Islamic State group claims responsibility for Manchester concert attack; 1 arrested

Armed police work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

MANCHESTER, England (CBS News/AP) —The Islamic State group says one of its members carried out the Manchester attack that killed 22 people, according to the Associated Press.

Britain awoke Tuesday in a state of shock, not just for the number of people killed in the suicide bomb attack on an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester the previous night, but for their age.

As CBS News’ Mark Phillips reports, it was a concert for young people — 22 of whom were robbed of the opportunity to grow old.


The first victim was identified Tuesday as 18-year-old high school student Georgina Callander. Her death was confirmed by her school administration.

The concert drew a sell-out crowd to Manchester Arena — about 20,000 people — and it was just ending.

The last song was over and the young, happy crowd was beginning to file out of the arena. A dash-cam in one of the vehicles in the parking lot caught the massive blast.

There were seconds of silence, and then panic gripped the crowd. The bomber, a man who police say arrived alone, was not inside the arena when he detonated his explosives. He arrived on the local rail system and approached one of the main exits as the audience made their way out.

Kids and teenagers were everywhere, meeting parents and making their way out of the building.

RELATED: At least 22 dead, 59 injured after explosions at Ariana Grande concert in England

Speaking Tuesday morning in London, British Prime Minister Theresa May called it a “callous terrorist attack; an attack that targeted some of the youngest people in our society with cold calculation.”

She said the bombing stood out even among other attacks for the culprit’s, “appalling, sickening callousness, deliberately targeting innocent children.”

Witnesses painted a terrifying picture of a fun night out, turned into chaos and then tragedy.

“We were in the arena and we heard a bang and I just run for me life,” concertgoer Charlotte Pinder said.

Another girl said everyone was “really confused. There was a big bang, smell of smoke, everyone was screaming and crying.”

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Manchester police called it “the most horrific incident we have ever faced here.” He said there were children among the dead, and many more among the injured.

“We believe the attacker was wearing an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity,” Hopkins said.

The bomb was designed to kill and maim; many of the survivors suffered shrapnel wounds.

There was security at the concert, but the bomber apparently didn’t try to get into the venue — his victims came to him. Prime Minister May said the attacker, who had been identified by police, deliberately chose “his time and place to cause maximum carnage” in the young crowd.

Tuesday morning, concertgoers were still wandering the streets of Manchester, many unable to make sense of what had happened. Police closed streets around the arena, and the Victoria train station, which is near the venue, also remained closed on Tuesday.

“You wouldn’t think something like that would happen to you. And then when it happens to you, it’s just so unreal,” one young concertgoer told CBS News. “It really hits you… crying this morning, still trying to get in contact with everybody that we haven’t, it’s been awful.”

May confirmed that 22 people were killed and 59 others injured, not including the attacker, who also died. Many of the injured were being treated for life-threatening conditions, including children, she said.

The prime minister said police would not be revealing information on the attacker’s identity at this stage of the investigation, but added that the focus for police now was to determine “if he was acting alone, or was part of a wider group.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or any other terrorist group, but ISIS has repeated called for its supporters in the West to attack “soft targets” like sports events and concerts.

Manchester, the largest city in Northern England, remained on edge Tuesday morning as police couldn’t say definitively whether the bomber might have surviving accomplices who weren’t at the arena.

A shopping mall in the center of the city was evacuated Tuesday morning for a police operation, but there were few details immediately available, and it wasn’t clear whether there was a connection to the Monday night attack.

Police sealed entrances to the Arndale Centre shopping mall and closed roads around it, and later confirmed one man had been taken into custody at the mall. They said, however, that the arrest was “not currently believed to connected to last night’s attacks.”

In a tweet, the Greater Manchester Police said a 23-year-old man was taken into custody in the southern part of the city on Tuesday, and that arrest did appear to be linked to the bombing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s