by WorldTribune Staff, May 23, 2017
Islamic State (ISIS) supporters who, according to U.S. President Donald Trump “worship death”, hailed the May 22 terrorist attack in Manchester as a victory against “the crusaders” of the West.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in which a suicide bomber killed 22 and injured at least 59 outside an arena where American pop star Ariana Grande had just concluded a concert.
In his landmark address in Saudi Arabia on May 21, one day before the tragic attack, U.S. President Donald Trump urged the leaders of 55 Arab and Muslim nations to “drive out” terrorists who “worship death” and not God.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the attacker had deliberately chosen “his time and place to cause maximum carnage” in the young crowd.
“This is only the beginning. The lions of Islamic State of Iraq and Sham are beginning to attack all the crusaders,” a masked man said a video posted to social media.
Other ISIS backers said the attack was revenge for the UK’s involvement in the bombing campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
“It seems that the bombs of the British air force over children of Mosul and Raqqa has just come back to Manchester,” wrote one user.
U.S. President Donald Trump called for “all civilized nations” to unite against terrorism and “obliterate this evil ideology. Dozens of innocent people, beautiful young children, savagely murdered, in this heinous attack upon humanity,” he said.
Police on May 23 identified the terrorist as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. CBS News confirmed Abedi was known to British authorities prior to the attack.
Neighbors of Abedi said they had noticed his “strange behaviour” in the weeks before the attack, the Daily Mail reported. The 22-year-old Manchester-born attacker was heard “chanting Islamic prayers loudly in the street” outside his home in the south of the city.
Abedi is the third of four children by Libyan refugees who came to the UK to escape the Gadhafi regime. There were unconfirmed reports in Manchester that the whole family, apart from the two elder sons, recently returned to their native Libya.
Lina Ahmed, 21, told MailOnline: “They are a Libyan family and they have been acting strangely. A couple of months ago he [Salman] was chanting the first kalma [Islamic prayer] really loudly in the street. He was chanting in Arabic. He was saying ‘There is only one God and the prophet Mohammed is his messenger.’ ”
Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, noted in Congress on May 23 that ISIS frequently claims responsibility for terror attacks, and their claim has yet to be verified by U.S. officials.
Testifying in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Coats said the Manchester attack should serve as a reminder that the terrorist threat is “not going away and it needs significant attention.”
ISIS has repeatedly called for its supporters in the West to attack “soft targets” like sports events and concerts in any way possible.