U.K. Police Arrest 16th Person in Connection With Manchester Attack

(Reuters) -
A bomb disposal unit and police officers wait behind cordon outside an address in Moss Side, Manchester, May 27. (Reuters/Phil Noble)

British police said on Monday they had arrested a 16th person in connection with the Manchester suicide bombing last week.

The 23-year-old man was arrested in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, “on suspicion on offenses contrary to the terrorism act,” Greater Manchester Police said on Twitter.

A total of 16 people have been arrested in connection with the attack, in which 22 people were killed. Two were released without charge, while 14 men remained in custody for questioning, the police said.

On Sunday, British Interior Minister Amber Rudd said that members of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi’s network are still potentially at large, after the terrorism threat level was lowered due to significant progress in the investigation.

Asked during an interview on BBC whether some of the group were still at large, Rudd said: “Potentially. It is an ongoing operation. There are 11 people in custody, the operation is still really at full tilt in a way.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said developments in the investigation into the bombing meant intelligence experts had decided to lower the threat level from its highest rating “critical,” meaning an attack could be imminent, to “severe.”

Police have issued a photograph of Abedi, a 22-year-old Briton born to Libyan parents, taken on Monday night before he blew himself up and said they believed he had assembled his bomb in an apartment in the city center.

British officials have confirmed that he had recently returned from Libya and the officers said police needed information about his movements from May 18 when he returned to Britain.

Abdedi was known to British security services before the bombing, the government has said, but Rudd declined to comment on exactly what had been known about him.

Media have reported that people who knew Abedi had raised concerns about him and his views as long ago as five years before he carried out Monday’s attack.

“The intelligence services are still collecting information about him but I wouldn’t rush to conclusions, as you seem to be, that they have somehow missed something,” Rudd said.