British security missed a "significant" chance to avert the 2017 bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, according to an official inquiry published on Thursday.
The suicide bombing killed 22 people, the youngest of whom was only eight years old, and injured over 200.
What did the inquiry conclude?
Inquiry chairman John Saunders said Britain's domestic intelligence service MI5 had potentially been able to stop the attack. In particular, he criticized how it shares intelligence with other counter-terrorism agenices.
"There was a significant missed opportunity to take action that might have prevented the attack," Saunders said in his third and final report into the bombing, the deadliest in the UK since the July 2005 attacks in London.
He added, "There was a realistic possibility that actionable intelligence could have been obtained which might have led to actions preventing the attack."
Bomber's brothers convicted
The July 22, 2017, bombing at the Manchester Arena was carried out by Islamist extremist Salman Abedi.
His brother Hashem was sentenced to 55 years in prison in 2020 for aiding and abetting the attack.
A third brother, Ismail, was convicted last July over charges that he fled England to avoid giving evidence to the inquiry.
Most of the victims of the attack in front of the arena where US pop singer Grande was performing were concertgoers or parents waiting to pick up their children from the show.
Richard Scorer, a lawyer who represented 11 of the families at the inquiry, said, "The failures exposed in this report are unacceptable."
es/ar (AFP, Reuters)