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Manchester Arena bombing could have been prevented, counter-terrorism review finds

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THE Manchester bombing that killed 22 people in May could have been averted, a counter-terrorism review has found.

AP and staff writers

News Corp Australia Network

The deadly suicide bombing at Manchester Arena might have been prevented if information had been handled differently, an independent review of the counter-terrorism performance by British police and intelligence services has suggested.

The review by lawyer David Anderson, ordered by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, said the May 22 attack that killed 22 people might have been thwarted “had the cards fallen differently”.

He also found that three extremists involved in four attacks in Britain earlier this year had at some point been investigated by counter-terrorism police or security services.

The Sun reports, spy chiefs agreed to meet to discuss the threat posed by Manchester Arena terrorist Salman Abedi shortly before the bomb attack.

The jihadist was on the radar of the intelligence services for at least three years before the atrocity, former counter-terror chief Anderson said.

MI5 officials had arranged a meeting on May 31 to discuss whether to increase surveillance on Abedi and a handful of other suspects who were known to the authorities but not being actively monitored.

But nine days before the scheduled meeting, the 22-year-old jihadist launched his attack on an Ariana Grande concert.

Anderson said spies would have launched an urgent investigation had the “true significance” of the intelligence received in the months before the atrocity been known.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/world/europe/manchester-arena-bombing-could-have-been-prevented-counterterrorism-review-finds/news-story/ffd00f6afb280335a2fb37e602377b01

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