Manchester Arena bombing condemned by Muslim Council of Britain – who hope ‘perpetrators face the full weight of justice’
THE Manchester suicide bombing has been condemned as “horrific” and “criminal” by the Muslim Council of Britain.
At least 22 people, including children, were killed and 59 injured after fans were attacked leaving the Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert last night.
Emergency services treat an injured man after a bomb blast tore through crowds outside the arena last night[/caption]
Police treat victims on the platform at Manchester Victoria Station after the attack[/caption]
Walking casualties leave a nearby hotel this morning after being taken in after the attack last night[/caption]
Flowers laid near the venue after the horrific attack last night, which has killed at least 22 people[/caption]
While the identity of the attacker – who died in the blast – is not yet known, a top counter-terror expert says the attack was “absolutely jihadi” in nature.
Muslim Council of Britain secretary general Harun Khan said this morning: “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
“This is horrific, this is criminal. May the perpetrators face the full weight of justice both in this life and the next.
“I pay tribute to the police and emergency services who have worked valiantly to save lives last night.
“They were helped by civilians who rushed in to offer their support.
“I urge all those in the region and around the country to pool together to support those affected.”
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MCB secretary general Harun Khan condemned the “horrific and criminal” attack this morning[/caption]
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins tells reporters police are trying to establish whether the attacker was part of a terror network[/caption]
Cops are investigating whether the bomber was part of a terrorist network, as a counter-terror expert said he suspects the killer was “probably on a database”.
The bomber – believed to have carried out the attack alone – was killed in the blast.
No terror organisations have yet claimed responsibility for the atrocity.
Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins said today the force’s “priority” was to confirm the identity of the attacker and whether he was part of a cell.
Former MoD counter-terror boss Major General Chip Chapman told Sky News today: “The suicide bomb aspect shows that this is absolutely jihadi, Islamist terrorism.
“You can rule out separatist terrorism from Northern Ireland and we can rule out right-wing terrorism.
“They’ll be looking at whether there’s a network there or whether this is a lone individual.
“Most of the time it’s not a lone individual, it’s very rare that you’ll find someone who’s able to construct a bomb as a lone individual.
“I probably think this guy was on a database.”
Another expert, former National Counter Terrorism Office member Lee Dodderidge told Radio 5 Live the attack “appeared to have taken quite a considerable amount of planning”.
He said: “Alarm bells for me are ringing at the moment.
“Some people may look at it and say it is a lone wolf – it does indicate there was a lot of planning put into this attack.”
Addressing reporters this morning, Mr Hopkins confirmed police were treating the explosion as a “terrorist incident”.
He said: “The priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.
The city centre was on lockdown last night after the explosion tore through the arena foyer just after 10.30pm[/caption]
“We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity.”
He urged people not to speculate on the identity of the killer, adding: “There is a complex and wide ranging investigation underway.
“Our priority is to work with the National Counter Terrorist Policing Network and UK intelligence services to establish more details about the individual who carried out this attack.
“This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see.
“Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives.”
The arena and Victoria Station have been cordoned off and a detailed forensic search of the area is under way.