October 12, 2019 Anti-terror police in England are investigating Friday’s stabbing attack at a shopping center in Manchester. The motive for the attack has not been established.
A 40-year-old British national was arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of an act of terrorism, but after a medical assessment he was transferred to a hospital where he is being detained under the U.K. Mental Health Act. Manchester authorities said the man acted alone.
Anti terror officers searched an address late Friday night in the Rochdale Road area in north Manchester where the man lived. It is unclear what if anything the investigators found.
Anti terror police said on Saturday the investigation would continue to establish whether there were any political or ideological motives behind the attack.
Witnesses at the Arndale Centre described a scene of terror as shoppers fled, many seeking refuge inside mall stores. An unarmed security guard and an employee at the shopping mall are being credited for deterring the suspect, preventing many more injuries.
Manchester authorities said a total of five victims were taken to the hospital, but only 4 victims suffered stab wounds.
A spokesperson for North West Ambulance service told CNN they received “multiple” calls for help at 11:17 a.m. local time and that several people were being treated by emergency services.
Manchester’s History of Attacks
It is not the first attack on the Arndale shopping centre. In 1996, an IRA bombing attack on the Arndale centre injured more than 200 people. Miraculously, no one was killed in the blast.
Manchester has experienced other massive terrorist attacks. In May 2017, a suicide bomber detonated at a Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, killing 22 people—including some children and injuring hundreds more.
Manchester authorities identified the suicide bomber as Manchester born Salman Abedi, 22. Authorities believed Abedi May have been part of a larger terror network—possibly ISIS. His younger brother, Hashem Abedi was arrested for his role in the Manchester bombing in the Libyan capital Tripoli and extradited to the UK in July. Abedi appeared in a London court two day ago. He is charged with 22 counts of murder — for each of the victims killed in the Manchester Arena attack.
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