Authorities suspect that the Manchester explosion at an Ariana Grande concert was a terrorist attack caused by a suicide bomber.
The suspect’s name has not been publicly released. According to NBC News, a body was found “at the blast site,” which “indicated a suicide attack” and “British and U.S. law enforcement officials said they believed they had tentatively identified the bomber.”
ISIS affiliated social media accounts celebrated the attack, but it was not definitively confirmed that ISIS was behind the attack in Manchester. Newsweek reported that ISIS has not formally claimed responsibility for the attack. The Islamic State has influenced a series of attacks throughout Europe, leading the terrorist group to be the leading suspect.
According to the Sun, other ISIS-related sites claimed the attack was in retaliation for airstrikes in Mosul.
Rita Katz, the co-founder of a group that monitors terrorist threats online, wrote, “Pro-#ISIS forum users call #Manchester attack ‘a successful and surprising blow,’ to #Britain, frame attack as retaliation for airstrikes.”
The blast killed 19 people and injured at least 59 at the end of the Grande concert on May 22 in Manchester, England.
Two U.S. officials told Reuters that “a suicide bomber was suspected.” The wire service added that Prime Minister Theresa May “said the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack.” According to NBC, May also called the explosion “an appalling suicide attack.”
Grande, who has suspended the rest of her world tour, released a brief statement after the attack, which read, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”
Her manager also released a statement expressing grief for the children and others who died in the explosion, which occurred as the concert was winding down in what is England’s largest indoor stadium. Grande, who was not injured, was performing to a sell-out crowd. The blast erupted at about 10:30 p.m., creating pandemonium in the Manchester stadium.
A fan captured the moment of the blast on video:
You can read more about the Manchester attack here: