With Emily Maitlis. The aftermath of the Manchester bombing and Jeremy Corbyn's foreign policy speech. Plus did the bomber fight in Libya's civil war and is Prevent working?
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Manchester remembers: A city known for its noise comes
Police close in on those linked to the attacker.
The general election is two weeks today.
Tonight, the first sense of how Manchester's tragedy may shape
Tomorrow Jeremy Corbyn will return to the campaign Trail in a major
speech in which he appears to draw a direct connection between British
foreign policy and terrorist attacks.
And have voters minds been changed by what's happened?
I never would imagine a bomb in Manchester,
not in a big venue like that, anywhere in the whole
And now security, national security, is a main issue for me.
Meanwhile Newsnight has uncovered new details
We have information tonight that Salman Abedi may have fought
in Libya in the civil war that ousted Colonel Gadaffi.
And we'll be talking about all of this with a former home
secretary, and discussing whether the government's
It's not often you hear this city go silent.
When it does, the effect is overwhelming.
At 11 o'clock they came here to mourn, to mark a moment
of silence and then to try - and pick up their lives.
The Queen paid her respects to survivors at the children's
hospital, thanking medical staff on the front line of this tragedy.
And the police investigation closed in on those linked to the killer.
This week has been a broadly politics-free zone.
Jeremy Corbyn will invoke Manchester's tragedy to talk
about the connection between foreign policy and terrorism.
It is cautiously worded but unmistakable in its message -
Nick Watt is on College Green in Westminster for us and can
talk us through what it will contain, Nick?
As you said, tomorrow Jeremy Corbyn will directly address the Manchester
bombing as the general election campaign resumes. In remarks being
interpreted in some quarters as drawing a link between recent UK
military interventions and the bombing, the leader of the Labour
Party will say that "Many experts have pointed to the connections
between wars our government has supported or fought in in other
countries and terrorism here at home." It's important to bear in
mind that Mr Corbyn also says his remarks "In no way reduce the guilt
of those who attack our children." The reason he's saying this is
because he's setting out how future Labour government would embark on
what he calls an informed, understanding of the causes of
terrorism. At one of all these remarks are not a surprise. Jeremy
Corbyn has opposed all recent military intervention by the UK.
Obviously the timing, just four days after the Manchester attack is
significant. The speech will come tomorrow. What kind of reaction will
we expect from it? I spoke to a Labour candidate in the North West
who described these remarks as horrible. The candidate said "This
is the wrong moment to politicise these events." I spoke to another
member of the party who is not a fan of Corbyn and this person said,
"There is some truth in what Jeremy Corbyn is saying." Just before we
move on their is a new poll out tonight. I understand this was taken
before the events on Monday night but what figures is it coming out
with? It isn't long ago that the Conservatives were 15, 18, 20 points
ahead in the polls. In a YouGov poll in the Times tomorrow, the lead of
the Conservatives is just five points. What you look with is a
pattern in the polls and recently they have tightened, but not as
dramatically as this, so what you'll be looking for, is there a pattern
in other polls? Why is this happening? It seems that the
Conservative manifesto launch didn't go off well, they did a U-turn on a
big pledge on social care. YouGov had some polling that showed that
when you asked people what they thought of the main policies of the
parties, the main one is identified on the Labour Party were positive,
scrapping university tuition fees and more money for the NHS. The
Conservative main policies identified were negative and
controversial ones, social care and scrapping free school meals. Thanks.
Campaigning for the general election was put on pause this week.
Today, Ukip launched their manifesto saying it was time
for daily life to resume or it would spell victory
But how does Manchester get back to normal -
and what effect will its tragedy have on people's priorities,
I've been out on the streets here with candidates, voters,
and a mother whose three children were all at the bombed
Three days on from the terror you find a City that is outwardly
landing on its feet. Perhaps parents are watching their young that bit
more closely. Perhaps you spot armed guards amongst the ice creams. What
does normal really look like? When the inconceivable has happened on
your doorstep. Will voters think differently about the general
election now two weeks today? I don't think so, my mind was made up
before. It won't make any difference whatsoever. It won't change my mind,
everything stays the same, Manchester will get back up and get
together. The pause in campaigning has been recognised by all parties
as the appropriate thing to do. And yet arguably it presents more of a
problem for the parties of opposition. The Conservative
candidate for Maidenhead also happens to be the PM and at a time
of national crisis the party of government is the one that assumes
the role of leadership, the one that looks to be in control. Ukip broke
with the pact today, back on the campaign with their manifesto launch
and their candidate is unrepentant. The issues regarding radical Islam.
Ukip are the only people willing to talk about it, the only people with
the courage to raise these issues, to discuss them in public and find a
way to improve the situation. A local fire crew are housed in the
Labour HQ of Manchester here and their local MP said that he won't be
campaigning until Monday. Have you thought of the words you're going to
use and how you're going to formulate it, is it going to make
reference to what happened? I have a very adversarial approach to
politics and that is inevitable in our system. At a time when
Manchester has come together and been at United it is difficult to
resume the adversarial approach. But that's part of our politics so what
we want to do is to resume the campaigning in a positive sense, a
positive manner and hope we don't get the kind of slanging matches we
unfortunately have as part of our natural politics. You don't have to
go far in this neighbourhood to find those who rubbed shoulders with
tragedy on Monday night. All three of this lady's children were at the
concert when the bomb hit. But for a chest infection she explains she
would have been in the foyer to pick-up her girls. I would have been
waiting for them with the parents and that is a terrifying thought.
You know, it is just circumstances, I wasn't there and they were and
thank God my children were saved, my children came home safe to me. Many
other children didn't go home to their parents and it is
heartbreaking to think of that. As it was her 26-year-old son
shepherded his younger sisters safely towards the exit, a hero in
her eyes. INAUDIBLE Is that what you think? Yes, I am so
grateful. It could have been the last one. So has it changed her
focus as a voter? The security of the country wasn't really a top
priority for me in the past. This is a very secure country, Britain is
one of the safest countries in the world, especially Manchester. I
would never imagine a bomb in Manchester, not at a big venue,
anywhere in this country. Now, security, national security is a
main issue for me. I can't believe that Isis has come to the streets of
Manchester. The Lib Dems talk about time lost over the last few days.
There are headquarters is a hive of activity. The people here are young
but I wonder if the party of civil liberties finds itself at odds with
the national mood? I think civil liberties are a very important issue
for a lot of people. I would hope that no political party would try
and get some political advantage out of a tragedy like the terrorist
incident in Manchester but actually, it focuses people's minds on the
important issues and I think people in this part of Manchester believe
that civil liberties are important. A minute's silence at 11 marking a
moment to member the dead. -- to remember the dead.
APPLAUSE It ended in applause, releasing a
kind of permission for the living to carry on with their lives. Will the
voters want to hear the Manchester tragedy reflected in the campaigning
of politicians? Campaigning resumes tomorrow and it may be much clearer
then. We tried to talk to the Conservatives. They weren't
available. And there are full lists
of all of the candidates standing in Greater Manchester's
constituencies on the BBC's website. And that's it from me
from St Ann's Square tonight. More on how the police investigation
is unfolding later - but for now back to Kirsty
in the studio. We'll hear more about
the investigation into the suspected But first, we heard earlier how
Jeremy Corbyn is planning to hit the issues raised by the attack
head-on when he returns to We asked to speak to somebody from
the Labour campaign but nobody was available.
Well, Charles Clarke was Home Secretary at the time
of the 7/7 bombings and is with me now.
Thank you for joining us. With evening. We will come onto how more
broadly we will combat terrorism but let's deal first of all with Jeremy
Corbyn returning to the fray tomorrow morning. You heard the
Labour candidate in Manchester saying he finds it difficult to see
how they will be an adversarial approach. This is adversarial but
Jeremy Corbyn feels that the war on terrorism working. Is he right? I
don't think he is right, I haven't taken his advice on security matters
in some decades and I don't take his remarks tomorrow, if correctly
reported. They are wrong. These attacks have come from forces that
are about trying to destroy the whole of our society, before the
Iraq war and the wars in Syria. It is about the eliminating the right
of young people to go to the event like we had in Manchester, removing
a programme like that, it is about creating a caliphate. In an excerpt
from the speech he is going to make he will say that we will do... That
many experts have pointed to the connection between wars our
government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism at
home. I mean, some people would suggest... I wonder if it is
trivial, it is true that there are networks, before July seven, maybe
there is some link with what is going on in Syria and the individual
who has committed this atrocity in Manchester but that isn't the motive
force. The motive force is about the destruction of the core elements of
our society and that isn't something that's about foreign policy.
Something in Syria, something in Iraq. It is about a totally opposed
vision of what society should be. Of course he has opposed foreign
conflicts which suggests a Labour government would not support
intervention in Syria, intervention in Libya. You'd have to ask him on
that question. It's been a massive issue of discussion in the Labour
Party and much more widely. There are a set of issues about the right
circumstances in which support should take place but you must
acknowledge in this difficult debate that not getting involved has
consequences just as much as getting involved. Do you think, given what
he may say tomorrow, that he is prime ministerial material? I have
never thought that but he is the Labour Party leader, I will be
voting and I hope that Labour does well because we don't want a Theresa
May government with a barren field in front of them. I can't save with
integrity that I believe Jeremy Corbyn is Prime Minister material.
Moving on and moving back to the time of 7/7, you were the Hutton
Secretary. Just before then you had started to introduce a number of
anti-terrorist is, one of which was ID cards which went to Royal assent
-- you were the Home Secretary. Then in 2010 Theresa May overturned that.
It was her first act. Do you believe that if we had ID cards now, we
would be in a different position? You can't say if only that hadn't
been done this bomber wouldn't have succeeded. It is easier to create a
climate for the terrorist organisations to work. ID cards are
one of those things. A good control order regime that Theresa May also
abolished when she came in is one of those things. A good community
policing system with police and community support officer properly
funded is another. You have to do all of those things but you can't
say, if only we'd had ID cards, then this attack wouldn't have happened.
If we look at this particular Salman Abedi case, there seems to be some
suggestion that security services over time have missed chances to
actually home in on him. Do we have to accept that is the nature of our
anti-terrorist police in? That some will get through the net? That's the
risk, that's why we've got the security levels we have at the
moment. You can't ignore resources for our security services. They have
to look at thousands of people who might be risks. They have to make
judgments about where to prioritise. The overall background is the
resources situation. I know Labour has said there have been police cuts
but if you take somebody like Andy Burnham speaking from the Manchester
perspective, what he would say and has said is its disproportionate
now, the police on London streets and the streets of other cities to
the United Kingdom. Also I was wondering if you think the style of
policing we need to move far more to intelligence led policing?
Completely, but the core is intelligence led policing. Our
structure of 43 police forces in Britain is not well equipped to deal
with it, we tried to change that and didn't succeed. You haven't got
enough resources in places like greater Manchester and other forces
throughout the country, they tend to be too concentrated. In the
Metropolitan Police. You need them through the country to work out
what's going on. I don't criticise MI5 security services in relation to
this case. We need to examine why they took the decision they did. I'm
sure that analysis is already going ahead. The climate in which we can
keep our civil liberties most effectively is the call.
More details are emerging tonight about the man who caused
carnage in Manchester - and specifically of what may have
Newsnight has uncovered details of both Salman Abedi's family life
in Libya and of his associates in south Manchester.
Our correspondents Gabriel Gatehouse and Richard Watson are both here.
First of all, Gabriel what have you found out? They're Martyn strands to
this, the Manchester strand which I'll talk about... In Libya we're
learning interesting stuff about his background. I've got three sources
who say the bomber Salman Abedi and his father, Ramadan, both joined a
militia fighting Colonel Gaddafi in 2011. Salman would have been 16 at
the time. I've got two sources, one is a school friend from Manchester,
the other from Libya. He said because of his age is not sure how
much front line fighting he did, but he knows he came before Tripoli
fell, then met him in Tripoli. With the mood of elation, that's where
they met. At 16 he would have disappeared from school for a period
of time. If school friend said, like many other time, they went in the
School holidays, in summer, they finished school, broke up, went to
Libya. Bit of context. It was not unusual for British Libyans, even
young British Libyans, I met some of them out there myself, to go out and
fight. 16 is on the low end. What do we know about the militia with whom
was fighting? One of the sources I was speaking to said he believed it
was the military Council, led by a former member of the Libyan Islamic
Fighting Group, LIFG, who fought in Afghanistan alongside Al-Qaeda in
the 1990s and was banned under the terrorism act in the UK under 2005.
Paradoxically before that some of their members had been given asylum
in the UK. There were multiple suggestions from sources in
Manchester and in Libya that the bomber's father, Ramadan, was on the
periphery of this group. Perhaps not a full member, but someone I've
spoken to has said he was associating with some of these
ex-movie-macro fighters when they came back from Afghanistan and
staying in Manchester. Again, there is no suggestion here that is
necessary illegal, but it gives you an indication of the kind of media
that Salman Abedi was growing up in. -- the kind of atmosphere. You have
some information on IS recruiters in Britain. And Abedi's links. Salman
Abedi lived just ten minutes from the Hostey family. He was one of the
most prolific recruiters for Islamic State we've seen, Raphael Hostey.
Thought to have been killed in a drone strike last year. There is no
direct link but I've been speaking to researchers from the
International Centre for the study of radicalisation, and what they
say, they've come to their database of jihad communication is, and found
an interesting link. They found that Hostey's brother in Lancashire was
in contact with the Manchester bomber's brother, so there is a
family link. What do you know about Abedi's operations in South
Manchester? We know they prayed at Didsbury mosque. Speaking to a
source of mine about that, he said he knew the Manchester bomber when
he was a 12-year-old boy. His father took him to the mosque to pray.
Crucially, he said his nephew, the nephew of my source, dead even as an
old teenager he was developing supremacist and isolationist views,
aggressive against Shia Muslims, a classic sign of extremism. He was
critical of the environment he was in. He claimed he was already on the
road to becoming a supremacist isolationist, extremist if you like
in those terms, in those days. There were more raids and more
arrests in Manchester today as the police continue
their investigation John Sweeney spent the day
in the city and has this report. A possible suspicious
package found at a local college, not
far from Old Trafford. The bomb squad have been called in,
they've investigated, It's wrong to say this city
is gripped with fear. The authorities believe that Abedi
was a mule, not the bomb maker. Today, Greater Manchester
Police sounded upbeat. I want to reassure people
that the arrests that we have And initial searches
of premises have revealed items that we believe are very
important to the investigation. But they don't appear
to have found the Overnight and through today,
more raids and more arrests across Greater Manchester,
bringing the total number The woman arrested
yesterday has been released As well as the search
for Abedi's accomplices in the bombing, there is
the hunt for the people who radicalised him
in Who turned an ordinary
Manchester lad into a mass In 2014, twins Zahra
and Salma Halane left their homes in Manchester to become
Islamic State brides in Syria. Their father, who tried
to rescue them from Isis, worshipped here, at the mosque
in South Manchester. Newsnight can reveal that
Salman Abedi also used I tried to ask the men leaving
afternoon prayers whether We try to talk to the
Imam of this mosque. We did talk to an
official of camera. I showed him a picture
of Salman Abedi. He said he didn't recognise
him, and that went for all of the worshippers we spoke
to, they didn't know who he was, He said he'd been to the mosque
on several occasions. That does not, of course,
mean that anyone at the Our source, who didn't
want to be filmed, told Newsnight that it
unbelievable that Abedi was the bomber and question the evidence
No such doubt at another mosque in South Manchester,
The whole community is shocked, the whole
Muslim community is in shock about it.
Earlier this year the chairman of the mosque had a row with Abedi
I told him he should not be having his shoes on,
So that time he said, don't treat me like a child.
So I said, you're a child, because if you weren't, you
wouldn't behave in this manner, you would have taken your shoes off.
And have respect, you know, for the mosque.
So he was angry about that. So I asked Tim, can you take your shoes
off? And he did. After that, I said can you please leave now. And he
went. There is a third mosque that Abedi attended, in a Didsbury.
Yesterday mosque officials gave a press conference denouncing the
atrocity. Today a spokesman for the mosque told Newsnight that two years
ago they gave the names of three worshippers who they feared were
extremists. One of them Abedi. To the police. But they took no action.
The three, the spokesman said, are now under arrest. The man in the
striped shirt is the Imam of the Didsbury mosque. Here he is in the
Arab Spring in 2011 in military fatigues with a group of fighters
preparing to take on Colonel Gaddafi's forces. Newsnight asked
the Didsbury mosque whether the Imam had been a fighter. Their spokesman
did not get back to us. Two's purpose in planting his bomb was to
make Manchester disunited. He's failed in that, but the spotlight
remains on the authorities, who may not have listened hard enough to
some of the Muslim community. And some people who knew Abedi and
perhaps kept it quiet. What can the government do about
people seem to be Abu seem to be attracted to violent extremism but
haven't broken any laws? Chris Cook explained how government policy to
counter radicalisation, called prevent, is designed to work.
Can we stop this from happening again?
That's one of the biggest questions that will haunt
government in the wake of the Manchester terror attack.
Can we improve our counterterror efforts?
The government's counterterror strategy,
They're called Pursue, which is capturing terrorists.
Protect, which is defending ourselves.
Prepare, which is getting ready for attacks.
And the one where all the controversy is, prevent.
Stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism.
Britain's first-ever national security adviser explains
As it has evolved, it's become a programme to make sure that
all those working in the public services, local authorities,
or in education, churches and mosques, have been trained
to spot signs of radicalisation among vulnerable
And then they can refer people who they think may be at risk
to a programme called Channel, or people can come forward
into the Channel programme themselves, and that is a separate
programme, which is a tailored package of support and help to
people who might be in danger of being drawn into radicalisation
According to the Home Office's last annual report, there were several
Around 15% of these were linked to far right extremism
and around 70% linked to Islamist related extremism.
But one of the problems with the Prevent programme
from the outset, frankly, has been that because it comes
from the government, because it's delivered through local
authorities, it can look like the voice of authority.
And for a number of vulnerable young people, they are
The statutory guidance is mindful of this problem.
The Prevent programme must not involve any covert activity
But as the mayor of Greater Manchester told
Newsnight yesterday, Prevent has a major
Like with Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 80s,
some of the policies can lead to a whole cloud of suspicion
Or that's how that community can feel.
And Prevent has begun to be seen in that way by some
It's probably not a policy that can stand still.
I do think we've got to keep refreshing the programme,
because fashions change, there's more radicalisation
Are we doing enough to tackle incitement
And as a new generation comes forward, are we working
through the role models they look to?
The footballers, rappers, I don't know...
The stakes in counter extremism work very high.
But selling peaceful democracy to violent extremists is very tough,
especially when it's the state doing the selling.
Amina Lone is co director of the Social Action and
Research Foundation, a think tank that works with marginalised
groups, and a Labour Councillor in Manchester.
Cerie Bullivant is a spokesperson for Cage, an advocacy organisation
which works to 'empower communities impacted by the War on Terror'
and which has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the Prevent
Amina, you're from Manchester. I wonder what people are asking you
about in Manchester? How this could have happened? Firstly I passed my
deepest condolences to the families who suffered on Monday. People are
in shock, they are scared across the board, people are scared about
repercussions but also about reactions as well. There is a fear
that we may have more tax. What is the right approach going forward,
what do we do? These are innocent children, not people who were on the
front line. They were at a pop concert, and make age of innocence,
if you target young children...? The area that you working involves
Prevent, do you think it works? I think it does work. Like any
government policy it has its flaws and implementation is tricky but it
has been continuously looked at and we are doing phenomenal work in
Manchester, Birmingham and the West Midlands. Do you think, in your
experience, people trust Prevent? Overwhelmingly I think people do who
are ordinary Muslims. I think there is a propaganda machine that is very
vocal who are very anti-Prevent for different reasons and that gets a
lot of traction and that is problematic because when I talk
about the amenity groups getting funding to visit mosques, to go to
temples and churches, how can that be seen... To talk about cohesion,
that is positive. Prevent is about safeguarding and preventing people
at risk of radicalisation. How can that be a negative thing? Cerie, if
you knew someone come if you had evidence that somebody was being
radicalised, would you go to Prevent? I don't think Prevent is
the right vehicle for doing it. So you wouldn't do that? Just a Biglia,
if you had evidence that a young person was in danger of
radicalisation and pursuing that route, you wouldn't go to Prevent?
What we must do is look at opening up the conversation and working on
community-based approaches to de-radicalised these people and stop
them getting into this. So if you knew a young person, a teenager
perhaps who was being radicalised and was in danger of going abroad,
or doing something here, to whom would you report them? If they were
going to do a criminal act, you have to go to the police. But if they
were in danger of being radicalised? If there was an issue with ideas
like this, they need to be taken into the community and dealt with.
But I'm not clear what you mean by being taken into the community. The
elders of the community, by the Imam, by the people who have a solid
and trusted understanding of the religion. I've got an issue with
that because it is the community who are implementing it, it is a
community group, 460 mosques work with Prevent. You are suggesting
that the community is not part of York amenity, that they Amina
community is not part of York amenity and you feel alien dated
from it. I'm not saying that, Amina and I are part of the same community
and we are part of the British community which is in mourning and
shock at the moment. We're not at different ends the spectrum here.
But you don't believe in Prevent? Prevent is based on pseudoscience
and even the people who created it say that it is not fit for purpose,
the pseudoscience. I wonder, is your response, because if Cerie is active
in the community and suggesting to vulnerable people that Prevent
doesn't work? I think there is an issue, about a narrative and the
agenda being framed but a responsibility. Prevent is trying to
safeguard young people at risk of being radicalised by people in ices
who want young people to blow themselves up in arenas like they
did on Monday, that's what we're fighting and it is a disservice to
say Prevent isn't working. Is there an issue of denial among some
Muslims? Absolutely. The UN special reporter said that Prevent puts us
at risk of stigmatisation and disenfranchisement. Can I just say,
Prevent hasn't stopped 150 vulnerable teenagers going to fight
jihad. Isn't that a great thing? It is a great thing that people are not
going but that could be applied under the old systems we had. That
could be done under safeguards. I think there is an issue of denial in
the community and it is understandable because people feel
under threat. Most Muslims come up to 3 million in this country,
ordinary Muslims, get on with their life, they live, they work and they
play but people are scared of speaking out because they think they
are going to be vilified, especially women art vilified for speaking out
about the problems, and there are significant issues. What you're
suggesting for women is that women who speak out, people who have been
known to speak out our vilified by people like you. We don't vilify
anybody and we never have. We speak in the community and things that
have occurred. I have been a victim, accused of pre-crime, the realm that
Prevent deals in, leading to two years of my life under house arrest,
with no evidence being shown. Do you think that imams should absolutely,
categorically be charged with de-radicalisation? All of our Imam
and I think Amina would agree with me, all of our Imam 's around the
country speak out against violence... I would disagree, I
don't think it is all of them. There is an issue with mosques and
language, people don't necessarily speaking this, there is an issue
with space not being provided for women and I think it is fair to say
that we have some problems and that we must work together because these
people are our enemy. We were talking during a film about the
possibility that Prevent should be looked at again and so forth. Would
you like to see an independent ombudsman looking at the work of
Prevent and critiquing it? There's no harm in having the independent
review, I think we should have more transparency but I think we should
showcase the positive work that is done. It has done phenomenal work
around the country and we have a responsibility, myself and the other
practitioners, Muslim and non-Muslim, this is about people who
hate us and our way of life and we must stand up and say that you don't
represent us. You talked about the community sorting this. What is your
specific proposal if it isn't Prevent, what is the specific thing
you should do? Prevent is based on pseudoscience. You have said that,
what should be done? We must stop clogging up the system with over
7500 referrals a year, most of which are duds. This man was referred to
the police over five times and was missed, not picked up, because so
many people are being referred. You have given 500,000 public servants a
hammer and all they can see is nails. I must both there. Thank you
for joining us. The front pages, the Daily
Telegraph, Corbyn, wars to blame for terror. The Sun newspaper, inside
the bomb factory, their front page. , planning for a year. Tory lead cut
to five points as Corbyn closes in on Theresa May.
Today, across Britain, a minute's silence was observed
to honour those who lost their lives or were injured in Monday's attack.
Thank you. APPLAUSE
It has been the hottest day of the year so far, 28 degrees on Thursday
and we will probe the
With Emily Maitlis. The aftermath of the Manchester bombing and Jeremy Corbyn's foreign policy speech. Plus did the bomber fight in Libya's civil war and is the Prevent strategy working?