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Police

Manchester Arndale evacuated as UK on alert

Manchester’s Arndale Centre has been evacuated, with people seen running away screaming and witnesses saying a man was arrested by armed police.

“Security guards and police who were armed shouted at people to get away,” said Sky’s Mike McCarthy, at the scene. “At least 100 people came round the corner – many of them screaming and trying to get away.” Some people fell over in the rush to get away and police with sniffer dogs went inside the shopping centre, said McCarthy. Police said they do not think it was related to the incident at Manchester Arena and the centre has now reopened.

Image: Some people were in tears as the shopping centre was evacuated

The evacuation happened around 12 hours after a bomb attack killed 22 people at a concert at the arena.1 :: Live updates – Manchester attack2 Extra armed police are on UK streets after the attack, with a high state of alert seeing a suspicious item blown up in Manchester in the early hours.

Image: People leave the Arndale Centre after it was evacuated

A controlled explosion took place just after 1.30am in Cathedral Gardens, near the site of the attack, but it later turned out to be a pile of abandoned clothing.

:: Security services think they know who bomber is3 Another suspicious item sparked an evacuation of London’s Victoria coach station around 6.40am. Passengers were moved to the end of the street as the area was cordoned off and buses diverted . However, the alert was called off shortly after 8am.

Image: Cars arriving at Manchester United’s training ground were also searched

Manchester United players arriving at the team’s Carrington training ground have also had their cars searched. Security staff used mirrors to check underneath vehicles and opened up the boots. The team are getting set for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm.

:: Manchester Arena witness: ‘It was absolute carnage’4

A “mix of armed and unarmed officers” were called up for the rush hour in London, with Met Police chief Cressida Dick saying they would “continue for as long as is needed”. Police Scotland said more armed officers would be at “transport hubs and crowded places”. Policing in crowded places is also being reviewed in the West Midlands, Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. Extra armed officers were called up in London and other cities after the Westminster attack in March and the Berlin attack in December. The threat from international terrorism in the UK remains “severe” – as it has been since August 2014 – meaning an attack is highly likely.

References

  1. ^ bomb attack killed 22 people at a concert at the arena. (news.sky.com)
  2. ^ Live updates – Manchester attack (news.sky.com)
  3. ^ Security services think they know who bomber is (news.sky.com)
  4. ^ Manchester Arena witness: ‘It was absolute carnage’ (news.sky.com)

Police think they know who suicide bomber is

Police and security services believe they know the identity of the man behind the Manchester suicide bombing. Speaking outside Downing Street after chairing a meeting of the Government’s emergency COBRA committee, the Prime Minister Theresa May said authorities are working to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a group. She said the blast at Manchester Arena, which left 22 people dead1, was “among the worst terrorism we have experienced in the United Kingdom” and that the city had fallen victim to a “callous terrorist attack”. :: Live updates: 23-year-old man arrested after Manchester suicide bombing2

The target was a pop concert, the audience was a mixture of teenagers, many of them young girls, all out for a fun and innocent evening . Some were young enough to need chaperoning by parents or grandparents. If this does turn out to be an Islamist-inspired attack, the attacker has deliberately targeted everything his warped beliefs hate in a Western society. He has also demonstrated a deadly competence – he blew himself up as the high-spirited crowd streamed out of the arena after the concert .

The timing, and location of the explosion – just outside the main arena itself – suggests planning and shows he probably carried out a recce. The singer Ariana Grande is world-famous . She has more than 45 million followers on Twitter . Another basic but twisted way of guaranteeing this attack will resonate far. :: What we know so far3 The morning after the attack, a number of things will be happening simultaneously and with urgency. In Manchester, counterterrorism police from North West Command will be carrying out forensic work at the scene of the explosion.

They will try and find bomb-making signatures that might give a clue as to who was behind this attack. They will look for certain chemicals, such as triacetone triperoxide (TATP). :: Witness: ‘It was absolute carnage’4

TATP has been used by terrorists around the world, it is a favoured compound of Islamic State and it is relatively straightforward to make, but it is extremely unstable and lethal. It has been confirmed that the attacker died on the scene – this tells us that something is left of his body. That will be important in identifying him, either facially, through fingerprints, dental records or DNA. Once the security services are confident they have the right man, databases will be scoured . Was the attacker known to the security services ? Does he have known associates? His home will be searched .

So too the homes of any close relatives or friends. People might be detained, questioned and then released . Computers will be taken away and their contents and internet history studied. GCHQ will be looking for a digital trail and if necessary MI6 will speak to foreign partners to build a picture of who this man was and who he knew. Was he acting alone, a so-called lone-wolf (unlikely with this nature of attack), did he have supporters helping him in the UK, was he being remotely ‘directed’ by a centralised body (for example IS leadership in Raqqa)? These are all questions which will have been asked by the Prime Minister as she chaired the COBRA meeting. The most pressing questions of all though – was this part of a network and should the UK prepare for a secondary attack?

COBRA (the dramatic acronym for the mundane Cabinet Office Briefing Room) is attended by key members of Government, including the home and defence secretaries, the heads of the UK’s intelligence agencies and other relevant figures. The Foreign Secretary is in Brussels so wouldn’t have been there in person but could have dialled in, if necessary. The decision to raise the national threat level is one for JTAC – the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre. It sits inside MI5’s headquarters on the banks of the River Thames, and acts independent from government although with input from government officials. The threat level is currently set at “severe”, one from the top . It means an attack is highly likely. If JTAC assesses that another attack is under way or imminent, it will raise that level to the highest – “critical”.

The security services have been warning that London isn’t the only target of terrorists wishing to attack the UK. Many smaller cities might be less prepared for an incident like this, but not Manchester. MI5 has a regional base in Bury, just on the outer edges of the city.

The police armed response unit is highly trained and on the scene within minutes of the attack. Now and in the coming days, armed police will patrol Manchester city centre, partly for reassurance, partly for increased security. And then there are 22 families, the morning after, at home, mourning the death of loved ones.

“The death of these children will remain with us forever,” a member of the city council told Sky News.

References

  1. ^ which left 22 people dead (news.sky.com)
  2. ^ Live updates: 23-year-old man arrested after Manchester suicide bombing (news.sky.com)
  3. ^ What we know so far (news.sky.com)
  4. ^ Witness: ‘It was absolute carnage’ (news.sky.com)

Kurdish woman attacked by Erdogan’s guards speaks out

  • Ceres Borazan claims a Turkish bodyguard threatened to kill her in Washington
  • She was protesting outside the Turkish ambassador’s house on Embassy Row
  • Members of President Recep Erdogan’s security detail attacked the protesters
  • Senator John McCain called on President Trump to expel the ambassador

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A Kurdish student claims Turkish 3president Tayyip Recep Erdogan’s security detail threatened to kill her during a demonstration outside the ambassador’s residence in Washington. Erdogan was in Washington to meet with Donald Trump 4when members of the Kurdish community decided to protest outside the ambassador’s residence. However, 26-year-old Ceres Borazan, a Kurd from Turkey, claims she was man handled by Erdogan’s security detail who were filmed attacking protesters on the street.

Scroll down for video

Ceren Borazan claimed a member of President Erdogan’s security detail threatened to kill her outside the Turkish embassy in Washington where Kurdish people were holding a protest

Ms Borazan, pictured, claimed she suffered a popped blood vessel in her eye during the attack

At least 12 people including one police officer were injured following the disturbance She wrote about her ordeal on Facebook: ‘They attacked women, children and the elderly with reckless abandon . I ran in the opposite direction from our friends and got caught by one of the security guards . He put me in a headlock to the point where he popped a blood vessel in my eye.’

Ms Borazan claimed the security guard had threatened to kill her before she managed to escape into a nearby car. Commenting on the motorist, she said: ‘I swear that man saved my life.’ US Senator John McCain condemned the attack and called on Trump to react. He told MSNBC: ‘We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America . This kind of thing can not go unresponded to diplomatically. ‘This isn’t Turkey, this isn’t a third world country.’

Several people required treatment following the incident outside the ambassador’s residence

Senator John McCain has called on the Turkish Ambassador to be expelled in response

The Turkish embassy blamed the protesters for the violent scenes outside the residence

Washington Police chief Peter Newsham said 11 people and one police officer had been injured in the violence which took place on ‘Embassy Row’. The Turkish embassy released a statement blaming the Kurdish PKK. ‘The demonstrators began aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president .

The Turkish-Americans responded in self-defense and one of them was seriously injured.’ McCain laid blame directly at the feet of Turkish officials. He said: ‘This is Erdogan’s security detail .

Somebody told them to go out there and beat up on these peaceful demonstrators. I think it should have repercussions, including identifying these people and bringing charges against them . After all they violated American laws.’

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References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ 116 View comments (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Turkish (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  4. ^ Donald Trump (www.dailymail.co.uk)