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‘Theresa May has announced the terror threat level in the UK is being raised to “critical” and soldiers will now be deployed on the streets to protect key sites, in a significant escalation of the policing response following the Manchester attack.

It is the first time in 10 years the feared threat of a terror attack has reached its highest level and means some 5,000 troops could be deployed to support police, including at concerts and sporting events.

The Prime Minister said police in Manchester were working to establish whether arena bomber Salman Abedi, 22, was working alone when he killed 22 people and injured 59 others in a suicide explosion on Monday night.

However, she added: “The work undertaken throughout the day has revealed that it is a possibility that we cannot ignore, that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack.”

The threat level has been raised “for the time being”, meaning “a further attack may be imminent”, she said.

Read more: Theresa May upgrades terrorist threat level to ‘critical’ and puts soldiers on streets

‘Government ministers have vowed to force tech companies to hand over encrypted data, including messages from services like WhatsApp, once Parliament resumes.

MPs have been looking at ways to force the hand of tech giants since Khalid Masood’s attack on Westminster in March.

The terrorist sent a message using WhatsApp in his final moments before killing five people including valiant PC Keith Palmer, who defended Westminster with his life.

But security officials were unable to access the barbaric killer’s final words due to the encryption used by the tech company.’

Read more: Government ‘will force tech firms to hand over messages’ in wake of Manchester bombing

‘A leading human rights campaigner and Labour peer has warned people that “this is not the moment for conspiracy theories” amid public concern over a possible clampdown on democracy following a hike in the security level.

It didn’t take long for many to speculate over the timing of the Manchester terrorist attack, which came just under three weeks before the June 8 general election. And while all national campaigning was suspended as a sign of respect for the victims, all sides of the political divide have made accusations that their opponents are still on the doorstep.

So when interviewed on the BBC’s Newsnight program on Tuesday evening, former Liberty director turned Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti used the opportunity to urge “calm and unity” in the wake of the tragedy.

“This is not the moment for conspiracy theories,” she told the show’s host, Evan Davis.

“So if anyone is feeling panicked about the timing of this I would just urge them to be calm and united. I have colleagues who are great civil libertarians and human rights folk and privy councillors and I think it is possible to take this forward in a bipartisan way.”’

Read more: Labour peer shuts down ‘conspiracy theories’ over timing of Manchester attack

French President Emmanuel Macron has requested that parliament extend the state of emergency until November 1. The president also called for the introduction of legislation to boost security in the face of the terrorist threat.

“The President of the Republic has decided that the [French] Parliament should extend the state of emergency until 1 November,” an Elysee statement said on Wednesday, after Macron’s meeting with the Defense and National Security Council.

Macron also demanded that the government prepare a “legislative text” which proposes strengthening security amid “the terrorist threat outside a state of emergency,” the statement added.’

Read more: France to extend state of emergency, vows new security laws after Manchester bombing

‘At the same moment that Donald Trump was condemning the suicide bomber in Manchester as “an evil loser in life”, he was adding to the chaos in which al-Qaeda and Isis have taken root and flourished.

It may be a long distance between the massacre in Manchester and the wars in the Middle East, but the connection is there.

He blamed “terrorism” almost exclusively on Iran and, by implication, on the Shia minority in the region, while al-Qaeda notoriously developed in the Sunni heartlands and its beliefs and practises primarily stem from Wahhabism, the sectarian and regressive variant of Islam prevalent in Saudi Arabia.

It flies in the face of all known facts to link the wave of terrorist atrocities since 9/11 on the Shia, who have most usually been its target.’

Read more: The only real way to stop atrocities like the Manchester attack is to end the wars which allow extremism to grow

‘A Boston journalist has been slammed for a vile joke about a terrorist attack which killed 22 people and injured 50 at anAriana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday night.

A 7pm EST, as the first reports of the atrocity emerged, Boston-based journalist David Leavitt took to Twitter to write: ‘Multiple confirmed fatalities at Manchester Arena. The last time I listened to Ariana Grande I almost died too.’

‘Honestly, for over a year I thought Ariana Grande was something you ordered at Starbucks,’ he continued, oblivious to the insensitivity of his first tweet.

Leavitt, who used to write guide to Boston on a freelance basis for CBS, was immediately inundated with complaints from outraged Twitter users who labeled him a ‘vile scumbag’ and called for him to never work again.’

Read more: Boston journalist sparks furious backlash by posting vile Twitter joke within hours of terrorist attack which killed 22 at Ariana Grande’s UK concert