Officials said on Thursday that Mr. Abedi passed through airports in Istanbul and in Düsseldorf, Germany, before the attack.
A Turkish official said that Mr. Abedi had been in transit at Istanbul Airport, possibly after arriving from Libya.
A German intelligence official said that Mr. Abedi passed through Düsseldorf airport last week. He arrived from Turkey and continued to Manchester without leaving the transit zone.
Focus, a German magazine that reported that Mr. Abedi, the bomber, had passed through the Düsseldorf airport four days before the attack, also said that he had flown from Frankfurt to Britain in 2015.
— Melissa Eddy and Patrick Kingsley
Queen Elizabeth II Visits Victims at Manchester Hospital
Queen Elizabeth II visited the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, which treated young victims of the attack. Royal officials posted three images of the queen meeting with teenagers who were injured in the explosion. The youngest of them was Amy Barlow, from Rawtenstall, England.
The queen called Ms. Grande “a very good singer,” and described the attack as “dreadful,” in video footage broadcast by Sky News. She added that the attack was “very wicked.”
— Sewell Chan
Theresa May to Discuss Intelligence Leaks With Donald Trump
Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain said on Thursday that she would confront President Trump in Brussels over leaks, attributed to the United States government, about the British investigation into Monday’s bombing in Manchester.
British officials have blamed leaks for reports in the American news media revealing the name of the Manchester bomber before the British authorities were ready to do so, and for disclosing certain details of the investigation, including forensic photographs of the crime scene.
Mrs. May, who will talk with Mr. Trump on Thursday afternoon at a NATO summit meeting in Brussels, said she would “make clear to President Trump that intelligence which is shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure.”
Britain and the United States have perhaps the most intimate intelligence cooperation in the world, but British officials are complaining that the disclosures could harm the investigation.
The BBC reported that the Manchester police would no longer share details of the investigation with American counterparts. The National Police Chiefs’ Council said that the “unauthorized disclosure of potential evidence” about the bombing “undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families.”
The first disclosures came when American television networks, in particular NBC and CBS, revealed the name of the Manchester bomber, Salman Abedi, citing American officials. (The name had also been circulating on social media.) Then, on Wednesday, The New York Times published crime scene photographs of a possible switch to initiate the explosion and parts of the bomb itself. The Times report also pointed out precisely where the bomb had been placed. The Times did not cite its sources, but attributed its account to “preliminary information gathered by British authorities.”
On Wednesday morning, before The Times published its disclosure, Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the BBC that she was irritated by the disclosure of the bomber’s identity against the wishes of the British authorities.
“The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise, so it is irritating if it gets released from other sources, and I have been very clear with our friends that should not happen again,” Ms. Rudd said.
— Steven Erlanger
The Times’s Response on Manchester Coverage
The New York Times released the following statement about its publication on Wednesday of an article and photographs of evidence collected at the crime scene of the Manchester bombing:
The images and information presented were neither graphic nor disrespectful of victims, and consistent with the common line of reporting on weapons used in horrific crimes, as The Times and other media outlets have done following terrorist acts around the world, from Boston to Paris to Baghdad, and many places in between.
Our mission is to cover news and inform our readers. We have strict guidelines on how and in what ways we cover sensitive stories. Our coverage of Monday’s horrific attack has been both comprehensive and responsible.
We cover stories about terrorism from all angles. Not only stories about victims but also how terrorist groups work, their sources of funding, how they recruit. Acts of terrorism have tremendous impact on how we live, on how we are governed and how we interact as people, communities and nations. At times the process of reporting this coverage comes at personal risk to our reporters. We do it because it is core to our mission.
Abedi’s Brother and Father Arrested in Libya
A powerful Islamist militia in Tripoli said on Wednesday that it had arrested Mr. Abedi’s 20-year-old brother, Hashem, at the family’s home in the Libyan capital on Tuesday, and said that he was a member of the Islamic State who was planning an attack in Tripoli.
“We have been following him for at least a month and a half now,” said Ahmed Omran, a spokesman for the militia, known as the Special Deterrence Force.
Later, Mr. Omran said the group was also holding the father, Ramadan Abedi, who is also known as Abu Ismail.
The Special Deterrence Force, or Rada, is one of the most powerful militant groups in the often lawless capital. Its leaders are staunch Islamists and it operates a detention facility where many people accused of being Islamic State fighters have been held.
Mr. Omran said that Hashem Abedi had told the militia that he was “kept in the loop about the attack” in Manchester by his brother, and that the group had said in a Facebook post that Hashem was involved in the planning of the bombing, although it offered no proof.
The militia also said that Hashem traveled to Libya from Britain on April 16, and that he had been in daily phone contact with his older brother since then.
— Suliman Ali Zway and Declan Walsh
‘I Don’t Believe That It Was Him’
Before his arrest by the Special Deterrence Force in Libya, the bomber’s father said in a phone interview that his son Salman could not have carried out the attack on the Manchester Arena.
“I don’t believe that it was him,” said the father, Ramadan Abedi. “His ideas and his ideology were not like that. He was born and raised in Britain. He’s a British citizen and he does not hold such ideologies.”
Salman Abedi, born in Manchester in 1994, had recently visited his parents, who had moved back to Libya after living for decades in Britain. The father, speaking from Tripoli, said he believed that his son was on his way to make a religious pilgrimage at the time of the attack.
5 More Victims Identified
Five more victims of the Manchester Arena attack have been identified.
Eilidh MacLeod, 14, of the Isle of Barra, in Scotland. “Our family is devastated and words cannot express how we feel at losing our darling Eilidh,” the family said in a statement. “Eilidh was vivacious and full of fun. She loved all music whether it was listening to Ariana or playing the bagpipes with her pipe band.”
Chloe Rutherford, 17, and Liam Curry, 19, of South Shields, in northeast England: “On the night our daughter Chloe died and our son Liam died, their wings were ready but our hearts were not,” the families said in a statement posted on Facebook. “They were perfect in every way for each other.”
Elaine McIver, a Cheshire police officer: “Elaine just loved life, and had a major love of music. Despite what has happened to her, she would want us all to carry on regardless and not be frightened by fear tactics, instead she regularly urged us all to rise up against it.”
Wendy Fawell was at the concert with her 15-year-old daughter, Charlotte, who survived the attack.
Manchester Bomber Was Part of a ‘Network’
Investigators have been focused on determining who may have helped the bomber, Mr. Abedi, plan and execute the attack at the Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police said at a news conference on Wednesday, “This is a network that we are investigating.”
Evidence photographed and collected at the crime scene suggests an improvised device made with forethought and care.
The BBC, citing unidentified intelligence sources, reported on Wednesday that officials believed Mr. Abedi had been a “mule,” carrying a bomb made by someone else.
Officials are still trying to find the “factory” where the bomb was made and to discern whether Mr. Abedi received help assembling the device, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the secrecy surrounding the investigation.
Salman Abedi’s Possible Radicalization
Friends and neighbors of Salman Abedi have said he expressed extremist views, and a security official has said Mr. Abedi traveled to Syria, the stronghold of the Islamic State.
He is also said to have expressed anger after an imam at a Manchester mosque delivered an anti-Islamic State sermon. Mr. Abedi recently traveled to Libya to visit his father and brother, who are now under arrest.
During Mr. Abedi’s visit to Libya, his parents became worried about his radicalization, and even seized his British passport, according to the friend in Manchester.
Mr. Abedi’s father denied this. Before he was arrested, he said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that his son was not an extremist and was in possession of the passport because he was traveling back to Manchester before going to Saudi Arabia for a religious pilgrimage.