World

Cryptic Tweets About Manchester Attack Debunked

| by Alex Scarr

Two tweets that appeared to predict the May 22 Manchester Arena attacks in England have been determined to have been posted after the attack.

According to MailOnline, the two tweets came from a suspected ISIS account and contained hashtags for the Manchester arena and the Islamic State. One of the tweets said "ARE YOU FORGET OUR THREAT?" and "THIS IS THE JUST TERROR." The other contained a photo of the ISIS flag with the hashtag "#manchesterarena."

A third tweet was posted with the caption "WE HAVE MORE." The account has since been deactivated.

HuffPost UK said Twitter users scrambled to identify the user behind the tweets and sought any potential links to the bombing, which claimed more than 20 lives and injured more than 100 people, many of them teenagers and children. According to the tweets' timestamps, they appeared to have been sent from a location in the U.S. and were therefore posted after the attack.

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Users had initially feared that the tweets were predicting the attack and Twitter had failed to alert proper authorities.

The New York Times reports that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, stating that the alleged perpetrator, Salman Abedi, was one of its own. Investigators have not yet confirmed the veracity of the claim and are working to find any known accomplices of Abedi.

"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," read a post from an ISIS account on the social messaging app Telegram.

Abedi was born in Britain from Libyan immigrant parents and lived just 3.5 miles from the arena.

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British police arrested a man outside of a supermarket in Manchester, although it was not immediately clear how or if he was connected to the attack.

"We now know that a single terrorist detonated his improvised explosive device near one of the exits of the venue, deliberately choosing the time and place to cause maximum carnage and to kill and injure indiscriminately," said British Prime Minister Theresa May in a televised statement.

"This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice -- deliberately targeting innocent, defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives," May said.

Other world leaders have offered condolences as well. U.S. President Donald Trump called those responsible "evil losers."

Sources: MailOnline, Huff Post UK, The New York Times / Photo credit: Rob Sinclair/Flickr