U.K. Review: Manchester Attack Might Have Been Stopped

Fatalities, Blast, Concert, British Arena
Vehicles are seen near a police cordon outside the Manchester Arena after the attack in May. (Reuters/Andrew Yates)

An independent review of the counterterrorism performance by British police and intelligence services suggests that the deadly suicide bombing at Manchester Arena might have been prevented if information had been handled differently.

The review ordered by Home Secretary Amber Rudd says the attack might have been thwarted “had the cards fallen differently.”

Lawyer David Anderson’s assessment, published Tuesday, credits police and the MI5 domestic intelligence service with stopping most attacks despite unprecedented terror activity.

He says the Manchester bomber who killed 22 people after an Ariana Grande concert May 22 wasn’t being actively investigated when he detonated a suicide device.

But he says MI5 had obtained intelligence in the months before the attack that might have led to an investigation if it had been better understood. Anderson didn’t provide further details.