UK's top intel agency slow to react on info about suicide bomber at 2017 Ariana Grande show, report

The bombing was committed by 22-year-old Islamic extremist Salman Abedi, who died in the attack.

Published: March 2, 2023 12:39pm

Updated: March 2, 2023 2:45pm

The United Kingdom's Security Service, also known as MI5, did not act quickly enough on information that could have prevented the suicide bombing that killed 22 people in 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, according to a  report released Thursday.

The 226-page Manchester Arena Inquiry report acknowledged that it is impossible to reach any conclusion about the attack's preventability, but stated, "There was a significant missed opportunity to take action that might have prevented the Attack," and "The reasons for this significant missed opportunity included a failure by a Security Service officer to act swiftly enough."

MI5 Director General Ken McCallum said: "I deeply regret that such intelligence was not obtained. ... Had we managed to seize the slim chance we had, those impacted might not have experienced such appalling loss and trauma. I am profoundly sorry that MI5 did not prevent the attack."

The bombing was committed by 22-year-old Islamic extremist Salman Abedi, who died in the attack.

There were opportunities to prevent the bombing other than the information given to MI5. 

Kyle Lawler, who was an 18-year-old security guard working during the attack, testified in October 2020 that he "had a bad feeling" about Abedi and tried to radio the security room, but was unable to get through.

He ultimately gave up trying to raise the alarm, saying, "I was scared of being wrong and being branded a racist if I got it wrong and would have got into trouble," the BBC reported.

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