After the suicide bomber involved in the Manchester attack was identified, a decision has been taken by Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May to put the country on the highest level of alert. She deployed the military to assist the police because of apprehensions of another imminent terrorist attack, due to fears that the attack at the venue of the Ariana Grande's concert could be part of a broader conspiracy. ISIS has claimed responsibility.

Reasons for suspecting a recurrence

According to New York Times, the retrieval of the I-card of the 22-year-old suspect suicide bomber led the police to zero in on his residence.

Subsequent interaction with his neighbors elicited some vital information. A senior member of the Muslim community in Manchester revealed that the suspect had been barred from the mosque in 2015 because he had expressed his support for the Islamic State. At that time he became “a person of interest” to the intelligence agencies.

In addition to the above, a senior United States official provided additional information that the suspect had travelled several times to Libya. He was born in Britain but his parents hailed from Libya, hence such visits would appear to be normal. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police has indicated that investigation into attack in the Ariana Grande program was going on to determine whether it was a loner at work or whether it was part of a network.

In the opinion of security experts, the use of an IED in the attack showed that there are possibilities of more such bombs made at the same time. Hence, the national threat level has been raised from severe to critical since possibilities of future attacks remain high and the police would not like to get caught on the wrong foot.

ISIS claims responsibility

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing at the Ariana Grande pop music program. It sent out the message via social network platforms. Once it was clear that they were behind the attack, the next action was to raise the threat level and hand over further monitoring to the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center.

The change in the threat level would imply availability of additional resources and support to the police. In the opinion of an expert, plenty of planning had gone into the suicide bombing in Manchester and it had all the marks of professionalism.

This was the third time that Britain had raised the threat level to critical. The first time it was in 2006 and it was about a plot to blow up an aircraft with liquid bombs. The next time it was in 2007 on ground and involved a S.U.V. at an airport.

Britain has faced terrorist attacks in the past and in spite of precautions and safety measures, the suddenness of such attacks take the security machinery by surprise. There is no apparent solution except to maintain constant vigil and remain alert to abnormalities that could provide clues to some unpleasant incidents ahead.