'Large part' of network behind Manchester attack nabbed

British police say large part of network behind suicide bomb attack in Manchester has been arrested.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Police patrol outside the Manchester Arena
Police patrol outside the Manchester Arena

Britain has arrested a "large part" of the network behind the suicide bomb attack in Manchester, police said on Friday, according to AFP.

Eight suspects are currently in detention on UK soil in connection with the blast, for which the Islamic State (ISIS) group has claimed responsibility. Police in Libya have detained the father and brother of 22-year-old bomber Salman Abedi.

Just before he was arrested, the father, Ramadan Abedi, denied in an interview with Reuters that his son was a member of ISIS.

Mark Rowley, head of Britain's counter-terrorism police, said Friday police had got hold of "a large part of the network" linked to the bombing in which seven children aged under 18 were among the 22 dead.

"We are very happy we've got our hands around some of the key players that we are concerned about but there's still a little bit more to do," he stressed.

Police said the eight men ranged in age from 18 to 38, including a 30-year-old arrested in the Moss Side area of Manchester in the early hours of Friday.

Monday's bombing at a concert by teen pop idol Ariana Grande was the latest in a series of ISIS-claimed attacks in Europe. After the attack, Britain's terror threat assessment was hiked to "critical", the highest level, meaning an attack is considered imminent.

Manchester-born Abedi, a university dropout, grew up in a Libyan family that reportedly fled to the northwestern English city to escape the now-fallen regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Libyan officials said he and his brother Hashem belonged to ISIS, while their father once belonged to a now-disbanded militant group with alleged ties to Al-Qaeda.

On Thursday, reports indicated Abedi was trained by ISIS in Syria.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)