U.K. Military Ends Week-Long Counterterrorism Deployment

Manchester arrest
Armed policemen in Manchester last week. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)

Britain’s Ministry of Defense has announced an end to its week-long deployment to help police cope with an increased threat of an extremist attack after the Manchester suicide bombing.

Chief of the Defense staff Stuart Peach said Thursday that roughly 1,000 military personnel had been deployed along with police as the terrorist threat was raised to “critical” after the attack that killed 22 people and injured dozens more.

The official threat level has been lowered from “critical” — the highest level, meaning an attack may be imminent — to “severe,” which means the government believes an attack is highly likely.

Peach said military personnel will “remain at readiness to deploy” if needed.

The end of the military role came after Manchester Police said they had released a man who was arrested in the concert bombing investigation without charging him. Police said the 21-year-old was set free Wednesday night. His name was not released.

Ten men are being questioned in custody about possible roles in the blast. All were arrested on suspicion of violating the Terrorism Act. They have not been identified or charged. Six people, including a woman, have been released without being charged. Details about the investigation have not been released.

Police say the 22-year-old bomber, Salman Abedi, acted largely alone when he assembled the device used in the May 22 attack. Abedi was a Manchester native whose parents had moved to England from Libya.


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