As rescue workers began the daunting task of rescuing those caught up in the bomb blast at Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena concert Monday, supporters of ISIS began celebrating. Many took to twitter and issued dire warnings of what’s in store for England. Others simply reveled in the suffering of the dead and injured, most of whom were children.
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The Daily Mail has been covering the chaos. 22 are confirmed dead. More than 100 others are wounded. The stories of the survivors and the heroism in the aftermath will be coming, but this is about those who perpetrate these atrocities.
One tweet read “Are you forget our threat?” It was tagged #ManchesterArena. Some had believed this was a warning, but Twitter confirmed for The Mail that it was posted after the fact.
If there were early warnings, they weren’t widely shared. That hasn’t stopped ISIS from claiming responsibility. “One of the caliphate’s soldiers placed bombs among the crowds,” a spokesman wrote.
The accuracy of this casts doubt on ISIS’s claim. There was just one bomb, and it was in the entrance to the concert venue, and not the “crowds.” The bomb is believed to have been worn by a suicide bomber. UK officials have said his identity is known, and one arrest has been made.
Supporters of ISIS’s mission have also voiced support. Abdul Haqq wrote: “It seems that bombs of the British Air Force over children of Mosul and Raqqa has just came back to #Manchester.”
A video making the rounds shows a masked man issuing warnings of what’s to come. “This is only the beginning,” he claims. “The lions of the Islamic State are beginning to attack all the crusaders.”
Shortly after the bomb went off last night, many speculated that it was a mechanical failure. Initial reports said the explosion was heard as soon as the lights came up, leading many to assume it was an electronic failure related to a speaker. The injuries were blamed on a stampede for the door.
But as the smoke cleared, the true nature of what had occurred came to light. A British security official attributed the incident to terrorism. “In the absence of conclusive evidence, the choice of venue, the timing and the mode of attack all suggest this was terrorism.”
There seems to be little doubt that this is terrorism. The only question is how Britain will respond.