The suicide bomber who killed 22 people and injured dozens more at the Manchester Arena has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi.
Born in Manchester in 1994, the second youngest of four children his parents were Libyan refugees who came to the UK to escape the Gaddafi regime.
His parents were both born in Libya but appear to have emigrated to London before moving to the Fallowfield area of south Manchester where they have lived for at least ten years.
They had three sons in total and a daughter, who is now 18-years-old.
Abedi grew up in the Whalley Range area, just yards from the local girl’s high school, which hit the headlines in 2015 when twins and grade A pupils, Zahra and Salma Halane, who were both aspiring medical students, left their homes and moved to Isil controlled Syria.
There were unconfirmed reports in Manchester that the whole family apart from the two elder sons recently returned to Libya.
Abedi was named by Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins on Tuesday.
“Can I start by once again passing on our heartfelt sympathies to all the innocent people caught up in last night’s despicable act.
“We now have a team of specially-trained Family Liaison Officers who are supporting families.
“There has been much speculation and names of those who may have been killed in the media and social media. We accept that this is inevitable however we ask that people allow the police and coroner to release the names once the families are ready and appropriately supported.
“As you would expect the police response to this across Greater Manchester has been significant as we support people to go about their daily business.
“Part of this response has seen us arrest a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack and we have also carried out two warrants, one in Whalley Range and one in Fallowfield that included a controlled explosion to enable safe entry.
“We understand that feelings are very raw right now and people are bound to be looking for answers. However, now, more than ever, it is vital that our diverse communities in Greater Manchester stand together and do not tolerate hate.
“We have been visited by the Prime Minster and Home Secretary and we have taken them through the emergency response so far and what we plan to do in future days.
“I can confirm that the man suspected of carrying out last night’s atrocity has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. However, he has not yet been formally identified and I wouldn’t wish, therefore, to comment further.
“The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.”
As with the Westminster atrocity in March, the most pressing question is whether Abedi was a so-called “lone wolf” or part of a wider terror cell.
On Tuesday, it was reported that the Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the attack.
While the working theory is that the perpetrator triggered the blast alone, the national police counter-terror network, assisted by MI5, are urgently piecing together his background to see whether he had any help in planning the outrage.
They will be looking to build a picture of the attacker’s movements both in recent weeks and months as well as immediately before the strike.
Another priority will be to establish whether any further linked attacks or copycat incidents are planned.