Suspected Manchester suicide bomber identified

- Investigators hunted Tuesday for possible accomplices of the suicide bomber who attacked an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 people and sparking a stampede of young concertgoers, some still wearing the American pop star's trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons.

UPDATE: US officials report British authorities have identified suspected Manchester suicide bomber as Salman Abedi.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the carnage, but the top American intelligence official said Tuesday that the claim could not be verified. British police raided two locations in the city, setting off a controlled explosion in one, and arrested a 23-year-old man in a third location.
Teenage screams filled Manchester Arena just after the explosion Monday night, and members of the audience tumbled over guardrails and each other to escape.

FOX News has identified the first victim of the explosion as Georgina Callander, 18. Runshaw College, where Callander was a student, confirmed the news and on social media in a statement.
"It is with enormous sadness that it appears that one of the people who lost their lives in Monday’s Manchester attack was one of our students here at Runshaw College. Georgina Callander was a former Bishop Rawstorne pupil studying with us on the second year of her Health and Social Care course," the college said.
An 8-year-old girl was among the dead -- the youngest known victim -- and her mother and sister were among 59 people wounded in what British Prime Minister Theresa May called "a callous terrorist attack." Hospitals officials say the wounded included 12 children under 16.
   "We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage," May said.
May and police said the bomber died in the attack -- something that went unmentioned in Islamic State's claim of responsibility, which gave no name for the attacker and had discrepancies with the events described by British officials. 
   May said authorities believe they have identified the attacker, but did not release his name. She said authorities were trying to determine if he had an accomplice. 
   The top U.S. intelligence official, Dan Coats, said the American government had not yet verified whether or how Islamic State was responsible. 
   The attack was the deadliest in Britain since four suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on subway trains and a bus in July 2005. Campaigning for Britain's June 8 national election was suspended.
   Manchester, 160 miles (260 kilometers) northwest of London, is one of Britain's largest cities and Manchester Arena is  one of the largest indoor concert venues in the world. 
   Britain's Queen Elizabeth II marked a moment of silence to honor the victims. Accompanied by her husband Prince Philip, her son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the queen stood at the top of the steps leading down from Buckingham Palace on Tuesday afternoon as the national anthem played.
   Some concert-goers said security was haphazard before the show, with some people being searched and others allowed inside unhindered. The bombing took place at the end of the concert, when the audience was streaming toward the city's main train station adjacent to Manchester Arena.
   Witnesses said the blast scattered bolts and other bits of metal, indicating the bomb may have contained shrapnel intended to maximize injuries and deaths.
   "There was this massive bang. And then everyone just went really quiet. And that's when the screaming started," said 25-year-old Ryan Molloy. "As we came outside to Victoria Station, there were just people all over the floor covered in blood. My partner was helping to try to stem the blood from this one person ... they were pouring blood from their leg. It was just awful."
   The attack sparked a nightlong search for loved-ones -- parents for the children they had accompanied or had been waiting to pick up, and friends for each other after groups were scattered by the blast. Twitter and Facebook lit up with heartbreaking appeals for the missing.
   As police shut down public transport, Manchester residents opened their hearts. Taxis offered to give stranded people free rides home while some residents opened their homes to provide lodging.
Grande, who was not injured in the blast, tweeted: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words." 
   Hayley Lunt was staying at a hotel nearby and had taken her 10-year-old daughter Abigail to her first concert at Manchester Arena on Monday evening. She said the explosions rang out as soon as Grande left the stage "almost like they waited for her to go." 
   "We just ran as fast as we could to get away from that area," Lunt said. "What should have been a superb evening is now just horrible."
   Police cars, bomb-disposal units and 60 ambulances raced to the scene as the scale of the carnage became clear. 
   "A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena," said 22-year-old concertgoer Majid Khan. "Everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us."
   The city's regional government and its mayor, Andy Burnham, were among scores of Twitter users who circulated the MissinginManchester hashtag to help people looking for family members and friends.
   The first confirmed victim was student Georgina Callander, whose death was reported by her former school.  Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy in Croston, northwest of Manchester, posted a photo of Georgina on its website, smiling and looking smart in her school uniform. It described her as "a lovely young student who was very popular with her peers and the staff."
   Saffie Roussos, aged 8, was the youngest of the victims identified so far. The head teacher of the Tarleton Community Primary School that Saffie attended in the village of Tarleton, Lancashire, described her as "simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair."
U.S. President Donald Trump, in Bethlehem, said the attack preyed upon children and described those responsible as "evil losers."
   "This wicked ideology must be obliterated. And I mean completely obliterated," he added.
   Islamic State's claim of responsibility echoed others the group has made for attacks in the West, on an established communications channel but with vague details that leave room for an opportunistic attempt at propaganda.
   The Dangerous Woman tour is the third concert tour by 23-year-old Grande and supports her album of the same name. 
   After Manchester, Grande was due to perform in London on Thursday and Friday, and later at venues in Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France, with concerts in Latin America and Asia to follow. 
   Pop concerts and nightclubs have been a terrorism target before. Most of the 130 dead in the November 2015 attacks in Paris were at the Bataclan concert hall, which gunman struck during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal.
   In Turkey, 39 people died when a gunman attacked New Year's revelers at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul.
   Manchester was hit by a huge Irish Republican Army bomb in 1996 that leveled a swath of the city center. More than 200 people were injured, though no one was killed.

Stars react to explosion at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester:

   "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words." -- Ariana Grande, via Twitter.
   "My thoughts, prayers and tears for all those affected by the Manchester tragedy tonight. I'm sending all my love." -- pop star Taylor Swift, via Twitter
   "As a father & a human what has happened truly saddens me. My thoughts are with all of those that have been affected by this tragedy." -- former Manchester United star David Beckham on Facebook.
   "Praying for everyone at @ArianaGrande's show" -- pop star Katy Perry, via Twitter
   "Sending love to those affected in Manchester." -- singer Ellie Goulding, via Twitter
   "Tearing up imagining innocent concert goers losing their lives..praying for everyone and all #arianators." -- pop star Demi Lovato, via Twitter
   Liam Gallagher of Manchester band Oasis tweeted that he is "in total shock and absolutely devastated."
   "I don't wanna believe that the world we live in could be so cruel." -- pop star Bruno Mars, via Twitter
   "I'm heartbroken over what happened in Manchester tonight." -- pop star Harry Styles, former member of One Direction, via Twitter
   "My heart hurts for my sister, Ariana & every family affected by this tragic event in the U.K. Innocent lives lost. I'm so sorry to hear this" -- star rapper-singer Nicki Minaj, via Twitter
   "My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected in Manchester." -- pop star Selena Gomez, via Twitter
   "every musician feels sick & responsible tonight--shows should be safe for you. truly a worst nightmare. sending love to manchester & ari" -- singer Lorde, via Twitter
   Peter Hook of Manchester bands New Order and Joy Division tweeted that his daughter "made it home safe" from the Ariana Grande concert and added: "My heart goes out to all parents & those involved. Manchester stay strong."
   "So desperately sad about Manchester." -- pop star Boy George, via Twitter
   "Not trying to (hash)ThoughtsAndPrayers up a self serving tweet. But that #Manchester explosion The hell is goin on in this world." -- drummer-bandleader Questlove, via Twitter
   The deadly bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester is the latest attack in Europe in recent years. Here are some of recent major ones:
   --April 7, 2017: A man driving a hijacked beer truck struck pedestrians at a Stockholm department store, killing 4 people.
   --March 22, 2017: A man drives his rented SUV into pedestrians at London's Westminster Bridge, killing four people. The attacker then stabbed a police officer to death.
   --Dec. 19, 2016: A hijacked truck plows through a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12.
   --July 14, 2016: A truck driver targets Bastille Day revelers in Nice, killing 86.
   --March 22, 2016: Suicide attacks on the Brussels airport and subway kill 32 and injure hundreds. The perpetrators have been closely linked to the group that carried out earlier attacks in Paris.
   -- Nov. 13, 2015: Islamic State-linked extremists attack the Bataclan concert hall and other sites across Paris, killing 130 people. A key suspect in the attack, 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, is arrested in Brussels on March 18, 2016.
   -- Feb. 14, 2015: A gunman kills Danish filmmaker Finn Noergaard and wounds three police officers in Copenhagen. A day later the gunman, Omar El-Hussein, attacks a synagogue, killing a Jewish guard and wounding two police officers before being shot dead.
   -- Jan. 7-9, 2015: A gun assault on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and an attack on a kosher grocery store kills 17 people. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claims responsibility for the attack, saying it was in revenge for Charlie Hebdo's depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.
   -- May 24, 2014: Four people are killed at the Jewish Museum in Brussels by an intruder with a Kalashnikov. The accused is a former French fighter linked to the Islamic State group in Syria.
   -- May 22, 2013: Two al-Qaida-inspired extremists run down British soldier Lee Rigby in a London street, then stab and hack him to death.
   -- March 2012: A gunman claiming links to al-Qaida kills three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers in Toulouse, southern France.
   -- July 22, 2011: Anti-Muslim extremist Anders Behring Breivik plants a bomb in Oslo then launches a shooting massacre on a youth camp on Norway's Utoya island, killing 77 people, many of them teenagers.
   -- Nov. 2, 2011: The offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris are firebombed after the satirical magazine runs a cover featuring a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. No one is injured.
   -- March 2, 2011: Islamic extremist Arid Uka shoots dead two U.S. airmen and injures two others at Frankfurt airport after apparently being inspired by a fake internet video purporting to show American atrocities in Afghanistan.
   -- July 7, 2005: 52 commuters are killed in London when four al Qaida-inspired suicide bombers blow themselves up on three subway trains and a bus.
   -- March 11, 2004: Bombs on four Madrid commuter trains in the morning rush hour kill 191 people.


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