Even though radicalized religious extremist have targeted groups of children before – i.e. the Beslan School Siege back in 2004 – does the recent Ariana Grande Manchester concert attack represent a new low for such terror attacks?
By: Ringo Bones
The tragic May 22, 2017 suicide bombing of Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena concert by a 22-year-old British Muslim named Salman Abedi who detonated a shrapnel-laden improvised explosive device (IED) at the exit of the arena after the event. The brazen attack had resulted in the deaths of 23 adults and children, including Abedi and 116 were injured, some critically. At the latest stage of the ongoing investigation, Abedi was suspected of working within a terrorist network and 16 people so far were arrested in connection with the incident, two of which are released without charge.
Even though Abedi has been under surveillance by the UK’s anti terror intelligence agencies since 2015 after he threatened a local imam for preaching against the so-called Islamic State, he managed to “flew under the radar” so to speak and managed not to raise red flags. Hours after the suicide bombing, initial investigations suggests that Abedi might be self-radicalized. A few days ago, critical evidence has been uncovered that Abedi could be part of a still unidentified terror network following the furor over vital forensic photos that were leaked to the New York Times that angered Home Secretary Amber Rudd that resulted in a temporary halt of intelligence sharing by the UK’s intelligence services and the US government.
A tribute concert by Ariana Grande has already been scheduled later for the benefit of the victims and the families of the tragic Manchester Arena attack. And as a sign of resilience, concert events and a marathon scheduled after the Ariana Grande concert were allowed to proceed albeit under heightened security.