Troops will be deployed onto Britain’s streets as Prime Minister Theresa May said a further terror attack “may be imminent”.
Less than 24 hours after the bombing that left 22 dead and 59 injured, it was announced that the terror threat level has been raised to “critical”, the highest level.
The level has only been raised to “critical” twice since the systems introduction in 2006.
The Prime minister confirmed the identity of the suicide bomber to be 22-year-old Salman Abedi, a Manchester man of Libyan descent.
He was known to the security services but was not part of any active investigation or regarded as a high risk.
He had carried out a controlled explosion at his home prior to the concert.
Intelligence agencies are fearing that he did not act alone and there could be an active Islamist terror cell on the loose.
Police carried out a controlled explosion at the doorstep of Abedi’s home during their raids around the city. Officers were seen exiting the house with some of Abedi’s possessions, including a booklet called Know Your Chemicals.
Police also raided the house of the terror’s brother Ismail. After police arrested a 23-year-old man, people began to speculate that Ismail had been detained.
Five of the 22 victims have been named: college student Georgina Callander, eight-year-old schoolgirl Saffie Roussos, 26-year-old John Atkinson, Kelly Brewster, 32, and Megan Hurley.
Security services are trying to establish whether Salman worked alone or was part of a wider network that helped him with the bomb.
A school friend told The Times that Abedi had returned to Libya in the past week.
The friend said: ‘He went to Libya three weeks ago and came back recently, like days ago.’
On Monday evening he placed a suitcase on the ground in the foyer of the Manchester Arena moments before it detonated, according to CCTV footage recovered by detectives.
The Daily Mirror have also claimed an investigation is under way on his ties with fellow Mancunian Raphael Hostey, also known as Abu Qaqa al-Britani, a known Islamic State recruiter from the city.
Speaking inside Downing Street following a meeting of the emergency committee Cobra, Mrs May said: ‘Earlier today I said the security services needed to investigate whether Abedi was working alone and these investigations continue.
‘It is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack.
‘The joint terrorist analysis centre has concluded that the threat level should be increased for the time being from severe to critical.
‘This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack is imminent.’
Armed soldiers will patrol key sites, sporting and musical events across the country.
Undercover SAS troopers will join regular soldiers in Operation Temperer.
May closed her statement by saying the spirit of Manchester and Britain showed that terrorists did not win and called all atrocities like last nights “sick plots”.
“That’s why the terrorists will never win, and we will prevail.”