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Theresa May upgrades UK terror threat to highest possible level

24 May 2017

Police believe the bomber entered the arena through a subway station, detonating the bomb near the ticket area just as people were leaving the concert.

British Prime Minister Theresa May chaired a meeting Wednesday of her emergency security cabinet group to talk about intelligence reports on Abedi and concerns that he might have had outside support.

Up to 5000 soldiers and special forces personnel, alongside armed police officers, will also deploy on to key streets across the United Kingdom and around expected targets, under a previously revealed plan called "Operation Temperer".

May revealed that continuing investigations after the suicide bombing in Manchester Arena by Salman Abedi revealed the possibility that there is a wider group of individuals behind the attack that killed 22 people and injured almost 60.

The US intelligence official, who has direct knowledge of the investigation, said Abedi, whose family is of Libyan descent, was identified by a bank card found in his pocket at the scene of the explosion.

Police have said that a 23-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the bombing, but it is unclear whether the man was arrested during this raid or at another location.

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A student at the University of Manchester, who wanted to be known only as Miss Lim, said she nearly went to the Ariana Grande concert.

Over 20 people were killed during the Manchester terror attack.

The PM said the threat level "should be increased, for the time being, from severe to critical".

It is the deadliest militant assault in Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London's transport system in July 2005.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for what it called a revenge attack against "Crusaders", but there appeared to be contradictions in its account of the operation. British officials, however, have not commented on whether Abedi had links to IS or other extremist groups. "They are there to help our police service to keep us safe and guard key sites", he said. Officials said 59 victims were hospitalized - some reportedly paralyzed by shrapnel.

Collomb, who spoke with May after the attack, said the two countries should continue cooperating closely on counterterrorism efforts despite Britain's pending exit from the European Union.

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Saffie's mother, Lisa Roussos, and her sister, Ashlee Bromwich, survived and were being treated for their wounds in separate hospitals.

Charlotte Campbell said, "She's my baby".

Asked whether the U.S. leaks had compromised the investigation, she said: "I wouldn't go that far but I can say that they are perfectly clear about the situation and that it shouldn't happen again".

"Saffie was simply a lovely little girl in every aspect of the word", said Chris Upton, the head teacher at Saffie's school.

Katz reported from London.

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