"Saffie's gone, isn't she?" 

Mum's heartbreaking first words as she woke from coma to discover eight-year-old daughter died in Manchester terror attack 9/27

The One Love Concert  

Old Trafford, 4th June, 2017
Saffie Roussos, the youngest victim.
The Victims
Alison Howe, 45 and Lisa Lees, 43
Angelika and Marcin Klis
Courtney Boyle, 19
Eilidh Macleod, 14

Elaine McIver

Georgina Callandar, 18

Jane Tweddle-Taylor

John Atkinson

Kelly Brewster, 32

Liam Curry, 19 and Chloe Rutherford, 17

Martyn Hett, 29

Michelle Kiss

Nell Jones, 14

Olivia Campbell, 15

Philip Tron, 32

Saffie Rose Roussos, 8

Sorrell Leckowski, 14

Wendy Fawell, 50

Eilidh Macleod (14)

Family of Manchester bomb victim 'praying' hurt friend recovers

Sun 28 May 2017
By Alex Williams

Relatives of Manchester bomb victim Eilidh MacLeod (pictured) have said they are praying her friend seriously injured in the attack makes a full recovery.

The 14 year old from the Barra in the Outer Hebrides attended the Ariana Grande concert on Monday with her 15 year old friend, Laura MacIntyre.

Roddy and Marion MacLeod said: "Eilidh and Laura were so excited about going to the concert together but what should have been the perfect ending to a fantastic trip ended so tragically.

"We continue to have Laura and her family in our thoughts and pray that she makes a full recovery."

The friends both attended Castlebay Community School on the island. Laura has been receiving care at a hospital in Manchester.

Speaking at Mass on Sunday, Barra parish priest Fr John Paul MacKinnon the week turned into a "living nightmare" for the island.

He went on to say: "I have spoken to both families, to both sets of parents and they have asked me to tell everyone that they are so grateful for all your love and support, prayers and messages.

"Their hearts are broken, their lives have changed forever but they are lifted up by the love and support of their island and also by the wider world."

Fr MacKinnon also encouraged congregation members to "come together" in the wake of Monday's attack and pray that the Holy Spirit would come down "especially upon the MacLeod Family and MacIntyre Family."

Speaking about Eilidh MacLeod, he will say; "She will forever be loved and remembered by her family and by all her many friends. Our loss is certainly heaven's gain."

Stories from the Barnsley Chronicle 26 May, 17
 
Video

Manchester Stands Together in Grief

People gathered in St. Ann’s Square in central Manchester on Thursday to observe a minute of silence in remembrance of those killed on Monday in the terrorist attack.

 By CAMILLA SCHICK on Publish DateMay 25, 2017. Photo by Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press.Watch in Times Video »

• 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.

Continue reading the main story

• 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.

Photo
Salman AbediCreditvia Associated Press

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

Photo
Queen Elizabeth spoke to Amy Barlow, 12, from Rawtenstall, northwest of Manchester, and her mother, Kathy, during a visit to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. CreditPool photo by Peter Byrne

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

Photo
Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street on Thursday. CreditDaniel Leal-Olivas/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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

Photo

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

Photo
A Libyan militia said on Wednesday that it had arrested Hashem Abedi, Salman’s brother, on charges of being a member of the Islamic State. CreditAhmed Bin Salman/Special Deterrent Force, via Associated Press

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.”

Photo
Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford

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’

Photo
Police officers blocked the road where the Abedi family lived in a Manchester suburb. CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

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

Photo
The Manchester Islamic Center, also known as Didsbury Mosque, said to have been used by Salman Abedi and his family.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

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.

The bomber in the Manchester terrorist attack appeared to have carried a powerful explosive in a lightweight metal container concealed either within a black vest or a blue Karrimor backpack, and may have held a small switch in his left hand, according to preliminary information gathered by British authorities.

Remnants of backpack

 

The initial analysis of the bomb, based on evidence photographed and collected at the crime scene and distributed by British authorities, does not specify the size or type of explosive used in the bomb’s main charge but suggests an improvised device made with forethought and care.

Possible switch located in suspect’s left hand

 

Law enforcement images of metal nuts and screws propelled by the blast, and of damage nearby, show that the bomb’s makeshift shrapnel penetrated metal doors and left deep scuffs in brick walls.

Nuts and screws used as shrapnel

 

And the authorities’ review of the blast site shows that many of the fatalities occurred in a nearly complete circle around the bomber, Salman Abedi, whose upper torso was heaved outside the lethal ring toward the Manchester Arena entrance.

Manchester

Arena

Possible torso

of bomber

Box

office

Arena

exit

Victims

Foyer

Approx. location

of detonation

Bridge to

Victoria Station

The New York Times

All of these are indicators of a powerful, high-velocity charge, and of a bomb in which its shrapnel was carefully and evenly packed.

The location of the bomber’s torso, and the apparent absence of fatalities in a line between the blast site and where his remains landed, was said by one explosive disposal technician who examined the images to indicate that the explosive charge was more likely in a backpack than in a vest, and propelled the bomber away from the blast.

Exit

Manchester

Arena

Exit

Exit

Exit

Parking

Blast

area

People seen running down

these stairs in video.

Victoria

Station

Train tracks

The New York Times

Certain details of the bomb further suggest a desire by a bomb-maker to reduce the risk of a dud.

The authorities found a mangled Yuasa 12-volt, 2.1 amp lead acid battery at the scene, which is more powerful than batteries often seen in backpack bombs or suicide vests. The battery, used for emergency lighting and other applications, can be bought for about $20.

12-volt battery that was possible power source

 

A possible switch to initiate the explosion, carried in the bomber’s left hand, was also unusual in a suicide device, in that it appears to have contained a small circuit board soldered inside one end.

It is not clear from the law enforcement images if the object was a simple plunger switch, or included a timer or a receiver that could be operated remotely via radio signal – or some combination, or something else.

Such redundancy, if the object was the switch, could give the bomber or a cell more than one option for deploying the device, and suggest that the bomb was not as simple in design as many terrorist devices, which often are crude and prone to failure or haphazard effect.

One independent analyst of improvised explosive devices, Michael C.L. Johnson, suggested that the object might be an electronic cigarette and unrelated to the bomb’s detonation – an understandable case of investigators focusing on a crime-scene detail early in a case.

Western bomb disposal technicians who reviewed the images for The New York Times said that a more thorough analysis of the device is difficult without more information, and that assessments of the bomb could change as the authorities analyze it further and if they collect more evidence. But its apparent overdesign, including the more powerful than usual battery, could flow from a bomb-maker’s difficulty in building a reliable detonator.


 

Photo
Messages written next to a makeshift memorial to the victims of the Manchester bombing.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

MANCHESTER, England — The British authorities intensified their search on Thursday for possible accomplices of the Manchester bomber, as questions emerged about whether more could have been done to prevent the country’s deadliest terrorist attack since 2005.

As early as 2011, Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old Briton who has been identified as the bomber, had raised such serious concerns among acquaintances that they called an antiterrorism hotline to report that he held extremist views.

The government has said that MI5, the domestic intelligence agency, was aware of Mr. Abedi — but only as a peripheral figure, and not someone whose behavior would have warranted immediate action.

Mr. Abedi set off a bomb Monday night as fans left a concert by the pop singer Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena, killing 22 people and injuring 64, many of them critically.

Continue reading the main story

“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,” Manchester’s top police official, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, said at a news conference. “These searches will take several days to complete, as you would expect. Therefore, there will be some disruption. However, it is very important that we continue with these searches.”

Officials in Turkey and Germany said on Thursday that Mr. Abedi had passed through airports in Istanbul and the German city of Düsseldorf this month on his way back to Britain from Libya.

It did not appear that he had stayed very long or even left the airports in Turkey and Germany, but the German authorities were looking into a 2015 visit by Mr. Abedi to Frankfurt.

 
Video

Manchester Stands Together in Grief

People gathered in St. Ann’s Square in central Manchester on Thursday to observe a minute of silence in remembrance of those killed on Monday in the terrorist attack.

By CAMILLA SCHICK on Publish DateMay 25, 2017. Photo by Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press.Watch in Times Video »

France’s interior minister said on Wednesday that Mr. Abedi had “most likely” traveled to Syria, a stronghold of the Islamic State. But the Turkish authorities said they had no evidence that Mr. Abedi had passed through their country to travel to Syria.

Since the attack, Mr. Abedi’s older brother, Ismail, has been arrested in Britain, while his younger brother, Hashem, and father have been detained in Libya.

A friend of the Abedi family, Salem Ammar, said in an interview that Mr. Abedi’s father, Ramadan, had been so worried about his son’s frame of mind in the months before the Manchester bombing that he pressured him to come to Libya, and briefly confiscated his passport.

“We were all surprised that he managed to take his passport,” Mr. Ammar said by telephone from Tripoli, the Libyan capital.

Mr. Ammar said that Salman Abedi was distraught after a friend, Abdul Wahab Hafidah, was killed in May 2016 in what the authorities took to be an act of gang violence. Mr. Hafidah was close with Salman Abedi’s brother Hashem.

“I was told his radicalization started in England shortly after the murder of Hafidah,” Mr. Ammar said. “Some of the kids there were very upset about it, and that is how it started.”

Mr. Ammar said he was shocked because Mr. Abedi’s father, an employee of the interior minister in Tripoli, “is moderate and everyone knows that.” He added, “I still can’t believe that his son grew up to be this person.”

Ramadan Abedi, the father, fled Libya during the rule of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in 1993 — the year before Salman was born, in Britain — but returned after Colonel Qaddafi was overthrown in 2011.

In Manchester, Abdullah Muhsin Norris, the imam at a mosque where members of the Abedi family worshiped, said that Salman Abedi would sit around and read the Quran, avoiding other congregants. He was so quiet and withdrawn that he would have escaped notice, Mr. Norris said, but for the fact that Mr. Abedi twice committed minor infractions: lingering in the mosque after dawn prayers and wearing shoes while on his way to the mosque’s lavatory.

Photo
People lined up on Thursday to lay flowers at a memorial to the victims in St Ann’s Square in Manchester.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

On one occasion, the young man responded angrily when chastised, telling the imam, “Don’t shout at me,” according to Mr. Norris. He was “acting like a child, and should know better,” the imam recalled.

The authorities are also looking into Mr. Abedi’s relationships with several known militants, including Raphael Hostey, an Islamic State recruiter who was killed in a drone strike in Syria last year. Mr. Hostey’s younger brother insisted on Thursday that his brother did not know Mr. Abedi, and then sped off on a moped.

Hamed El-Said, a professor of international political economy at Manchester Metropolitan University and an acquaintance of the Abedi family, said he believed the young man had fallen under the sway of peers.

“This is obviously another example of social radicalization with a small group of friends over the past two or three years — the question is where he met these people,” he said. “He is gullible, he is naïve, he is disconnected, he’s one of those individuals who, when you tell him something, might believe it. He would be the perfect mule for ISIS,” he added, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

As the authorities worked to piece together Mr. Abedi’s past, Britain paused to grieve.

Queen Elizabeth II visited teenagers at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital who had been injured in the blast, and she described the attack as “very wicked.”

At 11 a.m., much of the nation, from the Scottish Highlands to the City of London, observed a moment of silence to honor the victims.

Mancunians, as Manchester’s residents are known, filled St. Ann’s Square in the city center for a memorial service. They laid flowers, stuffed toys and cards of condolence on a flowing makeshift altar.

After the clock had tolled and the minute of silence had ended, someone in the back of the crowd began to sing “Don’t Look Back in Anger” by the band Oasis, which was formed in Manchester.

The group singalong was followed by rounds of applause and shouts of “Manchester, we love Manchester!” People continued to stand together around the flowers for another 20 minutes or so after the vigil had ended.

As the country mourned, politics intervened: The campaigning in advance of the parliamentary election scheduled for June 8 resumed after a brief hiatus following the attack. Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, went to Brussels for a NATO summit meeting, bearing a complaint for President Trump that American intelligence officials had leaked details about the investigation into the attack. Mr. Trump, in turn, called for an inquiry into those leaks, as his secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, prepared to visit London on Friday for what the British Foreign Office called “an expression of U.K.-U.S. solidarity.

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