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The concert bombing is the latest chapter in Manchester's growing history of terrorism

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The concert bombing is the latest chapter in Manchester's growing history of terrorism

WATCH | Manchester has been a hotbed for terrorism since before 9/11.

A suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday that left at least 22 dead and more than 50 injured is just the latest in a growing history of terrorism in the area. 

Neighborhoods in southern Manchester were of interest to police as they conducted raids on Tuesday. A 23-year-old man was arrested in Chorlton in connection with the attack, and nearby neighborhoods Whalley Range and Fallowfield were also searched, according to police. 

"As you will appreciate, this is a fast-moving investigation and we have significant resources deployed to both the investigation and the visible patrols that people will see across Great Manchester as they wake up to the news of the events last night," Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Manchester police said in a statement Tuesday morning. 

But this isn't the first time southern Manchester has been the scene of police raids related to terror attacks, and the city has been home to dozens of ISIS recruits, according to the Guardian

Just two months earlier, police arrested two people in connection with the March 22 terror attack in London in which Khalid Masood killed five and injured more than 50 others,  the Metro reported. Masood drove his car into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge and stabbed an unarmed police officer to death before he was fatally shot by police. 

"[Manchester] has a concentration of individuals, both converts and recent immigrants. Not even recent immigrants, but those who have been in the U.K. for some time that have been radicalized by what they see happening in the Middle East and other parts of the world, including nearby in France in Belgium with attacks there," said Thomas Sanderson, director and senior fellow of the Transnational Threats Project for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. 


In February, an ISIS recruit from southern Manchester was killed in a suicide bombing in Iraq. Jamal al-Harith was one of dozens of Brits recruited to fight in Syria by Raphael Hostey, who was a graphic design student in Manchester before leaving for Syria in 2013, according to the Guardian

And the list continues. In 2014, brothers Khalif and Abdulrahman Shariff left Manchester to fight with ISIS in Syria. Both Shariff brothers are believed to have been killed.

AP_04121709932.jpg
Briton Jamal al-Harith, a former inmate at Guantanamo Bay, gestures after his testimony to Europe's top human rights body in Paris Friday, Dec. 17, 2004. Al-Harith said he was beaten, shackled, kept in a cramped cage and fed rotten food as part of systematic abuse during his two years at the U.S. detention facility. Detained in Afghanistan in 2001, al-Harith maintains he never had any ties with terrorism. He was returned to Britain in March. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

Jamal al-Harith

The same year, "terror twins" Salma and Zahra Halane left the city to join ISIS. They later tried to recruit their younger brothers, the Manchester Evening News reported.


In 2015, Abid Naseer was convicted for plotting with al Qaeda to bomb Manchester's Arndale shopping center in 2009, the New York Times reported. Naseer, who also planned attacks on the New York subway system, is serving a 40-year sentence in the U.S. despite his pleas to serve his time in the U.K.

In 2000, police found a training manual written by al Qaeda on a computer in the Manchester home of terrorist Anas al-Liby, the Daily Mail reported. Known as the Al Qaeda Handbook or the "Manchester Manual," it instructed recruits on how wage war and resist interrogations.

Despite Manchester's troubling terrorism ties, Sanderson sees a silver lining -- and hope for the future.


"The UK has done a good job of minimizing those attacks. It's extremely difficult to prevent all attacks. You cannot  do it," he said. "But with good police work, good engagement of Muslim communities, good intelligence work and good controls on immigration, you can make a difference." 


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