Manchester bomber: Police in appeal to find suitcase

Manchester bomber: Police in appeal to find suitcase

Police have released a new CCTV image of Salman Abedi featuring the Manchester bomber pulling a large blue suitcase on the day of the attack.

"We continue to track the final movements of Salman Abedi and are particularly interested in his whereabouts between May 18-22", Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson said in a statement.

A replica of the suitcase Salman Abedi was seen pulling through Manchester.

The image was released as officers in protective suits began sifting through rubbish using takes and spades at a landfill site in Bury, near Manchester, in connection with the investigation.

Two people who knew Abedi made separate calls to an anti-terrorism hotline to warn the police about his extremist views, British media have reported.

Fourteen men are now detained on United Kingdom soil in the investigation, while Abedi's father and brother have been held in Libya, where officials said the two brothers were IS jihadists.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation told MI5 in January that British-born Abedi, who was of Libyan descent, was part of a North African Islamic State cell plotting an attack in the United Kingdom.

The 22-year-old was spotted hauling the distinctive case in the city centre but the police stressed that it was not believed to have been used in the bombing.

The Mail on Sunday also cited a source saying that USA federal agents had been investigating Abedi since mid-2016 and had flagged up concerns to MI5. "As a first step, it is absolutely right".

She said: "I think he had finished, or was still training, to be a pilot. We shouldn't rush to make any conclusions at this stage".

MI5 are looking at decisions taken in the case of Abedi, who used to be on a terror watch list but was no longer on it at the time of the attack, and whether warnings about his behaviour were ignored amid mounting criticism of the security services.

Two internal inquiries have been launched by the agency, The Guardian newspaper said.

In a BBC television interview on Sunday, Rudd was quizzed over whether MI5 has the resources to keep on top of the terror threat. She said MI5 is now recruiting 1,900 new staff and its budget "has gone up significantly".

When CNN asked the Home Office for a response to reports the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned MI5 about Abedi, a spokesman declined to comment.

On Thursday, a USA official told CNN the bomber likely received some ISIS training by traveling to Syria in the months before the attack.

Counter-terror police investigating the suicide bombing swooped on a flat in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex - more than 260 miles from Manchester - and arrested a 23-year-old man today.

None of the men arrested in Britain have so far been charged with any crime and police have up to 14 days in which to do so under special anti-terrorism laws.

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