Following the tragic bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in the UK last night, authorities are still trying to piece together what happened. Shortly after the attack, forensic evidence started to suggest that this was a suicide bombing. Reports from hospitals in the area seemed to collaborate that, claiming that they were treating people with shrapnel wounds.
As the investigation continues, more information is starting to stream in, providing better information on just how this attack took place. Earlier today, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. Although authorities have yet to confirm any link to the deadly terrorist organizations, they have finally identified a suspect.
From the Independent:
The man who blew himself up during an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena has been named as 23-year-old Salman Abedi, US officials have said.
Greater Manchester Police did not immediately confirm the suspect’s identity.
Little information is available about the suspect, but local reports have shed some light on his identity:
Local reports said Abedi was the child of Libyan refugees who fled to the UK to flee Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, and was one of four children.
Shortly following the attack, ISIS released a chilling statement:
“With Allah’s grace and support, a soldier of the Khilafah [caliphate] managed to place explosive devices in the midst of the gatherings of the crusaders in the British city of Manchester,” it said.
Regardless of who’s responsible, the bombing represents a new low in the escalation of terrorism. The concert targeted in this attack was known to be popular among teens and young girls.
Among the victims of this attack, Fox News reports that many of the injured and dead were children under the age of 16:
Salman Abedi, 23, was identified as the man who detonated an improvised explosive device at about 10:30 p.m. local time Monday, killing more than 20 people, some of them children, and injuring dozens more. At least 12 children under the age of 16 were injured, emergency responders said. An 8-year-old girl was among the dead.
With the UK just weeks away from a general election, the attack is likely to change the narrative in that race. With terrorists intentionally targeting children, world leaders need to do more to combat the growing threat.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter on @UAMichaelLee]