Britain’s terror threat level has been raised to “critical,” amid fears the Manchester suicide bomber may have acted as part of a larger network.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced that armed soldiers will be deployed onto streets in an attempt to protect key sites from an “imminent” attack.
In a live address, Ms May said: “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.”
“There will be additional resources made available to the police as they work to keep us safe.”
“The police have asked for authorisation to deploy a number of armed military personnel in support of their armed officers.”
“This is known as Operation Temperer. They are well trained and well prepared to work in this kind of environment. The Secretary of State has approved this request and Operation Temperer is now in force.”
She added: “I do not want the public to feel unduly alarmed. We have faced a serious terror threat in our country for many years and the operational response I have just outlined is a proportionate and sensible response to the threat that our security experts judge we face.”
It comes as police name British national Salman Abedi as the suicide bomber who carried out Britain’s deadliest terrorist attack since 2005, an explosion that killed 22 people and injured 59 others.
The 22-year-old reportedly detonated a homemade bomb at around 10:30 p.m on Monday near the foyer of Manchester Arena as children, teenagers and parents exited the music venue.
Several news outlets have revealed the assailant as a British national of Libyan descent, however police officials have declined to provide any further details.
The militant group Islamic State have since claimed responsibility for the horrific attack in a statement released on social media.
WATCH: The Manchester terror attack killed 22 people and injured 59 other at an Ariana Grande concert. Post continues...
World leaders have expressed their distress and sympathy for those involved in the terrorist attack.
In parliament, Malcolm Turnbull said the bombing will be “the deadliest attack in the United Kingdom” since the London bombings in 2005.
“This attack is especially vile, especially criminal, especially horrific, because it appears to have been deliberately directed at teenagers. This is an attack on innocence.
“Surely, there is no crime more reprehensible than the murder of children. This is a direct and brutal attack on young people everywhere, on freedom everywhere.”
“Too often we stand in this chamber offering our sympathy and support … once again Australia stands with Britain in resolute solidarity. Partners in freedom’s cause. Our nations will never give into terror,” he said.
The Chinese President Xi Jinping has also reportedly expressed his "sincere condolences" to the Queen for those killed and injured in Manchester and their families.
“The Chinese people are firmly standing together with the British people at this difficult time,” Xi told the Queen, according to the country's state broadcaster.”
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