24/05/2017 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 24/05/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



When the last ounce of hope for many families and friends evaporates,


and the disappeared become the deceased.


Here in Manchester tonight, there has been more grief


at the names of those known to have died, and there have been


fast-moving developments in the police investigation


as we learn more about the suicide bomber, Salman Abedi.


He looked into the eyes of the imam and gave him a really deadly look.


He didn't say anything, but his facial features


We speak to the Libyan militiaman who interrogated


the bomber's brother, Hashem.


Before the attack, he called him, and he called him, can


you give me my mum to call her, so his brother said


that there was something going on there in Manchester,


that he would do something like an attack.


As the first pictures of the suicide device are leaked


to the American press, we hear from the Mayor


I made known my concerns about it to the US ambassador.


It's not acceptable to me that here there is a live


We cannot have information being put in the public domain that's not


the direct control of the British police and security services.


And we'll also talk to the head of intensive care


at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.


Good evening from St Anne's Square in the heart of Manchester,


a city that has been so big-hearted in the last 48 hours.


I'm next to the flowers left as a crowd-built shrine


This is the start of what might be a lonely journey for many families.


The crowd of willing helpers can do no more.


And the grieving begins over those whose lives are now known to have


Through the day, names have been added to the list of lives lost.


Meanwhile there is a very active police investigation.


Six arrests have been made in the UK today.


But interestingly, we are getting quite a bit of information


about what is being discovered from American sources.


And tonight the New York Times has in fact published police images


I'm joined here by our defence editor, Mark Urban.


Let's just talk through what those photos show. I just took a very


brief glance at them. They are leaked scenes of crime officers type


images, we think shared through the FBI, that could be the route. The


first one shows the remnants of a Karrimor backpack, not a suicide


vest, but it went off and the way the attacker's body broke up, shall


we say, is the basis for the theory that it was on his back when it went


off. The second image shows a silver cylinder which is in fact a


triggering device, a push-button triggering device that could be used


to initiate the charge that sets off the explosives. The third image is


an image of some frankly unpleasant looking ironmongery on the floor of


the foyer, and we all know what that did to the young people around the


bomber. What we understand from this reporting is that the distribution


of the shrapnel suggested know-how in the making of the bomb, and then


the last image is a 12 volt battery, we have seen these used before as


initiators. Effectively you put a charge through wire or some thing


which causes the explosive to go off, particularly the home-made


types of explosives. All of this I think compounds the picture of a


bomb that was skilfully put together by someone who knew what they were


doing, and of course the power of the explosion, by somebody who knew


how to do that, because if you get it wrong, it either goes off before


you reach the place, or it goes off with no effect, as it happened in


July 2005. And the other issue is that the UK are sharing


intelligence, which it is useful to do, and it is finding its way into


the New York Times. There is a double irritation. Among the network


of people I know in counter-terrorism, they don't feel


very much is being shared in this country. The tendency for Whitehall


control free controlling that we see, they say there are operational


needs for that, but some of the people I talk to are within the ring


of secrecy, and this is compounded by the fact that they concede all of


these things coming out through the media in the United States,


initially the reporting about how many people had died, it was


believed to be a suicide attacker, then the name, now these images


which clearly do come from a scene of crime investigator, so there is


upset. Depressing was a word that one person used that I spoke to


today, and clearly they would like to see it stopped. Thank you, mark,


and we will hear your report later on.


Well, with so much interest in the investigation


here and around the world, and deep sadness as well as


the names and stories of the people killed emerge,


only a degree of normality has been reached.


For most of the city, it's Wednesday, and life goes on. No one,


though, is in danger of forgetting what's happened here, and as a


reminder, a heavy police presence and an active police investigation,


a city centre block of flats raided at lunchtime as police searched for


a network of conspirators who had worked with Salman Abedi. By 2pm,


normal Manchester and police Manchester were side-by-side as a


crowd gathered to see what was going on. You might have thought an armed


police raid in the centre of the city would lead to some jitters,


nervousness, fear, but there is not a bit of that here, in fact what


several people have said to me is that they find the presence of the


police, even armed police, quite reassuring. It feels under control.


It is quite easy to get back into the routine. Have you noticed any


difference in people's behaviour, that people may be done push in


queues as much? Is everybody very gentle and nice to each other? I


don't know, it is little things like you make more eye contact with


people because you are all going through the same thing, dealing with


this in a place you call home. What about the mood in Manchester if


there can be such a thing from all city. Is it anger, is a sadness, is


it back to normal? It is certainly not back to normal. Sadness, but


there has been an overwhelming coming together of people which has


been amazing to see. When the threat level was increased, it was a bit


frightening, because they were saying there could be another


attack, and that is going to scare people, but I think if you don't go


out of the house or you don't just go about with your normal behaviour,


then you are really letting the win, are in Chew? Everybody around here


is trying to get on with things, but also to be involved. An initiative


of local tattoo artists on Sunday will see money raised have Tyms.


Originally it is the industrialisation of the city, the


worker bee that helped build the city, but it has come to symbolise


how resilient and strong and hard the city is. All that use will be


?50, and we will try to that of as many people as possible. We have


nine artists, and we have had 1700 people saying they are coming to the


end of Facebook, so I don't know how we will manage it, but we will do


our best. Getting back to normal is not just the next inevitable cliche


in the narrative we impose on a city traumatised by an atrocity. It is an


important reaction in itself. It implied. There is no uprising, no


thirst for revenge, the pitchforks are not coming out, there is little


relish the conflict, no excitement of a shared mission of self


protection. It is just weary resignation. Even arguing about


Islam is something of a minority activity. The real concern is with


the news of the names now being put to the number of those who were


killed on Monday. My name is Martyn Hett, I am 27 and I have a


Coronation Street super fan... Real lives, like that of Martyn


Hett, a vivacious 29-year-old who was about to take an extended trip


to the US. He had been on TV talking about his Deirdre Barlow tattooed.


Martyn 's last tweet was jeering the Ariana Grande eight concert. Or real


lives like that of eight-year-old Saffie Roussos. It is easy to see


why the emotions still run high. Lucy Powell was MP for Manchester


Central, and again. I don't think I've given so many hugs to people as


I have done over the last few days. But people are now just going back


to work, most people are just getting on with life, because that's


what you do? I think people are determined to do that. It is very


hard to do that, particularly the closer you are to it, the people who


worked that evening in the arena or the station or any of the services


or people who know family and friends, of which loads of people in


Manchester know of people who were there that night. So I think the


closer you are to it, the harder it is to dig deep, to carry on as usual


or to do the positive thing and not to be angry, but I think my sense is


that most people are determined to do that in some way.


Love triumphs hate, we have heard that a lot in the last few days, but


the irony is we know we are really back to normal when we can start


being horrible to each other again. We are not there yet. The raw grief,


the sensitivity in the wake of tragedy mean that for the time


being, nice is normal. I am not the only one to note that


it is sad that it takes such a ghastly event to show how nice we


can be. All the shrine that was instant


Albert Square has been moved here to said Aarons Square, and this is the


heart of Manchester's reaction to Monday's events.


Earlier this evening I spoke to Andy Burnham,


the newly installed mayor of Greater Manchester,


about the city and the police investigation.


I asked him if he was satisfied with the efforts being made.


The collective effort of the public services of Greater Manchester


has been incredible, particularly with regard


Huge progress has been made over the last 24 hours,


and I'm confident that those responsible will be hunted down


One of the things on which you've commented in the past,


in your previous role as opposition Shadow Home Secretary,


is the Prevent programme, and whether that is fit for purpose


to prevent the kind of thing we saw on Monday.


Like with Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 80s,


some of the policies can lead to a whole cloud of suspicion


hanging over a whole community, or that's how that community can


feel, and Prevent has begun to be seen in that way by some


I've argued that it is in need of a review.


You cannot have policies targeted just at one community


without creating a sense of division and alienation.


More broadly, we've really got to learn the lessons of what's


come through the people of Greater Manchester this week.


It's all about solidarity and togetherness.


The terrorists want to divide us, they want to set one group


The message that's coming out of here is that we won't let


This individual who committed this unspeakable act of evil


He does not represent the Muslim community


of Greater Manchester in any way, shape or form.


It is, of course, worrying, though, that it is not just one man.


It is what police are calling a "network", potentially


living in this community, operating and feeling so much hate


That the individual who committed this crime grew up in this city.


That's difficult, obviously, for people to hear, but it


doesn't change Manchester, in my view, in any way.


They will still be as openly generous and as welcoming


And that's the way it will always be.


Extremism has been on the rise around the world


At the national level, Theresa May obviously


is the Prime Minister, and she's also in the midst


I wonder whether you think that this could allow


what Salman Abedi did on Monday, it could have an effect on the


I think it probably will change the character of the election


campaign, but that for me is a secondary concern.


The issue for me is responding, and responding in the right way,


to the enormity of what has happened here.


Let's just remember what has happened.


An unspeakable act of evil committed against children and young


It is absolutely right, in those circumstances,


The way we are all getting information about the police


If you want it, it's better to go to the American newspapers


than it is to the UK, because American sources


are telling their newspapers more than our sources are telling us.


The New York Times tonight has pictures of the detonator


of the bomb, and much more detail than the British


What is your view of what is going on there?


On Monday evening, when the reports were first coming through to me,


I agreed with the Chief Constable and others that we would take


a cautious approach to putting public information out,


because we wouldn't want to get anything wrong or compromise


the police investigation, and yet, the first reports


were coming, seemingly, out of the United States.


Obviously, you want international cooperation when it comes


to sharing information, because events like this can have


In fact, I made known my concerns about it to the US ambassador.


It's not acceptable to me that here there is a live


investigation taking place, and we cannot have information


being put in the public domain that's not in the direct control


of the British police and security services.


One obvious thing to do is not to give it to them,


They seem to be on a hotline to the authorities here.


To have information put in the public domain before


it was put there by people here is just wrong.


The British police and security services need to be in the lead


when this is a live investigation here now.


I don't think anything was compromised by what they've


done, but still, the principle is an important one.


We are in the lead here, and that is the point I made


I'm now joined by Dr Marc-Peter Fortune,


the Associate Head of the Royal Manchester Children's


Hospital, who oversees the intensive care department.


And intensive care consultant. Andy Burnham there is just said that he


thought the public services had operated well, as you would like


them to do on this kind of awful occasion. Is that your view? My


experience is within the hospital. If they work as well as they have


worked, is quite extraordinary. People have worked efficiently,


quietly, compassionately. They have been an extraordinary group of


people to work with. How did things work out on the night? Presumably it


was an ordinary night until 11pm? It was. We have a major incident plan


for anything like this occurring, and that swung into action when the


first information reached us. I was at home. I didn't come in until


several hours after it had started. Part of the plan was ensuring there


was a rotation of staff. Have you ever had a night like that? This has


been a fairly extraordinary experience for anybody, and not one


anybody would want to repeat again. Although one which I do feel very


proud of my colleagues, because throughout the whole time, people


have worked incredibly efficiently and carefully together. They are


used to working with sick children in a children's hospital. Does this


feel different? Presumably it does. Poorly and injured children normally


come to us in ones or twos. When you see numbers coming in for an


incident like this, and also the background horror of an incident


like this changes it somewhat for you. Getting people coming through


to be looked after who don't know their names really, really changes


the environment you work in. Have you had a chance to speak to them,


to the children, very much? Unfortunately, within intensive


care, the children are largely asleep with us. I haven't had the


opportunity to see anybody after waking up. How have staff coped?


They have coped by getting on with the job, focusing on what is needed.


They focus on the children firstly with the medicine, then the families


and supporting them and keeping them informed, and they have also looked


after each other. Have you had a chance to come down here and see the


way the community is... No, but we felt the community in the hospital.


It has been quite extraordinary. The well-wishers who have come in, the


amount of food that's been donated to the staff has been extraordinary,


and you felt all that around you. Thank you very much, and good luck.


We are still on a terror threat level of critical -


Mark Urban can't answer that question, but he has been looking


at the kinds of factors that lie behind the decision.


In this moment, soldiers are on the streets. Troops deployed from


constabularies around the country to protect people. The security


operation has become militarised, following a decision to raise the


threat level are critical. Going up to critical is quite a big step, so


one would imagine it is something to do with more of the idea of a


network. If they don't know who this person is, it could be prudent to go


to critical for several days, until they are confident this is the


individual on their own who happened to be given some rudimentary


training and not part of the network. Either way, it is prudent


to go to critical for a short while. As measures are put into place, the


clearest confirmation yet that the police and MI5 are trying to roll up


the Manchester bomber's associates. This is a network we are


associating. If it continues at this pace, there is activity taking place


across Greater Manchester as we speak. To that end there were four


raids in Manchester today, and one in Wigan. As the wider world follows


up Leeds based on shared intelligence, France's Interior


Minister suggested Abedi had been in Syria as well as Libya.


TRANSLATION: Someone of British nationality of Libyan orange in who


suddenly after a trip to Libya and then to Syria suddenly became


liberalised -- radicalised and then carried out an attack. There will be


more questions about why MI5 didn't assign a higher priority to Abedi,


but also why Britain's intelligence partners are proving so leaky. I


never like that any information is leaked. I think the fact that the US


media wants to release the name first was not good. I think, in the


Intel community, there is a lot of cooperation between foreign


partners, Britain and the United States, and the reason that works is


because we are all working on the same sheet of music. The same rules.


And when somebody leaks information, that is going to hurt the


cooperation. Beyond the immediate drive to roll up Abedi's network,


there are questions about this - troops deployed near the symbols of


British democracy and how de-escalation would be managed. What


we have seen is the triggering of plans made over the past two years


by intelligence professionals. Is the government exploiting it for its


own political purposes? We will only know that when we see how long the


troops remain on the streets. Is it up to the general election? Is it


beyond? That will only become clear in the weeks to come. They are


acutely aware of the danger of that, and that is why the Prime Minister's


predecessors move the decision to move up and down this threat level


out of the hands of ministers and into the hands of Jtac. They will be


very careful not to be seen to be benefiting from this in the


election. The problem is, will be election start to be affected by


this if we see another attack? In raising the effect level, raids and


so on, getting things back to normal could be trickier, given how people


do not want the sign... Site of troops on the streets to become


commonplace. Down the line from Belfast


is Professor Richard English, a politics professor who has


spent his career examining how terrorist attacks


affect our way of life, I'm interested in what you think


about the raising of the threat level. Does that bring attention to


it and sends the wrong signals? Or is that a good response? Normally in


these circumstances, these changes are made if there is strong evidence


to suggest it is the best way of protecting the public. I think it


will be a short-term response to specific intelligence. Normally


these things endure only for the period when its judge to make life


safer for people. I don't think it's alarmist. It's probably a pragmatic


response to what seems to be a network threat at the moment in the


immediate future. Just tell us, from your book, how we should respond to


terrorism? What are the things that make a good response and doesn't


encourage those who would do us harm to do so? The two key things are


first, be proportionate in response, and not to overreact and make things


worse. The second is to be realistic about what can be achieved. It's


unrealistic to talk about getting rid of terrorists, of obliterating


the ideology behind it. It's realistic to talk about ways of


minimising the threat. There are many things we have in the UK that


are more dangerous to life than terrorism, even this terrible week,


and keeping it in proportion allows us to deal with it more effectively.


Some of the things that have come up in your programme tonight about


maintaining a resilient normality makes terrorism seem less effective


as a tactic. If you make terrorism seem like it can transform things,


you make it more appealing to bring about change. If you show that it


will be futile in terms of central political goals, it's better. So


keep it proportionate if you can. But it's very difficult not to be


deeply affected by the brutal killing of 20 or more children,


isn't it? What do you think of the public response as opposed to the


authorities' response? It's entirely understandable that there is


revulsion, shock and horror, and you have seen that in Manchester and


internationally. That said, if you take a long-term view of this, you


have to balance what is emotionally understandable with what is going to


make terrorism less likely in the future. We need society to think


about the long-term effects of demonstrating that society can


endure, that we can live with this affect that is occasionally lethal.


Belfast is a city that has endured this for many years, and so this is


the best response. But that is difficult, given the emotions after


a horror like Monday. What about media coverage of these things?


After the Westminster Bridge attack, Simon Jenkins came on Newsnight and


said he thought we should make less of it, because we were encouraging


the phenomenon we were so hating. Let's take an example. Naming and


following up, as we are about to do with Salman Abedi, looking into his


background, is that something you would think we should try to avoid?


First, as long as there's no way of compromising the investigation it is


not particularly harmful, but I think Mr Jenkins is right that if


you do cover these things, we don't want to exaggerate the nature of the


threat. It's much more likely people will die in road accidents than from


terrorism. The key thing is to make sure that as we discuss it we keep a


sense of proportion and balance. For all of the horror that has been


catastrophic for the victims, we make sure we don't make this into a


bigger threat than it is, because that would make it seem like a more


attractive target. If people think they can change society and politics


through bombings, it's more likely we will have future terrorism. I


understand the horror of this week, but we need to think about future


potential victims and making them as few as possible. So discussion about


it should avoid overreaction and maintain a calmness. Very fair.


Thank you very much indeed. We are here because one man blew


himself up on Monday, Salman Abedi. It would be nice to expunge his name


from history, and not to hand him the legacy of notoriety,


but there is always a need to find out about the motivations


and the associates of those who seek We already know quite a bit


about him, and we believe We know he has family connections


to Libya, and over there, two members of his family


were arrested today. John Sweeney has been


trying to piece together the story of Salman Abedi,


and has uncovered some Just before suicide bomber


Salman Abedi struck at the Manchester Arena on Monday


night, Newsnight can The authorities in Tripoli


told us: The Libyan authorities said he'd


been in the country very recently. That means he returned


from Libya earlier this month. The Libyans also told us


that their security forces had been Salman Abedi was born and bred in


Manchester. This is his home in the south of the city. The question


wanting Manchester today is, how can he do what he did? This man has some


answers. He is a British Libyan, has known the family for 25 years and


lived erected above the bomb's brother. In recent conversations


with people and meetings with other friends, they are saying the guy is,


something is disturbing him, you know what I mean? One I have seen


him in the last few months, he didn't look, we have heard he is


being alone, being naughty on the street, I can't say violent, but


aggressive on the street, started fighting with people, finger signs,


stuff like this. Akram is not the only person who saw a change in the


22-year-old. The neighbours of Salman Abedi say that in the last


couple of months at least he started behaving oddly. He would pick fights


with people about where he parked his car, where he put his bins, and


that is not the signature of a bomb maker. The reluctant conclusion is


that Salman Abedi may have delivered the bomb, but he didn't make it.


Today police launched a series of raids across greater Manchester,


arresting five. Tonight a sixth suspect was arrested, a woman. They


have announced they are looking for a network of people who helped the


bomber. In Libya, the authorities have arrested Salman Abedi's father


and his younger brother. Here, they are questioning his older brother,


Ismail. We are told they raided two flats, they got the wrong one first,


may be true, maybe not, and now you can hear them cutting doors and


repairing the damage. The last time Britain was hit by bombs like this


was an 7/7. The evidence is growing that the police and security


services may have missed warnings about Salman Abedi. A community


worker has told the BBC that the authorities were warned about his


extremism several years ago. They reportedly said he was supporting


terrorism, and he had expressed the view being a suicide bomber was OK.


An incident at Salman Abedi's local mosque in Didsbury is revealing.


Worshippers told Akram that after the imam criticised Islamic State,


Abedi reacted. He approached the imam and gave him a killer look, a


really bad luck in his eyes, look. It was threatening look, let's put


it this. But did the local Muslim community do their utmost to warm


the authorities about Abedi? Today the Didsbury mosque held a press


conference, but they told us very little about the man who had been


part of their community or even that he had worshipped there. Did Salman


Abedi pray here, so? Did he pray here? He did attend this mosque? So,


some questions for the security services and the police but also


some questions for the people who run this mosque. The first one of


which, did Salman Abedi Reijo, and the answer to that is we are not


answering any questions. Some people might say that's not good enough.


After the attack on Westminster Bridge this March, it became obvious


that Callard -- Khalid Massoud was a lone wolf. Not


enough information was being passed on, and this was not averted. There


have been more arrests since John put that report together. There has


been a seventh. The latest news just coming in on that is in Nuneaton.


I was actually by chance talking to a Libyan living


He was in his 20s, and I asked if he had been exposed


I have to say that he could not have been more contemptuous of those


He thought it was much easier for speakers of Arabic,


like himself, to understand how stupid they sound when


Let's finish the programme by reflecting on some of these issues.


Well, with me now is Furqan Naeem, community organiser


That's a group that tries to help those from disadvantaged communities


Also Helen Pidd, northern editor of the Guardian.


Good evening to you both. How is the Muslim community in magister


reacting, how are they feeling over this so far? I think every single


citizen in Manchester, it is shock and condemnation of what has


happened, but with the Muslim community, there is another feeling


they are going through, the shock and horror that has befallen our


city, but the other thing is that this person has done this in the


name of our religion and try to hijack it using the name of Islam,


so that is a different emotion. I have been struck today just how


little talk about Islam there is any kind. It's as though, why go on


about it? I think there is something about the city of Manchester. There


is a resilience that we are all together. When things go wrong, we


held each other out, and it is not like other northern towns and cities


where you have segregated communities, Blackburn, Oldham.


People get on with each other here, Semedo that is why there has perhaps


not been as much talk about the Islamic issue, because people feel


integrated. Does that feel true to you? Kind of, but you have to


remember that the centre of Manchester is different from the


outlying boroughs. The Ukip voters are not in Manchester Central where


the glitzy skyscrapers are, they are elsewhere. How much hate and chatter


is there about, we need to do something about Islam? Is there a


lot of that? I have to say, I haven't heard it yet. I think people


are just reeling, and we haven't had a chance to take stock of what


happened. It has moved quickly, just 48 hours ago. We have had the


seventh arrest, and the net is widening, this latest arrest was in


Warwickshire, Nuneaton. I never thought I would be spending my


afternoon outside a flat in the gay village that is what team had blown


the door open potentially looking for a bomb factory. Yes, it is 48


hours, things have moved so fast, and families still have bereavement


and things like that, that is so important. How many Muslim


communities are there in magister? There are quite a few Libyans here.


Do they mix, delay know each other, are they all separate? I think it is


right mixed community, but even with the Muslim communities, they are all


quite mixed. The mosque in Didsbury in South Manchester, they have to


open up their doors because the community around them is very mixed


and open, and I think generally, the Muslim community is quite integrated


and feels quite a part of the make of Manchester, and that is what we


have seen over past two days. But Helen, we do know that there have


been seven arrests, and we know that the police are looking for and


assuming, working on the assumption that it is a network, and that is


any adjusting word, and network as opposed to a team. And it isn't just


a little gang, is it? Something a little more sinister. And organised,


and from this April we have spoken to who knew the guy who blew himself


up, they say he wasn't a particularly smart guy, wouldn't


have had the know-how to do this by himself. So as the pieces of the


jigsaw are being filled in, it is adding to the sense of unease and


disquiet about what might happen next. And I think on that, what we


saw was a calculated attack that had happened, and I think there is a


network probably out there as it is, because he has not acted alone, and


now is the time for the Muslim community to stand up and build


trust with the authorities. We have got to understand that the


authorities are here to look after us. We had a guest from the Muslim


women's network yesterday who had quite harsh words for elements of


the community who would not think of themselves as jihadists, but she


thought were quietly complicit in always criticising anything the


Government did to try to shut down the more disruptive element. I think


it is a two-way thing. Amongst the Muslim community there has to be


more trust of the Government, of the authorities, of the security


services. We have to work together, and the Muslim community now has to


step up, and this is an opportunity to showcase what they are about and


what they can do. A quick one, Helen, have you spent much time down


here in your Guardian beat? I have to say, as a journalist, you try to


remain neutral and calm, but I was glad I was wearing sunglasses today


when I was reading some of the tributes from small children. His


defiance there, there is one of them saying, you can't scare us. But I


think a lot of people are scared and very sad. Thank you very much. The


true spirit of Manchester will shines through.


We leave you with the pupils of Chetham's School of Music,


which sits in the shadow of the Manchester Arena,


who held their own vigil for the victims of the attack


# So I'll start a revolution from my bed


# Cos you said the brains I had went to my head


# Step outside, summertime's in bloom


# You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out


Hello there. 26 degrees today was the high, but it could get