As the New York Times reports, the toll at last night’s post-Ariana-Grande-concert suicide bombing has risen to 22 dead and 59 injured, many critically. I weep for the families of these people; it was an act motivated by pure hatred, unconcerned that the targets were young people (indeed, that may have been why they were targeted). As for who was behind it, this is the report:
The British government did not make any immediate comment on the claim by the Islamic State, which said on the social messaging app Telegram that, “One of the soldiers of the Caliphate was able to place an explosive device within a gathering of the Crusaders in the city of Manchester.” The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militants’ communications, also provided a translation of the claim. The Islamic State statement did not identify the bomber.
Matthew Cobb, who lives in Manchester, thanks readers for their concern and expressed his own sorrow about the affected families. He and his own family are all right, though Matthew had been in that very arena the night before attending a science presentation by Brian Cox. I asked Matthew about the ISIS claim and he said this:
Yes but [ISIS] clearly know nothing about what happened (their declaration says it was a planted bomb, suggests perpetrator escaped; he didn’t, plus they call it “a meeting of the crusaders”, which may either show their contempt for most of humanity or their ignorance of where it actually took place). They may have inspired it, but they don’t seem to have planned it.
The bomber lived not far from my house, apparent accomplice arrested by my local supermarket by armed police in masks; police helicopter hovering about…
The recriminations will follow, as will those characterizing this as “no true Islam”. I have no wish to engage in these, but of course we have to do something to stop this unpredictable slaughter of innocents.