British authorities on Tuesday identified the suicide bomber who launched a deadly attack at a Manchester Ariana Grande concert, hours after the Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the blast.
Salman Abedi, 23, was identified as the man who detonated an improvised explosive device at about 10:30 p.m. local time Monday, killing more than 20 people, some of them children, and injuring dozens more. At least 12 children under the age of 16 were injured, emergency responders said. An 8-year-old girl was among the dead.
A U.S. official confirmed the identity Tuesday to The Associated Press. A European security official told the A.P. that Abedi was British. No additional details about Abedi were immediately available.
ISIS claimed on Tuesday that “a soldier of the caliphate planted bombs in the middle of Crusaders gatherings” then detonated them, but Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that the U.S. had not yet verified that the terror group was responsible.
The explosion unfolded outside Manchester Arena as Grande’s concert was coming to a close. The pop star, who wasn’t injured, reportedly suspended her Dangerous Woman Tour following the attack. She wrote on Twitter, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”
Officials believe the device was packed with shrapnel, built to inflict as much human damage as possible, according to U.S. law enforcement sources. UK law enforcement officials are still investigating as to whether the attacker acted alone or had some kind of support.
Politicians both at home and abroad condemned the attack. British Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack “appalling, sickening cowardice.”
“We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage,” she said.
President Donald Trump slammed those responsible for the attack as “losers.”
“I won’t call them ‘monsters’ because they would like that term… I will call them, from now on, ‘losers’ because that’s what they are, they’re losers.”