Manchester attack: Police 'no longer able to defend against a terror attack'
The chief of the Police Federation has said that cuts means that forces no longer have the resources to defend the public against a terror attack.
His warning comes an police admit the scale of the threat faced by Britain is “unprecedented”.
Steve White said that the deployment of armed forces onto the streets in the wake of Monday’s terror attack in Manchester was because police are unable to manage the critical terror threat level on their own.
Mr White said: “ The welcome support of the military to free up armed officers and offer public reassurance will no doubt be managed in the same professional, resolute way.
“But, as welcome as this is, we cannot avoid the reasons it is needed at all. There is no ignoring the fact that we, the police, simply do not have the resources to manage an event like this on our own.”
5,000 soldiers are patrolling the streets, as police investigate a possible terror network of which Salman Abedi was a part.
His comments come as it emerged today five terror plots have been foiled in the UK in the past two months alone. There have been 18 foiled attacks since 2013.
It is understood the scale of the threat being dealt with by counter-terror agencies is on an “unprecedented” scale.
Materials for making further explosive devices have been discovered by security services in the raids following Monday’s bombing.
According to The Independent, police found materials that could have been used for another imminent attack as they investigate the possible terror network behind Salman Abedi‘s devastating act of terrorism. One device has been safely detonated.
It comes as German media outlets reveal that suicide bomber Salman Abedi was in Dusseldorf in Germany four days before carrying out the atrocity in Manchester.
Salman Abedi travelled through Düsseldorf on 18th May from Turkey. He travelled through Frankfurt in 2015, colleague @ethevessen confirms
— Rohit Kachroo (@RohitKachrooITV) May 25, 2017
Police in the country are urgently seeking to discover the reasons for Abedi’s visit to the country, amid fears he was meeting with radical Islamists in Dusseldorf.
Law enforcement forces have carried out a catalogue of raids since Monday, arrested eight men and one woman, including Abedi’s older brother Ismail. The woman has since been released without charge.
Abedi’s younger brother Hashem and father Ramadan have also been detained in Libya.
In a statement released today, Greater Manchester Police confirmed that they had arrested eight ‘significant’ people and were continuing to search addresses.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said that searches so far had ‘revealed items that we believe are very important to the investigation.’
He also said that leaks about the investigation to U.S. press had caused ‘much distress’ to the families of victims.
Latest statement from @ccianhopkins in relation to the incident at the Manchester Arena. pic.twitter.com/xmJe8eh3hV
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 25, 2017
The investigation has been marred by extraordinary leaks to U.S. media, with UK police said to be furious at the damaging security breach.
A National Counter Terrorism Policing spokesman said: ‘We greatly value the important relationships we have with our trusted intelligence, law enforcement and security partners around the world.
‘These relationships enable us to collaborate and share privileged and sensitive information that allows us to defeat terrorism and protect the public at home and abroad.
‘When that trust is breached it undermines these relationships, and undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families.
‘This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorised disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter terrorism investigation.’
UK Police are understood to have stopped sharing information with Washington, and Theresa May is set to raise the issue with Donald Trump at a NATO meeting later today.
Salman Abedi was flagged to the authorities numerous times before he killed 22 people in Manchester.
Reports say counter terrorism agencies were informed of the possible danger he posed due to extremist views five times in five years.
His friends reportedly called the Government’s anti-terrorism hotline after Abedi said ‘being a suicide bomber was OK.’
A member of his family is believed to have contacted police following Abedi’s return from his last trip to Libya.
Anti-terror authorities were aware that Abedi’s father had links to a militant islamic group in Libya. He was yesterday detained in Libya, along with Salman Abedi’s younger brother.
Speaking in Tripoli before his arrest, Ramadan Abedi protested his son’s innocence. He said: ‘I was really shocked when I saw the news, I still don’t believe it.
‘My son was as religious as any child who opens his eyes in a religious family.
‘As we were discussing news of similar attacks earlier, he was always against those attacks, saying there’s no religious justification for them. I don’t understand how he’d have become involved in an attack that led to the killing of children.
‘Until now my son is a suspect, and the authorities haven’t come up with a final conclusion.
‘Every father knows his son and his thoughts, my son does not have extremist thoughts.’
His sister Jomana said in an interview that her brother wanted revenge for US air strikes in Syria.
She told the Wall Street Journal: ‘I think he saw children – Muslim children – dying everywhere, and wanted revenge.
‘He saw the explosives America drops on children in Syria, and he wanted revenge. Whether he got that is between him and God.’