Police in Manchester have reportedly identified the man responsible for the appalling suicide attack on children and teenagers at a concert:
U.K. police identified the bomber who killed 22 people and injured dozens of others Monday outside a pop concert in Manchester as a 22-year-old named Salman Abedi.
He hit one of the softest of targets: a mostly young crowd pouring from the exits after the show, police said.
The Manchester bombing is the worst terrorist attack in the U.K. since the 7/7 London attack in 2005, but it seems especially horrible because it targeted a venue full of children. We don’t know yet why this event was specifically targeted, but presumably the goal was to attack a vulnerable crowd to cause the greatest loss of life possible.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, but this may just be a case of opportunistically seizing on an attack carried out by someone else. A U.S. official questioned the veracity of the ISIS claim:
A U.S. official in Washington cast doubt on the claim, at least until more information was available. The official said the lack of details suggested the group could be claiming the attack opportunistically, rather than having any real role in its planning.
All party leaders condemned the attack, and campaigns for Britain’s upcoming general election have been suspended. The attack probably will have an effect on the election, but it remains to be seen what that will be and we’ll save speculation about that for another time.