At least 19 killed, 50 injured in Manchester explosion

Apparently some kind of explosion, possibly with nail bombs, happened this evening in Manchester following an Ariana Grande concert. The New York Times reports at least 19 killed and 50 injured so far, with the police treating it as a “terrorist incident” until they know otherwise.

What a horror, and many of these would have been young people. Matthew lives in Manchester and I’ve written him to see if he and his family are okay.


  1. GBJames
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Watching the news now.

    Not that this will be found to have anything to do with religion.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Watching CNN but they know little so far. Certainly looks like terrorism and a suicide bomb. As we know, who the hell else straps on a bomb and blows themselves and many people up except this particular religion.

    • Shaokang Yuan
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Mormons! 😛

  3. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Super High Intensity Training.
    Me watching astronomy lectures instead of the news.
    Same figures on Auntie, at this time.

  4. Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Targeting primarily 11-15 year old girls and their guardians. Disgusting beyond words.

    • Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      And please let us know if Matthew and his family are ok.

      • Blue mAAs
        Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Dr Coyne, please let us know re Dr Cobb et al.


      • somer
        Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:41 pm | Permalink


      • Posted May 23, 2017 at 3:51 am | Permalink

        He tweeted earlier today. “Terrible news” indeed. 😦

      • Posted May 23, 2017 at 5:12 am | Permalink

        Matthew and his family are fine; see this morning’s Hili Dialogue.

    • somer
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      Arianna is 23 and is on tour promoting her album “Dangerous Woman” – would have mainly young female fans as you say and if it is extremist Islamists they’d just love it.

      • somer
        Posted May 23, 2017 at 1:51 am | Permalink

        Last couple of hours reported that ISIS supporters are celebrating the Ariana Grande attack

    • Posted May 23, 2017 at 12:47 am | Permalink

      There was a 17-year-old UK girl who was Muslim that got death threats from other Muslims living in the UK for a video of her dancing just a couple of months ago.

  5. Harrison
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Apologists are out in force.

    They’re not just mad that some people are declaring this to be Islamic terrorism before all the facts are in. They’re upset that anyone would even think it possible or probable.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Could they possibly give a list of all the other suspects out there who do these things? I have looked over my list and Islamic Terrorist is the only logical guess at this time. The police seem to have an id on the person (male) who did this so it will not take long to begin putting it together. Also, are they aware that the organizations have been demanding their followers get out there and do things like this?

      • Harrison
        Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

        I just get a little tired watching the same dance play out when I know the end result is going to be increased political capital for the right and further reduced political capital for the left. At a time when we really need every scrap we can hang onto.

        • Tom
          Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

          From Britain I would like to thank you for your sympathy.
          Tell me, what sort of persons’ first thought is how this will effect their tribal politics.

          • Harrison
            Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

            I’ll simply say your implication is wrong and leave it at that.

        • somer
          Posted May 23, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

          We need the left. A Re-formed Realistic Left

      • somer
        Posted May 23, 2017 at 4:28 am | Permalink

        Stephen Knight’s Godless Spellchecker shows snap of (since deleted) tweet by Stephen Brookstein indicating his belief that its likely Theresa May arranged the bombing for political capital. Then there are the people saying – deaths by car accidents are so much greater than terrorism so why the problem. Because its murder and its organised and political so it has more potential to escalate in scale and consequences than regular murder – you don’t say murder is a tiny proportion therefore no problem – you make it more difficult for such crimes to take place

        • Posted May 23, 2017 at 5:51 am | Permalink

          The problem is that “making it more difficult for such crimes to take place” is likely to involve infringements on our civil liberties. The government wants to cripple encryption on my cell phone and my internet connection. The Tory manifesto promises massive regulation of the Internet.

          Incidents like this tend to result in massive overreaction in comparison to the risk and further steps towards a police state.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted May 23, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

            Totally agree with you. Any over-reaction just compounds the damage done by the original attack (which is what the attackers are counting on, of course).

            (Don’t misinterpret me – the attackers are utter scum, goes without saying).


          • somer
            Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

            Yes I think thats very destructive but politically expedient – but I don’t, on the other hand subscribe to the attitude that we just accept an increasing amount of it as normal – I think we need to be turning up the burner on public debate about Islam in western society as I mentioned below. There is far too much not mentioning the “I” word

  6. Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    David Leavitt has worked for CBS and Yahoo.

    Last year he was joking about Trump dying and he’s been posting Tweets in support of violence under the hashtag #The Resistance.

    This is what happens when you abandon humanity:

    • Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      How can anything be more callous than that? Who IS this person? Whatever, he will regret saying that some day.

      • Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        Hopefully that day is this day.

        He’s trying to argue that he didn’t know the scale of the incident but his Tweet says ‘multiple fatal casualties’. Obviously he thinks there’s a number of dead children it’s acceptable to laugh about but he didn’t realise that number had been exceeded.

        • Craw
          Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

          His sincerity is very doubtful! He made jokes subsequent to that tweet. In one, responding to people pointing out his callousness in rude terms, was “Too soon?” Another was oblique mockery of his critics.

          His twitter profile mentions CBS. I think that use of their name it makes it fair to complain to CBS of his attitude.

      • Craw
        Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Look at the count of hearts. I don’t twit, but I think that shows love and approbation for the tweet. I expect most are from his regular followers, which is not surprising considering what Speaker tells us of his tweeting praxis.

  7. somer
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Some would-be Muslim terrorists were arrested last year when a big bombing plot in Manchester was uncovered prior to fulfilment. Its terrorism of some sort – though its possible of course that its not Islamic.

    Move on. Nothing to see people. Don’t listen to it. Pretend it isn’t happening. If this does turn out to be Islamic terror attack a large slab of middle class Brits, in common with the far left, just talk about how calm and stoic Brits were during the Troubles and how this should be accepted as the norm to be endured without any end in sight. Unlike the case of the IRA with whom a resolution was eventually negotiated Over Shared Unionist/Catholic Government in a Tiny area on Secular Grounds. But Islamic terrorism can’t be negotiated with cos of scriptures like Quran 8:38-39 “Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and Allah’s religion shall reign supreme.” La La. The religion is saturated with hellfire and all day brainwashing/commitment checking rituals and prayers.

    The Islamically mandated community structure is tight and clannish. Far too often the families reject, punish or even kill dissenters. The community punishes the families of dissenters. Not much attempt to challenge this and encourage/expect reform and compliance with liberal secular norms. In an ideal world Reform for the majority plus big support for atheists would do the trick – especially reform of the idea that thee Quran is untouchable, every element is sacred, and that religion and its “community” always trumps the evil of human things including human rights. It would help if the government targets All schools to make sure kids and women know about help services and know their legal rights under the actual law of the land because many Muslim women are unaware there is family law that overrides Sharia. Within the next generation a very small but continuous minority of violent jihadists will grow up out of the alienation produced by this hot house pressure cooker clan environment. But how do you get a muslim community to accept this and accept the law of the land regarding the family and belief without draconian measures? This religious beast is uniquely difficult. Meanwhile right now Corbyn is offering sympathy to the Manchester victims but he has appeared multiple times on Iran’s state TV, he has called Hamas and Hezbollah friends, and CAGE’s Moazzam Begg has addressed a Labor rally recently urging people to vote for him. Corbyn has flatly refused to condemn IRA violence when repeatedly questioned about it on television etc.

    • Tom
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

      It is high time that we accepted that Islam is the perpetrator of so many atrocities around the world these days and that the individual Muslim fanatic is just the tool.

    • Richard
      Posted May 23, 2017 at 2:43 am | Permalink

      A poll in 2015 found that 95% of Muslims in Britain felt some loyalty to the country, and that 93% thought they should obey British laws.

      So with at least three million Muslims in Britain, that implies that there are 150,000 who feel no loyalty to the country that has given them a home, and 210,000 who do not think they have to obey its laws.

      Also, 20% said they did not think Western liberal society could ever be compatible with Islam.

    • Posted May 23, 2017 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      I think, if we followed the example of the troubles things would be a bit better.

      When Manchester was bombed last time (thankfully no deaths but over 200 injuries) we didn’t demonise the entire catholic community for the bombing. When IRA bombs actually killed people, the perpetrators were not Jihadists or fundamentalists or “evil” – whatever that means, they were simply murderers and treated as such.

      • somer
        Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        But they “are” motivated by a religious ideology and they “are” a cultural issue not just a practical negotiation issue.

        • Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

          We also didn’t demonise everybody who believed in the ideology of a united Ireland.

          • Tom
            Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            I hesitate to point out that the bombing and shootings during the Troubles were carried out by both sides and on both sides of the border and this is a more realistic explanation as to why we did not demonise the catholic community in the UK any more than the catholic community demonised the protestant community in the UK.
            This isn’t about home grown political or religious differences bordering on a mini civil war.
            This is about a fundamentalist unreformed dark age ideology being planted around the world mainly by Saudi and Iranian money and finding roots amongst angst ridden minority youngsters.
            We certainly cannot blame all the UK’s Muslims but we can ask them to take a closer look at Islams history and traditions and decide what is to be done.

            • Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

              And I think this is also the true explanation why the Troubles came to an end.

          • somer
            Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

            “We also didn’t demonise everybody who believed in the ideology of a united Ireland.” Members of the IRA were mostly secular and modern Ireland is mostly liberal (quite a bit of the power of the catholic church derives from funding from more conservative catholics living in the US of A – they no longer speak for most Irish on key liberal issues)
            That is simply not comparable to the pressure cooker environment and indoctrination of the Muslim Umma – it creates different shades but it tends very strongly to anti liberalism. Modern Ireland is changing as i keep saying Islam has numerous obstacles to change – the first the absolute supposed immutability and truth of every word in the Quran and the assumption human affairs are as nothing compared to the demands of religion and the Islamic umma. Western Christianity doesnt have a comparable concept of no church state divide and a global clan like community committed to belief or else inescapable public shame and ostracism, or even death

        • somer
          Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

          whining clerics and supporters advocating sharia whilst complaining about “Islamophobia” whenever their unpleasant views and actions are exposed or simply asserting any criticism of Islam or call for reform stems from Islamophobia Need to be confronted with the fact that as things are in the UK the kind of islam they have and the conditions its allowed to be in can only foster ONGOING GENERATIONS where there will be a minority of active violent jihadists. Silence to the cries of “Islamophobia” regarding bluntly exposing that and adjusting community relations in policing, education, visa or whatever policy as needed. The police are sensitive to politicians and wont police islamic issues because “Islamophobia” from Labour, some of Tories, some Muslim politicians and vocal parts of Muslim community.
          Plus theres this in the pressure cooker clan society where shame culture prevails (particularly Reason 11 – Indocrtrinated Guilt)
          Reasons why many muslims haven’t left Islam – Yet

          And Muslim clan societies are nothing like our romantic ancient Celtic ones so often held up by the left. The latter didn’t have manic fixation with patrolling religious rectitude On Pain of Death or on women being the locus of shame

          • Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

            The problem is who we mean when we say “they”. Islam is a particularly pernicious and destructive ideology and, in the hands of extremists leads to attacks like this.

            However, most Muslims are not extremists and just want to get on with their lives like the rest of us. If you ask, they would be as horrified by what is happening as the rest of us.

            • somer
              Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

              Of course they are but the nature of the religion itself as has become established in UK – breeds a consistent small supply of violent extremists. The advance of sharia courts (which don’t have legal power but huge religious clout), saudi funded mosques, clerics making vile sermons then screaming islamophobia when criticised for it, arranged marriages in Pakistan, illegal bigamy, often cringing public media coverage of Islam (though not Muslim insulting conservative media) has to be confronted – this is not good enough stop the excuses, we expect change. We wont tolerate violence against muslims as happened several decades ago but we expect integration over the generations. When Sheik Hilaly was exposed he was forced to resign his post and now we have on balance a pretty good head mufti.

      • GBJames
        Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

        “Demonizing” is not the problem. Religiously motivated violence is the problem. Pretending that religiously motivated violence has nothing to do with religion is the problem.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 23, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        I do agree about not demonising all Muslims because of a few nutters, but there is a difference with the IRA campaign.

        IRA were somewhat organised, had certain defined political aims, and didn’t set out to kill as many people as possible (because they didn’t want to put themselves beyond the pale). They could be negotiated with.

        The current bombers/shooters/truck psychopaths are much more loosely connected, what their aims are (aside from ‘striking a blow against the Infidel) are probably incoherent, and how do you negotiate with a suicidal moron?

        So I’m not really sure what examples from the ‘troubles’ could be applicable.


        • Dave
          Posted May 23, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          Yes, I think the NI “Troubles” offer a very weak parallel with what we’re facing now. The IRA’s aims were extremely parochial and limited, basically just changing the colour of the flag flying over a tiny patch of territory at the northern end of Ireland. They weren’t trying to convert the northern protestants to catholicism, overthrow the UK or destroy western civilisation. They could be – and eventually were – negotiated with and brought into the fold of democratic politics. The aim of Irish republicanism, a unified Ireland, isn’t illegitimate, it’s just not currently supported by a majority of the population of Northern Ireland. If a majority in Northern Ireland ever decide that they want to secede from the UK and join the Irish Republic, that’s fine with me, and I imagine with most mainland Brits. I just don’t think it should be forced upon them by violence.

          In contrast, ISIS and its affiliates see themselves in a state of permanent holy war with the entire non-muslim world, as well as with any muslims who don’t measure up to their standards of relgious purity. I can’t see what would ultimately satisfy them short of our total destruction, subjugation or mass conversion to their brand of Islam. How can you negotiate with that mindset?

  8. Avis James
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Best wishes to Matthew and his friends and family.

  9. Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    We are all ok thankyou to everyone, but so many others are not. Terrible news. – MC

  10. Merilee
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:30 pm | Permalink


  11. Tom
    Posted May 23, 2017 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Manchester was chosen as target because the BBC recently moved a substantial part of its operation to Salford and a bombing would get immediate and widespread reportage.
    There is also the “coincidence” that Mr Trump has just arrived in Israel.
    No doubt this will be initially described as another “loner” attack by certain media. So we can add it to the hundreds of other “loner” attacks and sleep peacefully.
    Sorry to harp on but I’m in a rage.

    • Posted May 23, 2017 at 3:07 am | Permalink

      I suspect the bomber just lives in the North West.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 23, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        Yes, probably that.

        He could well be a ‘loner’, inspired by ISIS propaganda but not part of an organised group (but of course ISIS will claim credit anyway). Time will tell.


        • somer
          Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

          ISIS attackers don’t need to operate as part of an organised group – Al Qaeda operated in cells – ISIS seldom does. Its part of the ISIS model to provide them with all the motivation, scripture and information on how to do the deed right on the Internet

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted May 23, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink


            I’m by inclination in favour of an uncensored Internet with no snooping by government sppoks. But in the current climate I can’t help feeling that some snooping by GCHQ / NSA et al may be justifiable. (I hate to say that!). It’s a matter of balancing the two evils.


    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted May 23, 2017 at 4:54 am | Permalink

      There’s a general election happening. Although I’m not sure ISIS’s plan is to kill themselves in order to elect the Tories.

      This is about the most miserable, wretched thing that these pondlife could do, attacking an Ariana Grande concert, knowing that young girls will be their primary victims. Mixed in with the obvious PR sunburst of killing at a concert involving one of the world’s biggest pop stars.

      • Tom
        Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        “I’m not sure ISIS’s plan is to kill themselves”

  12. Reggie Cormack
    Posted May 23, 2017 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Well, well. Just how pathetically low and cowardly can these people be to kill innocent women and children. And no doubt in the name of their religion.

  13. TJR
    Posted May 23, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    The reports seem to say that the bomb was in the foyer bit between the arena and Victoria station. If so then its a horrible place for a bomb, fairly small and constricted compared to the size of the venue.

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