Manchester Bomber Known to Authorities, Likely Did Not Act Alone, UK Says

British intelligence services and the police are pursuing leads into the attacker’s recent trip to Libya and possible ties to ISIS

People pray and light candles set up in front of floral tributes in Albert Square in Manchester, northwest England on May 23, 2017.
BEN STANSALL/AFP

The suicide bomber who killed 22 people and injured 59 after a pop concert in Manchester was known to the security services and likely did not act alone, British Interior Minister Amber Rudd said on Wednesday. 

Authorities have named the bomber as Salman Abedi, 22, who was born in Manchester to parents of Libyan origin. 

"It seems likely, possible, that he wasn't doing this on his own so the intelligence services and the police are pursuing their leads in order to make sure they get all the information ... that they need to keep us safe," Rudd told BBC radio. 

Asked if he was known to the intelligence services, she said: "the security services will know a lot of people, it doesn't mean they are expected to arrest everybody that they know but it is somebody that they had known before and I'm sure when this investigation concludes we'll be able to find out more."

British investigators told French authorities that the suspect in the Manchester bombing had probably travelled to Syria, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said on Wednesday.  

"Today we only know what British investigators have told us - someone of British nationality, of Libyan origin, who suddenly after a trip to Libya, then probably to Syria, becomes radicalized and decides to carry out this attack," Collomb told BFMTV. 

Pressed on how he knew Abedi had been in Syria, Collomb said this was the information that French and British intelligence services had. 

Asked if he believed Abedi had the support of a network, Collomb said: "That is not known yet, but perhaps. In any case, (he had) links with Daesh (ISIS) that are proven."