UK agency lost opportunity to thwart attack at Ariana Grande performance in Manchester.
Britain's domestic intelligence agency failed to act quickly enough on crucial information and lost a big chance to stop the suicide bombing during a 2017 Ariana Grande performance in northwest England.
An investigation revealed Thursday that Britain's domestic intelligence agency failed to act quickly enough on crucial information and lost a big chance to stop the suicide bombing during a 2017 Ariana Grande performance in northwest England that left 22 people dead.
Former judge John Saunders, who oversaw the investigation into the attack at Manchester Arena, reported that an MI5 officer acknowledged they may have considered Salman Abedi's suicide bomber information to be a possible national security concern but failed to discuss it with colleagues promptly. I have discovered a critical missed opportunity to act that could have stopped the attack, the man declared.
Thousands of young fans, including children, were exiting the pop star's performance on May 22, 2017, when Abedi, 22, detonated a backpack bomb in the arena's foyer. With the explosion, Abedi perished. Hashem Abedi, his brother, was found guilty in 2020 of aiding in the attack's preparation and execution. He received a life sentence in prison. Four days before the incident, Abedi was returning from Libya when he could have been stopped at Manchester Airport, according to Saunders, if the MI5 had acted on the intelligence it had received.
The assessment was a "devastating finding for us," according to Richard Scorer, a lawyer for 11 of the deceased families. The shortcomings revealed in this report are inexcusable. Many MI5 witnesses testified to the investigation behind closed doors, and the intelligence wasn't made available to the general public. "It is now clearly clear that there was an incorrect assessment of crucial intelligence regarding Salman Abedi; a failure to put it into the proper perspective; and, most devastating of all, a delay in acting on it," said Scorer.
Abedi had been considered a "subject of interest" by MI5 officials in 2014, but his case was quickly closed due to his low danger. Abedi was not directed to the government's Prevent counterterrorism program, according to Saunders. Salman Abedi should have been referred, the guy argued, at least once during his descent into violent extremism. The third and last investigation of the attack was released on Thursday. Saunders has already lambasted the arena's security team and the local police for missing the threat that Abedi posed. Also, he criticized the emergency services' response times and shortcomings on the bombing night.
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