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Manchester attack: 'Trainee pilot' arrested in West Sussex in connection to bombing

A trainee pilot has reportedly been arrested in West Sussex in connection with the inquiry into the Manchester bombing.

The 23-year-old was held on suspicion of terror offences at an address in Shorehan-by-Sea, Greater Manchester Police said.

He is the 16th person to be arrested in connection with the attack, which killed 22 people and injured more than 100.

Violet Mainda, who owns a hairdresser's salon beneath the flat where he was arrested, said she believed the man who lives there was training or had trained to be a pilot,

She added: "He was a normal bloke, very jovial."

Ms Mainda told the Daily Mail: "He was a young Libyan guy who was always very jovial and nice.

"He said he was training to be a pilot at Shoreham Airfield and he had just completed doing that. I am really, really shocked by this. I can't believe he had been arrested.

"He had a few friends and a girlfriend and always seemed very nice. I don't know if he worked, I think he just studied to be a pilot. He said he was studying to become a pilot at Shoreham."

She added: "He told me he came from Libya. He must have been here more than a year and he was always jovial."

Shoreham Airfield, also known as Brighton City Airport, said they did not have anyone available for comment.

Early morning raids were also carried out at a house in Manchester, along with searches carried out in Chester.

The Bank Holiday raids followed a flurry of police activity in Manchester over the weekend, with the arrest of a 25-year-old man in Old Trafford and a 19-year-old man in Gorton.

MI5 has reportedly launched two urgent inquiries into whether it missed the danger posed by Abedi, 22, amid allegations it was warned of his deadly intent.

The domestic security service is said to be investigating whether any glaring errors were made in the handling of intelligence before the attack last Monday night.

Spy chiefs are believed to have held an emergency review in the days after the atrocity, while a separate in-depth inquiry is being conducted to look at the decision making surrounding his case before the massacre, the Guardian reports.

A senior Whitehall source previously has said Abedi was a "former subject of interest" to the security services whose risk "remained subject to review".

In the wake of the attack it emerged British counter-terror authorities were grappling with 500 investigations into 3,000 individuals.

Security sources later confirmed to the Press Association that a further 20,000 individuals were said to have been considered "subjects of interest" in the past, meaning as many as 23,000 people have appeared on the radar of counter-terror agencies, although the period the figures cover is unclear.

Independent News Service


From Belfast Telegraph