Manchester Attack Prompts US Law Enforcement Reaction
US 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 terror attack killed 22 people and wounded 59 others. Police say that 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 on Tuesday, 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 on 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 FBI’s legal attaché in London helped their British counterparts investigate the attack, and collected residue from the bomb for analysis at the FBI’s lab in Quantico, Virginia.
In the United States, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security released a new terrorism alert for local law enforcement agencies around the country. A more detailed advisory will be given to all owners of sports stadiums and music venues, and a conspicuously higher level of law enforcement presence is expected in crowded public places.
The US National Security Agency is reviewing communications that it intercepted over the past two weeks that may be related to the attacks. The agency is selecting communications based on keywords or 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. US citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations, in particular during the upcoming summer travel season when large crowds may be common.”