Father of alleged Manchester bomber Salman Abedi says his son is innocent

Police had earlier named British-born Salman Abedi, 22, as the perpetrator of the bombing at the Manchester Arena indoor venue at the end of a concert by US pop singer Ariana Grande on Monday, attended by thousands of children and teenagers.

Hashem Abedi is believed to have known about his elder brother's plot to detonate the nail bomb, and is also suspected of planning to carry out an attack in Tripoli.

Many at the concert were young girls and teens enthralled by Grande's pop power.

Officials are examining Abedi's trips to Libya and possibly Syria as they piece together his allegiances and try to foil any new potential threats. As of Wednesday morning, police say, they've identified all of the fatalities and contacted all of the families involved.

Chelsea soccer club said it had cancelled a victory parade that had been set to take place on Sunday to celebrate its Premier League title.

The number of arrests in the United Kingdom ticked up to eight as British Transport Police said armed officers would begin patrols on some trains because of an increased threat of terrorism.

In Manchester, where residents continued to place floral tributes to the dead and injured, police arrested a man at a house near Abedi's home.

"In fact I didn't expect that to happen ever, he didn't say that he was going to Manchester to stay in Manchester, he said that he was going to Umrah. then I heard what the Chief Executive of Manchester said, he said that "we suspect Salman". He said the man, in his 40s, is named Adel and has a wife and several children.

"There was a policeman, armed policeman, shouting at my neighbour. and I realized there is something wrong here", he said.

When arrested he is reported to have told Libyan authorities: "I have ideology with my brother". He did not provide details, and said it is unclear whether Abedi was part of a larger network of attackers.

The Houses of Parliament have been closed for visits.

A family friend said that the bomber, whose father and two brothers have been arrested in the days after the attack, was also outraged at the death of his friend, which he viewed as a hate crime.

With France still under a state of emergency after a string of IS attacks, French President Emmanuel Macron is holding a special security council meeting Wednesday.

Officials are probing how often Abedi had traveled to Libya, which has seen an eruption of armed Islamist groups since dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011.

Asked about reports that Abedi had recently returned from Libya, Interior minister Amber Ruddsaid she believed that had now been confirmed.

Echoing the comments of British officials, he said: "There's a network - a cell of ISIS-inspired terrorists".

With Britain's terrorism threat level at "critical", meaning a new attack may be imminent, police are working around the clock to try to deter another atrocity.

She also complained about USA officials leaking sensitive information about Abedi to the press, saying that could hinder Britain's security services and police. Rudd said Britain's operational security could be harmed by the leaks, taking "the element of surprise" away from security services and police.

Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old British citizen born to Libyan parents, died in the attack, which targeted young fans of Ariana Grande as they left her concert.

Manchester health officials announced Wednesday that 20 people remained in "critical care" after suffering from "horrific injuries".

Officials said all those hospitalized had been identified.


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