Politics: 8 arrests in Manchester attack as 'significant' and 'very important items' are found in connection to the bomber
More victims named as a 'significant' connection is made between Salman Abedi and ISIS recruiter Raphael Hostey.
- Police confirmed they are investigating a "network" of suspects. They have 8 people in custody and say the arrests are "significant."
- Police also seized "very important" items related to the investigation.
- Sky News reports that there was a "significant" target="_blank" connection between Salman Abedi and ISIS recruiter Raphael Hostey.
- Prime Minister Theresa May will confront President Donald Trump as the UK begins withholding sensitive info from the US. UK authorities fear the leaks are endangering lives.
- The Queen is in Manchester, visiting some of those injured on Monday in hospital.
- 21 victims of the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena on Monday have been named so far.
- Abedi's older brother was arrested in Manchester in connection with the attack, while his younger brother was arrested for allegedly planning another attack in Libya, where his father was also detained.
- Abedi was born in the UK to parents who fled Libya and turned to radical Islam in recent years. He was known to British spies.
- Campaigning in the general election was set to resume on Thursday.
- Armed troops took over regular police guard duties in some city locations as police deal with the heightened terror alert.
LONDON — Britain has stopped sharing vital information with the US related to the bombing of the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester this week, as police make progress in tracking down bomber Salman Abedi's terror network.
The Guardian as well as the BBC both separately confirmed that UK forces would stop sharing all their intel with the Americans, as leaks from the US are compromising their investigation.
Shortly after Britain observed one minute's silence to pay respect to the victims and their families following the bombing, Prime Minister Theresa May said she will "make clear" to President Trump that intelligence shared between UK and US must not be leaked and "remain secure."
The breakdown in relations comes as Greater Manchester Police arrested two more men on Thursday morning, in their investigation of the bombing at Manchester Arena earlier this week, bringing the total number of those in custody to eight. Salman Abedi killed 22 people along with himself, and injured at least 64 people at the Ariana Grande concert.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said on Thursday afternoon that the arrests were "significant" and the police also seized "very important" items related to the investigation. This follows from this morning's police statement confirming the arrests.
Greater Manchester police deemed an incident in Hulme as "safe"
Just before 11 a.m. BST (6 a.m. ET), Greater Manchester police tweeted:
A bomb disposal unit headed to Trafford too. GM police added at 11.10 a.m. local time that "we can confirm the incident is on Linby Street in Hulme." The police confirmed that "the army attended Linby street in Hulme and not a college in Trafford."
People near the scene on Linby Street are tweeting pictures of police vans and sniffer dogs:
Just after 11.30 a.m. local time, the police said "cordon in Hulme has been removed and possible suspicious package deemed safe."
We are learning more about Abedi's movements before his attack
We are also beginning to learn more about the movements of Abedi, the prime suspect in the suicide attack, in the days before the killings. He was reportedly in Dusseldorf four days before the bombing, says Sky News citing German intelligence.
CCTV footage was taken of Abedi moments after he bought the rucksack that he used his attack, which carried an improvised bomb.
Abedi, 22, was radicalised during trips to Syria and was previously known to British intelligence services, officials said.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said on Wednesday afternoon. "I think it's very clear that it's a network that we are dealing with."
The further two arrests come just a day after Abedi's brother, 23-year-old Ismail Abedi, was arrested in Chorlton, in south Manchester, in connection with the attack. His younger brother, Hashem Abedi was arrested by a Libyan counterterrorism unit for allegedly "planning to stage an attack" in Tripoli, Libya, where his father Ramadan Abedi was also detained, according to the Washington Post.
Earlier this week, Ramadan Abedi told the press that when he spoke to his 22-year old son five days before the attack, he sounded "normal."
He said: "We don't believe in killing innocents. This is not us." He said that his son had visited Libya a month-and-a-half ago and was planning to visit Saudi Arabia. Here was Ramadan Abedi before he was detained:
Late Wednesday, police surrounded a large block of flats in Blackley, and arrested a woman in the raid. For a brief period residents were prevented from entering or leaving their homes and a small detonation was heard — probably from the police entering the apartment. The woman was later released without charge.
According to Sky, Hostey "sponsored hundreds of terror recruits."
The US keeps leaking sensitive information from British intelligence
Separately, as US President Trump visits NATO headquarters in Brussels, the UK government is criticising US officials for leaking sensitive information and photos of the attack. The latest leaks came in the form of crime-scene photos published by the New York Times.
Senior US congressman Mike McCaul, a Texas Republican, also told the Associated Press that the explosives used in the Manchester attack were the same as those used in the Paris attacks in November 2015 and in Brussels in March 2016.
The British government suppressed its anger for most of Wednesday at leaks about the investigation. But The Guardian reported late in the evening that the government was "furious" that the photos ended up in the New York Times:
"We are furious. This is completely unacceptable. These images leaked from inside the US system will be distressing for victims, their families and the wider public. The issue is being raised at every relevant level by the British authorities with their US counterparts."
The Financial Times reported this morning that British authorities are considering withholding sensitive information from Washington because the leaks, they fear, are endangering British lives. The FT reported:
The National Police Chiefs’ Council said the “unauthorised disclosure of potential evidence” to US media about the Manchester bombing investigation “undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families”.
UK security officials are “astonished” at the information being disclosed. Despite the close relationship in counter-terrorism work with the US, the prospect has now been raised by some in Whitehall intelligence circles of restricting information that is sent to Washington. US actions were putting British lives in danger, one security official said.
On BBC Radio 5 Live, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said the US "must stop" leaking info to the media.
"The last thing we need is prolonged diplomatic now. Nobody wants that, but this cannot be justified in any way. There must be a clear statement from the top of the US government today that this will stop immediately.
"For people somewhere else, not connected to the investigation, to be undermining it is, quite frankly, disgusting."
He also released a statement on Twitter:
More victims are being named
Meanwhile, 21 victims, out of the 22 killed from the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena on Monday, have been named, while others remain missing.
19-year-old Liam Allen-Curry is among the victims:
Eilidh Macleod, a 14-year-old Scottish girl was also one of the latest to be named:
Among the 22 dead, Martyn Hett, a 29-year-old. His friend Russell Hayward announced on Twitter that Hett was among those killed.
He said: "We got the news last night that our wonderful iconic and beautiful Martyn didn’t survive. He left this world exactly how he lives, centre of attention."
His brother Dan Hett has been paying tribute to his brother on Twitter and singer Mariah Carey also paid her respects to him on Instagram:
At 11 a.m. BST, people across the country will be observing one minute's silence, to pay respect to those killed in the attack. Some are already gathering in Manchester, in preparation:
Who is Salman Abedi?
Abedi was born in Manchester in 1994. He was one of four children to parents who fled to Britain from Libya at the height of the Gaddafi regime, the BBC reported.
Abedi attended school in Manchester and went to Salford University before dropping out before the second year of his business and management degree program. He left the UK for a period, reportedly to Libya, but returned days before the attack. The Financial Times reported that he was involved with gangs and turned to radical Islam in recent years.
Sky News also reported that Abedi had a "significant" target="_blank" connection to one of ISIS' most prolific recruiters.
This story is developing …