Tuesday, May 23, 2017

IPT Blog: Manchester Attack Prompts U.S. Law Enforcement Reaction

Steven Emerson, Executive Director
May 23, 2017

Manchester Attack Prompts U.S. Law Enforcement Reaction

by John Rossomando  •  May 23, 2017 at 11:46 am
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U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are reacting to Monday's suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester, England with new warnings and intelligence reviews.
The attack killed 22 people and wounded 59 others after an Ariana Grande concert. Police say the explosion took place outside the arena near the Manchester Victoria train station, catching people as they exited the building. ISIS claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack Tuesday morning, calling the bomber a "soldier of the Caliphate."
"Worse and more harmful is coming upon the Worshippers of the Cross and their friends with the permission of God. Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds," the statement said.
In Senate testimony Tuesday morning, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats cautioned that ISIS claims credit for a lot of attacks, and that this claim has not been verified.
The bomber, identified as Salman Abedi, was known to British authorities but was not thought to be an immediate threat.
The FBI Bureau's legal attaché in London helped British counterparts and collected residue from the bomb for analysis at the FBI's lab in Quantico, Va.
In the United States, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are releasing a new terrorism alert for local law enforcement around the country, law enforcement sources told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. A more detailed advisory will be given to all owners of sports stadiums and music venues a conspicuously higher level of law enforcement presence is expected in crowded public places.
The National Security Agency is reviewing communications it intercepted over the past two weeks, selecting communications based on key words or numbers of individuals with known terror ties.
The Manchester attack comes three weeks after a State Department alert warned Americans traveling to Europe that terrorist strikes remain legitimate threats.
"Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets," the alert said. "In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks. U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations, in particular during the upcoming summer travel season when large crowds may be common."
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