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How the Manchester Arena bomb probe unfolded

Twenty-two people, including children, were killed when Salman Abedi blew himself up in the foyer after an Ariana Grande concert.

Manchester Arena incident
Manchester Arena incident

Here is how the investigation into the Manchester Arena bombing unfolded:

Monday, May 22

Around 10.30pm – British-born Salman Abedi walks into the foyer of Manchester Arena as crowds stream out of an Ariana Grande concert and detonates a device packed with shrapnel, killing 22 people, including children.

Tuesday, May 23

Around lunchtime – Ismail Abedi, the Manchester terrorist’s 24-year-old brother, is arrested by plain-clothes officers in Whalley Range, south Manchester.

Almost simultaneously, police swoop on Abedi’s Fallowfield home, blasting the door off as they begin their search. Forensic officers are later seen leaving the building carrying a booklet titled Know Your Chemicals.

Just after 2pm – Greater Manchester Police (GMP) carry out a further search of a property in Whalley Range.

9.40pm – Prime Minister Theresa May says the UK’s terror threat level has been increased from severe to critical, indicating a further attack may be imminent.

Manchester Arena incident

Wednesday, May 24

10.30am – Three men, aged 18, 21 and 24, are arrested in Fallowfield, south Manchester.

5.30pm – Armed police arrest a 33-year-old man carrying a suspicious package in Wigan, forcing the area to be cordoned off.

Around 8.30pm – In Nuneaton, Warwickshire, a 22-year-old suspect is arrested at gunpoint and led away in a protective forensic suit.

8.53pm – Police raid a block of flats in Blackley, north of Manchester city centre. A 34-year-old woman is arrested.

Evening – Libyan authorities announce they have arrested Abedi’s younger brother Hashem and father Ramadan.

Thursday, May 25

Around 1.45am – A controlled explosion is carried out during a search of a property in Moss Side, south of Manchester city centre.

4.20am – Police release the woman arrested in Blackley without charge.

6.10am – Two more males are detained in the Manchester area – a 16-year-old boy in Withington and a 38-year-old in Blackley – in connection with the attack. The teenager is later released.

Around 5.25pm – A bomb disposal squad is sent to the house in Withington where the teenager was arrested on Wednesday night.

7.15pm – Another bomb disposal team is scrambled to the house belonging to the suspect arrested in Wigan on Wednesday.

Manchester Arena incident

Friday, May 26

Early hours – Police arrest a 30-year-old man in Moss Side, while a search is carried out at a property in St Helens, Merseyside.

8.10pm – A 44-year-old man is arrested in Rusholme on suspicion of terrorism offences.

Saturday, May 27

Early hours – Two men, aged 20 and 22, are arrested as officers blast a door off a property in Cheetham Hill, near Manchester city centre. It followed searches at a separate address in Cheetham Hill and another in the Longsight area.

10.45am – GMP evacuate an area of Moss Side, where counter-terror officers search a property.

11.45am – The Prime Minister says the threat level has been reduced from critical, which means an attack is imminent, to severe, which means an attack is highly likely.

Manchester Arena incident

Sunday, May 28

3.15pm – Police arrest a 25-year-old man on suspicion of terror offences in Old Trafford in connection with the attack and officers search an address in Moss Side.

7.25pm – GMP search addresses in the Rusholme and Gorton areas of the city in connection with the attack.

9.05pm – Police arrest a 19-year-old man in Gorton on suspicion of terror offences in connection with the attack.

Thursday, July 6

Detectives announce they want to speak to Salman Abedi’s brother, Hashem, in Libya.

Thursday, August 31

It is reported Libya’s chief investigator says Hashem Abedi will be tried in Libya over his suspected role in the attack.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham says he will call on Prime Minister Theresa May to ensure any trial is held in the UK.

Tuesday, September 12

“Homeless hero” Chris Parker appears at Manchester Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing. The 33-year-old denies stealing a purse and mobile phone from victims of the attack.

Chris Parker court case

Wednesday, November 1

British police are granted a warrant for the arrest of Hashem Abedi, brother of bomber Salman Abedi. It relates to the murder of 22 people, the attempted murder of others who were injured and conspiracy to cause an explosion. The warrant was issued by a judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, approved by the Home Secretary and an extradition request handed over to the authorities in Libya.

Tuesday, December 5

The Government agrees to pay in full the £9.8 million special grant funding requested by Greater Manchester Police to recognise officers’ “extraordinary response” to the Manchester Arena terror attack.

Wednesday, January 3 2018

Homeless “hero” to zero Parker is locked up and loses £50,000 from well-wishers after admitting two counts of theft and one count of fraud involving stricken victims of the Manchester Arena bombing.

Friday, January 12

The Kerslake review into the response to the Manchester Arena bombing finds there were “critical” issues with communications between emergency services.

Manchester Arena incident – Kerslake Report

Tuesday, January 30

Parker is jailed for four years and three months at Manchester Crown Court. Judge David Hernandez tells him: “You were not the hero that you pretended to be. You were a common thief.”

Wednesday, May 16

The head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit says plans for a UK trial of Abedi’s brother Hashem are under way.

Press Association


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