The Manchester suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a concert venue packed with children was part of a network, the city’s chief of police said on Wednesday as troops were deployed across Britain to help prevent further attacks.
Police made three new arrests and searched an address in central Manchester in what police chief Ian Hopkins described as a fast-moving investigation.
“I think it’s very clear that this is a network that we are investigating,” Hopkins told reporters outside Manchester police headquarters.
“And as I’ve said, it continues at a pace. There’s extensive investigations going on and activity taking place across Greater Manchester as we speak.”
Earlier, interior minister Amber Rudd said the bomber, Salman Abedi, had recently returned from Libya. Her French counterpart Gerard Collomb said he had links with Islamic State and had probably visited Syria as well.
Rudd scolded U.S. officials for leaking details about the investigation into the Manchester attack before British authorities were prepared to go public.
The Manchester bombing has raised concern across Europe. Cities including Paris, Nice, Brussels, St Petersburg, Berlin and London have suffered militant attacks in the last two years.
British-born Abedi, 22, blew himself up on Monday night at the Manchester Arena indoor venue at the end of a concert by U.S. pop singer Ariana Grande attended by thousands of children and teenagers.
His 22 victims included an eight-year-old girl, several teenage girls, a 28-year-old man and a Polish couple who had come to collect their daughters.
Britain’s official terror threat level was raised to “critical”, the highest level, late on Tuesday, meaning an attack could be imminent.