LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain's interior minister Amber Rudd said on Wednesday (May 24) she believed the suicide bomber, who killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in the English city of Manchester, had recently returned from Libya.
Police have named the bomber as Salman Abedi, 22, who was born in Manchester to parents of Libyan origin.
Asked to confirm whether Abedi had recently come back from the country, Rudd told BBC Television: "Yes, I believe that has been confirmed. When this operation is over, we will want to look at his background and what happened, how he became radicalised and what support he might have been given," she said.
She added that he was known to the security services and likely did not act alone. Rudd also said it was "irritating" that information about the investigation into the bombing had been leaked by US security sources before the British police were ready to go public with it.
"It seems likely, possible, that he wasn't doing this on his own so the intelligence services and the police are pursuing their leads in order to make sure they get all the information ... that they need to keep us safe," Rudd told BBC radio. Asked if he was known to the intelligence services, she said: "the security services will know a lot of people, it doesn't mean they are expected to arrest everybody that they know but it is somebody that they had known before and I'm sure when this investigation concludes we'll be able to find out more."
Rudd was also asked about the fact that lots of information about Abedi, including his name, had come out from the United States and whether she would look again at information sharing with other countries.
"Yes, quite frankly. I mean the British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise, so it is irritating if it gets released from other sources and I have been very clear with our friends that should not happen again."
Asked whether the US leaks had compromised the investigation, she said: "I wouldn't go that far but I can say that they are perfectly clear about the situation and that it shouldn't happen again."