British police overnight confirmed 22 dead and 59 hurt in what is being described as a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena at the close of an Ariana Grande concert.
The shrapnel-filled explosive targeted an exit point at the arena where 20,000 predominantly teenage and pre-teen girls had come out to see the American star in Britain’s second largest metropolitan area.
Details about the attack including the primary motive and the male killer’s name at this time remain unknown or withheld by investigators.
One thing is clear. Had the bomber gained access to the venue the carnage would have been far greater.
Police overnight were analyzing the residue of the bomb, trying to match it to recipes that have been posted in Al Qaeda’s Inspire and other on–line jihadi magazines.
Other teams have been monitoring social media, searching for clues to the bomber’s identity and/or his supporters, many of whom were soon praising the vicious attack online.
Still other investigators have been tracking video footage from thousands of the 4-5.9 million CCTV surveillance cameras installed in public places in the UK.
PM Elizabeth May said police were treating it as “an appalling terrorist attack” and, according to the BBC, May has suspended general election campaigning.
Grande, who left unscathed, tweeted that she was “broken” by the barbarous act.
Her exact tweet read: “Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. I don’t have words.”
The blast has been described as the worst terrorist incident in the UK since Islamist suicide bombings on London Underground trains and a bus in 2005, which killed 52 people.
The attack on a concert audience recalled the Paris attacks of November 2015 in which 130 died, many of them slaughtered by three Islamist gunmen at the Bataclan concert hall.
In recent years similar attacks against so-called ‘soft targets’ have been foiled in the US, Italy, Turkey, France, Belgium, and Brazil.
James Corden's Message to Manchester
— Fox News, BBC News, Financial Times