The man who killed dozens of innocent people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester yesterday has been identified as Salman Abedi, a British man from Libya. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the tragedy, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
I posted an article last night urging people to wait for the facts to come in before jumping to any conclusions (and blaming Muslims), and I stand by it. In fact, the waters are even murkier now, so it’s even more important to pay attention to the evidence from the investigators on the ground.
So far, authorities say Abedi has been arrested and that he was known to British intelligence. They are working, however, to see if he was “part of a wider group.”
According to CBS News:
ISIS issued its claim of responsibility in a brief, generic statement that did not identify the bomber and appeared to get some of the facts of the attack wrong. It claimed a “caliphate soldier managed to place a number of devices among a gathering of crusaders in Manchester, and detonated them.”
Officials say there was only one explosion, and there have been no indications that other devices were discovered at or near the arena.
It wouldn’t be unprecedented for ISIS to claim responsibility here even if the group wasn’t involved. In fact, ISIS often claims credit for completely unrelated terror attacks. According to Vox, terror groups “will sometimes include details of the planning or execution that establish the group was indeed responsible.” This didn’t happen here.
I’m not arguing that ISIS is innocent; I’m not even saying the group didn’t plan and execute the attack in Manchester. The only thing I’m suggesting is that things aren’t always as they seem, so it’s important to wait for the verified data to roll in. Right now, we are all just speculating when it comes to motives, as tempting as it might be to blame the teachings of Islam for what happened before that link has been established. If and when that link becomes apparent, we can have that conversation.
So, I’ll be following this story and paying attention to what investigators discover. I hope others will do the same.
(Screenshot via YouTube)