The British authorities have clearly indicated that they believe that Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber responsible for the Manchester terror attack, was part of an ISIS terrorist cell and was not acting alone.
Five people have already been arrested for possible links to Abedi, and Ian Hopkins, the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, has publicly confirmed that the police believe Abedi was operating as a member of a terrorist cell.
I have previously set out the 5 reasons why this is almost certainly the case.
A further indication that the British authorities believe that Abedi was a member of an ISIS terrorist cell which is still in existence is that since the Manchester terror attack they have raised Britain’s alert level to “critical”, which acts as a warning that a further terrorist attack may happen imminently.
Britain has experienced far fewer terrorist incidents in recent years than neighbouring France despite having a large Muslim population. The British pride themselves that this is because Britain has been more successful in integrating its Muslim community than France has been.
A more likely explanation is that the great majority of British Muslims originate from the Indian subcontinent, where militant Jihadism has much less of a hold. By contrast the majority of French Muslims originate from the former French colonies in north Africa, where militant Jihadism has established a strong presence.
The carefully planned Manchester attack anyway suggests that Britain’s belief that it had escaped the worst of Jihadi terrorism was complacent, and that Britain now risks facing an ISIS organised terrorist offensive. If so it is to be hoped that the British authorities are fully up to meeting this challenge.