Manchester counter-terrorism investigation spreads to Sussex

Police investigating the Manchester Arena attack arrested a 23 year old man in Shoreham in the early hours of this morning

In the early hours of the 29th May, officers executed a raid on an address in Shoreham-by-Sea and arrested a 23 year old man in connection with the terror network responsible for the Manchester Arena bombing last week.

The man, who is said to be Libyan, became the 16th arrest made in connection to the atrocity after his flat above a hairdressers on Brunswick Road, Shoreham was searched.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry, of Sussex Police said in a statement: “Over the coming days and weeks we will be continuing to work with our local communities to address any concerns they may have. We always need the public’s help to defeat terrorism by being extra vigilant and letting us know of any suspicious behaviour or activity.”

“We will continue to work closely with our communities by carrying out patrols over the coming weeks and addressing any concerns they may have.”

The police released an additional statement later on today to assure locals not to worry and that the suspect’s house is currently being searched and under guard.

West Sussex divisional commander Chief Superintendent Steve Whitton said: “Today’s action is part of the ongoing investigation by counter terrorism police investigating the attack in Manchester last Monday night and any information is limited at this time.

“I want to reassure residents that following the arrest there will be an increased police presence in the area and those living in and visiting the Shoreham area will see more officers out and about, both on foot and in vehicles.

“If any members of the community have any concerns then I would encourage you to speak to local officers.

“We are working with partners and other community groups to provide reassurance and public safety will always be paramount.

“We appreciate that the today’s activity will have caused some disruption so thank you for bearing with us.”

This is the second time the Sussex area has been involved in anti-terror investigations in recent months as the Preston Park Hotel was raided in March in relation to the Westminster attack.

The perpetrator, Kahlid Masood, a former Sussex student, had links to the area and stayed at the budget hotel in the days leading up to the attack which killed four people and injured dozens more.

Armed police were patrolling sites across Sussex, such as Churchill Square and Brighton Station, as the UK’s terror threat level was raised from severe to critical.

Although the threat level has returned to severe, Sussex police are urging the public to be alert, but not alarmed, remain vigilant  and to report any suspicious behaviour to the Anti-Terror hotline on 0800 789321.