GVSU expert surprised UK attacker made it to foyer

Manchester concert attack
Emergency services personnel speak to people outside Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Monday, May 22, 2017. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)


PENZANCE, England (WOOD) — A Grand Valley State University expert says while Monday night’s suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England had some hallmarks of a terrorist attack, one thing was different and “a little bit surprising.”

Ariana Grande, Manchester, explosion
Armed police stand guard at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017.

“The thing that was different was that the previous attacks in England have occurred where there’s been just one person doing something that is random that you couldn’t prevent,” said Brian Kingshott, a GVSU professor of criminal justice.

He says what made this attack different was the attacker’s ability to coordinate a bombing at the Manchester Arena foyer at the end of Grande’s performance. Manchester Arena can hold up to 21,000 people, according to Kingshott.

“(To) coordinate so that at the end of the concert in the foyer, that’s where the merchandise was going to be sold. Now lots of people were milling about there. That is where the suicide bomber detonated the device,” said Kingshott.

He spoke to 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday morning from Penzance, England, as the investigation into Monday night’s attack continued to unfold.

Ariana Grande, Manchester, explosion
Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017.

As of Tuesday morning, 22 people had died and another 59 people injured were at eight hospitals scattered throughout Manchester. Of those injured, 12 were children under the age of 16, according to a UK ambulance official.

Kingshott the number of people killed could rise because of the device used.

“That device also had nuts and bolts attached to it. Now that is quite normal in lots of these IEDs. This is to produce shrapnel, and that shrapnel produces greater injuries,” he said.

Kingshott said the focus now will be on who the suicide bomber is.

“When that is completed, there will be a lot of background to this person to find out. Are they a ‘lone wolf’ … or are they working for another agency, for someone else,” he explained.

Tuesday morning, the Islamic State group said one of its members carried out the attack. Prime Minister Theresa May said police and security staff believed they knew the identity of the attacker, but they wouldn’t be revealing it now.