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Dave Thompson/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) -- ISIS has claimed responsibility for an explosion Monday at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people and injured 59 others.

In a statement translated from Arabic, ISIS said that a "soldier of the caliphate" placed explosives at a gathering of "crusaders" -- meaning Christians -- at the Manchester Arena. The statement said about 30 people were killed and about 70 more were wounded.

The man believed to be the lone attacker died at the scene after using an improvised explosive device, officials said, but police are still trying to determine if he acted alone or was part of a group, said U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

Authorities in the United Kingdom have preliminarily identified the bomber as 23-year-old Salman Abedi, sources familiar with the probe said.

The explosion is being treated as a terrorist attack, and May said the threat level remains at severe, meaning the government considers another attack highly likely. The severe level is the second highest of five, with critical the highest.

Greater Manchester Police said a 23-year-old man was arrested in South Manchester in connection with the attack.

Police also said authorities executed two warrants as a part of the investigation: one in the Whalley Range district of Manchester and one in the Manchester suburb of Fallowfield, where a controlled explosion took place.

Greater Manchester Police said officers were called to the Manchester Arena just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday. The explosion happened near the arena's foyer after the concert, according to witnesses, who reported hearing a bang as they exited.

The venue holds about 21,000 people and is one of Europe's largest indoor arenas, according to its website. The arena is connected to the Manchester Victoria Station, the city's second-largest train station.

An 8-year-old girl named Saffie Rose Roussos is among those killed.

Twelve children under the age of 16 were seriously injured, officials said.

"We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage," May said Tuesday.

Greater Manchester Police are requesting dashcam footage from "anyone who was in Manchester city centre" between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Monday night as part of their investigation.

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Leon Neal/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) -- A teenage girl who was at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Monday night, said she felt a shake, saw people crying, and then "went out the doors and we saw smoke everywhere."

"I looked to my right and there was just a decomposed body," the teen, Natalie Sully, said on ABC News' Good Morning America. "All you could see was just flesh."

"Then there was another bang, but we weren’t sure what it was, 'cause it wasn’t as loud as the other one," she said. "But then everyone was freaking out again, running."

"To be experiencing that at such a young age, seeing dead bodies, it was horrible," she said.

Lydia, a mother who was at the concert with her daughter, Madison, said she saw her life flash before her eyes.

Lydia told ABC News' Molly Hunter that she and her daughter, Madison, were heading towards the main entrance after the concert when she heard a bang -- but she said she didn’t think too much of it. Lydia said she figured the noise was a speaker and that she never would have thought it was an explosion.

It wasn't until she saw a sea of people running and shouting about an explosion that she knew it was serious, Lydia said.

Madison added, "I remember going out and then hearing a loud bang and then everyone running."

Lydia said she and her daughter started running but she worried they would be stampeded on their way down the stairs.

Lydia said she was grasping her daughter's hand tightly, describing the scene as complete panic and chaos. She said lots of mothers and children were screaming.

"We didn’t know whether it was a gunman," Lydia said, explaining that she was worried if a gunman would be waiting for them as they fled down the stairs.

Witness Joseph Harries told ABC News' Good Morning America, that "people were just trying to get out of the arena as fast as they possibly could after the blast. I was directly in front of the stage at the heart of the arena. I had exactly the same distance to get out of any of the doors."

"I had my best friend with me and I grabbed hold of her wrist and told her never let go of me," Harries said. "We just ran, we jumped over chairs, railings to get out of the doors, we had to force open doors that wouldn’t open because people were trying to get to – the entire capacity of the 20,000 person arena were trying to get out of one exit."

"It felt like an eternity," Harries said, but it "couldn’t have been more than two, three minutes from in our seats to outside of the arena."

Harries said he did not see any injuries or fatalities but his friend told him "he’d seen a girl covered in blood and she had bandages. ... He said it was traumatic and a horrendous experience."

The deadly explosion at the concert at the Manchester Arena killed 22 people and injured 59 others. Greater Manchester Police said they were called to the arena just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday.

The explosion happened near the arena’s foyer after the concert finished, according to witnesses. The venue holds about 21,000 people and is one of Europe’s largest indoor arenas, according to its website.

The man believed to be the lone attacker died at the scene after using an improved explosive device, officials said, but police are still determining if the attacker acted alone or as part of a wider group, said British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Monday's incident is being treated as a terror attack and May said the threat level remains at "severe," meaning the government considers another terror attack highly likely. Severe is level 4 out of 5, with critical being the highest.

May said police believe they know the identity of the suspect but at this stage they cannot confirm his name.

"We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage," May said Tuesday.

May said these "innocent, defenseless children and young people" "should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives."

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OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) -- Children are among the 22 killed and 59 injured in a "sickening" attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Monday night, United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday.

An 8-year-old girl named Saffie Rose Roussos is among those killed.

Twelve children under the age of 16 were seriously injured, officials said.

Monday's incident is being treated as a terror attack and May said the threat level remains at "severe," meaning the government considers another terror attack highly likely. Severe is level 4 out of 5, with critical being the highest.

May said the attacker -- who died at the scene after using an improved explosive device -- deliberately targeted children and young people "who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives."

"We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherished but as an opportunity for carnage," May said.

A suicide bomber was likely behind the attack, officials said, and May said police believe one man carried it out, but authorities still need to know if he was acting alone. May said police believe they know the identity of the suspect but at this stage they cannot confirm his name.

May, who will travel to Manchester Tuesday, said, "there will be difficult days ahead." She said many people are experiencing unimaginable worry as they still try to find out what happened to their loved ones.

Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, said at a press conference Tuesday, "Our priority is to work with the national counter-terrorism policing network to establish more details about the individual who carried out this attack."

It was unclear if the attacker was acting as a part of a terrorist organization, according to Hopkins, who said the investigation was “complex and wide-ranging.”

"The priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network," Hopkins said. "We would ask people not to speculate on his details or share names."

President Donald Trump offered his condolences in remarks during a visit to Israel, saying the victims were "murdered by evil losers."

"I won't call them monsters because they'd like that term. They'd think that's a great name," Trump said in Bethlehem after a visit with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "I will call them from now on losers because that's what they are. They're losers and we'll have more of them. But they're losers remember that."

Greater Manchester Police said they were called to the Manchester Arena just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday. The explosion happened inside of the arena’s foyer area after the concert finished, according to witnesses, who reported hearing a loud bang as they exited the arena.

The venue holds about 21,000 people and is one of Europe’s largest indoor arenas, according to its website. The concert arena is connected to the Manchester Victoria Station, the city’s second-largest train station.

Abby Barker, who attended the concert, told ABC News that Grande had just left the stage when there was a loud bang.

"I looked across the arena and everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming in panic," she said. "We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb/gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was."

Hundreds of police officers were on the scene overnight and transportation security was beefed up in Manchester and in other areas, according to police.

The mayors of several major cities across the globe, including those of London and New York City, also said they were reviewing their security measures as a precaution after the attack.

The British Transport Police department said extra officers would be on patrol at "key railway stations as well as on trains around the country” in the wake of the attack.

"Throughout the day, commuters can expect to see additional officers on their journey,” BTP Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith said in a statement early Tuesday. "This will include both armed and unarmed officers.”

"The whole nation has been shocked," Queen Elizabeth II said in a statement. "I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured."

"I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care," the Queen continued. "And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity."

An emergency hotline was set up for people concerned for “loved ones who may not have returned home, police said, and social networking giant Facebook activated its global “safety check“ feature in the wake of the deadly attack.

May said General Election campaigning would be suspended.

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Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(BETHLEHEM, West Bank) -- President Donald Trump said he's "truly hopeful" America can help Israel and the Palestinians broker a peace deal following his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday.

"I am committed to trying to achieve a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians and I intend to do everything I can to help them achieve that goal," President Trump said on his visit to Bethlehem in the West Bank, the next stop on his eight-day overseas trip.

The visit follows Trump's meetings with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he repeatedly expressed optimism for a peace settlement, despite his predecessors' inability to reach a lasting deal.

"[Abbas] assures me he is ready to work towards that goal in good faith and Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised the same," said Trump, standing next to Abbas at the Presidential Palace.

Trump also offered his condolences to the families of the victims and those injured in the terror attack overnight in Manchester, England that left 22 dead and 59 others injured.

"We stand in absolute solidarity with people of the United Kingdom," Trump said. “So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life."

Trump also commented that "it's so interesting" his meeting with Abbas took place "on this very horrible morning of death to innocent young people."

"We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single unified voice," Trump said, seeming to allude to criticism from Israel that Palestinians are too hesitant to condemn attacks initially.

In a meeting at the White House three weeks ago, Trump called on Abbas to demand that Palestinian leaders condemn any and all violence against Israelis, and Abbas spoke out strongly against Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

The administration has been confronted with thorny diplomatic realities during Trump's whirlwind overseas tour, specifically his decision to visit the Western Wall.

A junior U.S. official caused an uproar among many Israeli officials during a presurvey of the site, when he said that the Western Wall was not in Israeli territory but "is part of the West Bank."

After the incident, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley deviated from long-standing U.S. policy by saying the Western Wall is part of Israel, leading to protest from many Palestinians. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, asked about Haley's comments, reiterated traditional U.S. policy, saying, "The wall is part of Jerusalem."

After meeting with Abbas, Trump will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, where he will lay a wreath and deliver brief remarks. It could be an awkward moment for White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who in April was the target of a stinging statement from Yad Vashem over his controversial comparison between Adolf Hitler and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a press briefing.

"Yad Vashem expresses deep concern regarding the inaccurate and insensitive use of terms related to the Holocaust by the White House press secretary," according to a statement from the memorial. "His statements imply a profound lack of knowledge of events of the Second World War, including the Holocaust. Moreover, they are liable to strengthen the hands of those whose goal is to distort history."

Spicer repeatedly apologized after the episode.

After the wreath-laying ceremony, Trump will deliver an address at the Israel Museum to the Israeli people. That follows his address on Sunday in Saudi Arabia to leaders of Muslim countries, in which he called on them to "drive out" extremists and terrorists.

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Lindsey Parnaby/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) -- Strangers who jumped into action to offer help played a key role in the response to the deadly blast inside a crowded arena in Manchester, England that killed 22 and injured dozens more.

It was the U.K.'s deadliest terrorist attack since the 2005 London transit bombings but concerned residents didn't waste any time before rushing to the aid of lost, confused and injured concertgoers, including children who were separated from their parents.

"We have a long history in Greater Manchester of communities standing together during difficult times," Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said of the response.

Social media users began offering up extra rooms, couches, beds and food under the hashtag #RoomForManchester.

Manchester's mayor and a U.K. police forum spread the information around and encouraged anyone in need to take the offers for assistance.

Businesses in Manchester joined in welcoming anyone in need of a safe place to stay.

The social media posts included heartbreaking pleas for information about missing friends and loved ones.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MANCHESTER, England) -- Twenty-two people are dead and 59 others injured after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at one of Europe’s largest arenas.

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said they were called to the Manchester Arena in England just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday. Authorities are telling people to avoid the area.

At the moment, the incident is being treated as a "terrorist incident until police know otherwise," police said.

U.S. law enforcement officials have been informed that the leading theory is that the Manchester Arena incident was the work of a suicide bomber, though they caution that this is preliminary information, according to a senior law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.

The wounded are being treated at six different hospitals, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said in a press conference. "We're doing all that we can ... as we gather information about what happened," he said, asking people to remain vigilant.

The explosion happened inside of the arena’s foyer area after the concert finished, according to witnesses, who reported hearing a loud bang as they exited the arena. The venue holds about 21,000 people and is one of Europe’s largest indoor arenas, according to its website.

The concert arena is connected to the Manchester Victoria Station, the city’s second-largest train station.

The British Transport Police department said extra officers would be patrol at "key railway stations as well as on trains around the country” in the wake of the attack.

"Throughout the day, commuters can expect to see additional officers on their journey,” BTP Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith said in a statement early Tuesday. "This will include both armed and unarmed officers.”

“As the public would expect in response to an incident such as this, extra BTP officers will be on patrol at key railway stations as well as on trains around the country,” he continued.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have agreed that all national campaigning in the General Election were "suspended until further notice" in the aftermath of the incident, according to the Press Association, which cited Labour officials.

May is set to hold an emergency COBRA meeting at 9 a.m. local time. The group typically meets after major incidents to plan the government’s overall response. The group -- composed of government ministers, military and security chiefs -- will also review the threat level, which is currently one below the highest possible level.

Concertgoers reported hearing a loud bang at the end of the concert and attendees rushed toward the exit.

Eyewitness Karen Ford told the BBC, "The lights had come up everyone was just getting out and walking towards the stairs, when all of a sudden this huge sound, which sounded like an explosion went off."

She added: "Everyone just stopped and turned around, and then somebody shouted 'it’s a bomb' and everyone just started running. Everybody was trying to push people up the stairs. There was a lot of children there without parents. There was no one to calm them down so everyone was just screaming, crying and pushing."

Andy Holey, an eyewitness, told the BBC that he was waiting outside the concert and was blown over by the force of what he described as an "explosion." When he awoke, he said he saw many casualties around him. He added that it was unclear if they were injured or dead.

Abby Barker, who attended the concert, told ABC News that Grande had just left the stage when there was a loud bang.

"I looked across the arena and everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming in panic," she said. "We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb/gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was."

Emergency personnel treated some of the injured at the nearby Manchester Victoria railway station.

A rep for Grande confirmed that she was not harmed.

A distraught Grande tweeted that she was "broken."

In a statement, Grande's manager, Scooter Braun, echoed her tweet, writing, "Our hearts are broken."

In a statement, Manchester Arena confirmed that there had been an incident but said it occurred outside the venue. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims," it tweeted.

Manchester Victoria station has been evacuated and trains are unable to run.

According to a spokesman for the British Home Office, they are holding a senior staff meeting on the Manchester incident Monday evening.

U.K. Prime Minister May said in a statement that they "are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack."

"All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected," she added.

The U.S. State Department said that it was monitoring the situation closely.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those killed and injured in the incident," a State Department official said. "The safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas is one of our highest priorities. The U.S. Embassy in London is monitoring the situation closely."

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. military forces conducted a ground raid in Yemen early Tuesday morning that targeted a known al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula compound, according to a U.S. military spokesman.

The operation took place in Marib Governorate in central Yemen, according to Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command.

Thomas said the mission was intended as a site exploitation mission to gather more information about AQAP.

"Raids such as this provide insight into AQAP's disposition, capabilities and intentions, which will allow us to continue to pursue, disrupt, and degrade AQAP," said a Central Command statement.

Seven AQAP militants were killed as the U.S. forces encountered resistance and responded with a combination of small arms fire and precision airstrikes. Thomas said there were no reports of civilian casualties or any U.S. military casualties.

The raid targeted a known AQAP compound but included "focused actions over a fairly large area" that were miles from each other, said Thomas. They included pre-planned coordinated airstrikes before the arrival of the ground forces.

The spokesman said that the nighttime mission was conducted "in full coordination with Arab partners in the area" and was conducted under the broader authorities given to U.S. military commanders by the Trump administration. The mission did not require presidential authorization.

Social media reports from local residents provided the first indication of possible U.S. military activity in the area of central Yemen.

This was the U.S. military's first ground operation in Marib Province.

On Jan. 28, Navy SEAL's conducted a similar site exploitation raid on an AQAP compound in a neighboring province that resulted in the death of Senior Chief Naval Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens and two dozen civilians.

That raid required airstrikes to repel the heavy resistance the SEALS encountered. It also resulted in the destruction of a Marine MV-22 Osprey aircraft that had experienced a hard landing and left several U.S. military personnel injured.

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PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) -- Local Manchester, England, residents and businesses are offering up places to stay to those affected by Monday's incident at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.

#RoomForManchester began trending on Twitter following the incident that has killed at least 19 people and wounded around 50 others. The local train station has been closed in the wake of the incident, stranding many.

"I have a sofa, floor, blankets and tea, 5 minutes from Arena for anyone in need #RoomForManchester," wrote one user.

@MENnewsdesk I have a sofa, floor, blankets and tea, 5 minutes from Arena for anyone in need #RoomForManchester

— Rebecca Topham (@rebeccatophamx) May 23, 2017

"If you need a place to crash I live around the corner from Manchester Arena on Jefferson Place. Feel free to contact me#roomformanchester," said another.

If you need a place to crash l live around the corner from Manchester Arena on Jefferson Place. Feel free to contact me#roomformanchester

— Gez B (@Capita686) May 22, 2017

A local Holiday Inn was offering up rooms for those affected and reportedly helping reunite children with their parents.

Anyone needing a place to stay we have rooms at the Holiday Inn Manchester West. Contact to hotel on 0161 7430080 #roomformanchester

— Danny McMenemy (@Dan_McMenemy) May 22, 2017

At the moment, the incident is being treated as a "terrorist incident until police know otherwise," police said. U.S. law enforcement officials have been informed that the leading theory is that the Manchester Arena incident was the work of a suicide bomber, though they caution that this is preliminary information, according to a senior law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.

It's unclear what occurred at the venue, but concertgoers reported hearing a loud bang at the end of the concert and attendees rushed toward the exit.

Abby Barker, who attended the concert, told ABC News that Grande had just left the stage when there was a loud bang. "I looked across the arena and everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming in panic," she said. "We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb/gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was."

In a statement, Manchester Arena confirmed that there had been an incident but said it occurred outside the venue. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims," it tweeted.

The wounded are being treated at six different hospitals, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said in a press conference. "We're doing all that we can ... as we gather information about what happened," he said, asking people to remain vigilant.

A rep for Grande confirmed that she was not harmed.

Others in Manchester offered help as well.

Anybody stuck in Manchester tonight I have a spare room and I just made some really nice soup. #roomformanchester please rt xxx

— Robyn Alexander (@robynrobynrobyn) May 23, 2017

#Manchester: With #RoomForManchester & free rides offered by taxi drivers - humanity stamps its foot.

— Alastair Stewart (@alstewitn) May 22, 2017

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Dave Thompson/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) -- Ivo Delgado Rivero was trying to flee the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, after hearing a loud bang, when he ran into a smoky main corridor and saw people covered in blood.

"I opened the door on the main corridor, it was full of smoke," Rivero told ABC News. "It was one guy that was in the middle of the corridor laying down, head down and a guy asked me for help and I realized that he got he had an injury in the head ... the face covered in blood."

Rivero said he had been watching the concert near the front of the stage in the back left of the Manchester Arena when he heard what sounded like an explosion come from outside. At first, he said he thought it might have been a technical issue with the concert.

"It was a lot of screaming and a lot of people calling out names and it’s when we realized that maybe it was something bigger than what we thought at the beginning," he said.

Another concertgoer, Abby Barker, told ABC News she was just getting ready to leave the concert when she heard the bang and the arena dissolved into panic.

Barker told ABC News that the "Dangerous Woman" singer had just left the stage, the music had cut off and the lights were on, when the reported bang happened.

"Everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming," Barker said. "We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb, gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was.”

Greater Manchester Police said that 19 people are dead and around 50 others are injured. In a statement, police said they were called to the arena at just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday. At the moment, the incident is being treated as a "terrorist incident until police know otherwise."

 

EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY😭 pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE

— ♡♡ (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017

 

Eyewitness Karen Ford told the BBC that the "huge sound ... sounded like an explosion went off."

"Everyone just stopped and turned around, and then somebody shouted 'it’s a bomb' and everyone just started running," she continued. "Everybody was trying to push people up the stairs. There was a lot of children there without parents. There was no one to calm them down so everyone was just screaming, crying and pushing."

Concertgoers said people tried to help each other as they were running from the building.

"Everyone was trying really to protect the kids," Rivero said. "While we were going out just outside there was a massive staircase, it was a woman in a wheelchair stuck there ... and it was a lot of stairs so we tried to help her."

Emergency personnel treated some of the injured at Manchester Victoria railway station near the arena.

Andy Holey, another eyewitness, told the BBC that he was waiting outside the concert and was blown over by the force of what he described as an "explosion." When he awoke, he said he saw many casualties around him. He added that it was unclear if they were injured or dead.

Manchester Arena sent out a tweet after the incident, saying the reported explosion happened outside the concert venue.

 

pic.twitter.com/cPwkQbrYp2

— Manchester Arena (@ManchesterArena) May 23, 2017

 

Reps for Grande confirmed that she was not harmed.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement that they "are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack."

"All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected," she added.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Turkish businessman who hired Gen. Michael Flynn during the closing months of the 2016 presidential election refused to say whether he had been questioned or received a subpoena in connection with the ongoing investigation into the dealings of Trump associates during the campaign.

“I cannot comment on that,” Ekim Alptekin told ABC News in an interview on Monday.

Alptekin, who was in Washington, D.C. attending a Turkish-American business conference at the Trump International Hotel, founded a Dutch-based company called Inovo that paid the Flynn Intel Group more than $500,000 during the presidential campaign, according to papers Flynn filed with the Department of Justice.

Flynn had previously registered as a lobbyist for the firm, but Flynn’s attorneys advised that he file additional documents with the Justice Department identifying himself as an agent for a foreign government. The attorneys believed the work could be construed as principally benefitting the Turkish government, a finding that would trigger the need for registration.

"Because of the subject matter of Flynn Intel Group's work for Inovo BV, which focused on Mr. Fethullah Gulen, whose extradition is sought by the Government of Turkey, the engagement could be construed to have principally benefitted the Republic of Turkey," wrote a lawyer for the Flynn Intel Group in a letter to the Department of Justice. "To eliminate any potential doubt, the Flynn Intel Group therefore is electing to file a registration under FARA, in lieu of its prior LDA registration."

Alptekin disputed that assessment.

“I’ve never represented the government of Turkey,” he said. “All of the reports that implicated or imply that I was in any way representing the government are simply not true.”

Gulen is a Turkish cleric who lives in Pennsylvania who has been blamed by the Turkish government for orchestrating a failed military coup in July. In November, The Hill published an op-ed written by Flynn comparing Gulen to Osama bin Laden and urging the U.S. to “adjust our foreign policy to recognize Turkey as a priority.”

“The forces of radical Islam derive their ideology from radical clerics like Gülen, who is running a scam,” Flynn wrote. “We should not provide him safe haven. In this crisis, it is imperative that we remember who our real friends are.”

Flynn has long been a controversial figure. He served in the Obama administration but left government service in 2014 after being reportedly forced out of his position as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn later took a prominent role in the Trump campaign, paving the way to his appointment as Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser.

He was forced to resign, however, shortly after the inauguration, after the administration learned he misled Vice President Mike Pence about private discussions he had with the Russian ambassador. At the same time, Flynn’s private work for and speech fees from foreign sources also began attracting scrutiny.

Alptekin said in an interview that it was unnerving to see his name and that of his company surface in connection with the unfolding scandal.

“I think unfortunately there's a highly politicized situation in the United States in which a lot of facts are being distorted — there's a lot of misunderstanding and misperceptions,” Alptekin said. “I don't think this is a very healthy environment unfortunately. I hope the United States will overcome this period as soon as possible so we can all move forward.”

Earlier this month, sources told ABC News that associates of Flynn Intel Group received grand jury subpoenas in recent weeks, stemming from the FBI investigation being led out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office at the Eastern District of Virginia. Those associates have not been identified publicly.

Flynn, meanwhile, has refused to honor a Senate committee's subpoena request for documents relating to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"He will not be producing the documents they sought,” a source close to Flynn told ABC News. “He is entitled to decline, pursuant to the Fifth Amendment.”

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Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged to give a total of $100 million to the Women's Empowerment Fund, which Ivanka Trump has publicly supported.

The announcement came at an event that Trump attended while visiting Saudi Arabia as part of the first foreign trip of her father's presidency.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was the one to announce the donation, saying that the two countries had pledged a combined $100 million donation to the World Bank-based fund.

He added that because of that pledge, as well as additional pledges from the U.S. and other countries, they are expecting to have accumulated $1 billion for the fund by the G-20 summit in July.

"This is really a stunning achievement. I’ve never seen anything come together so quickly, and I really have to say that Ivanka’s leadership has been tremendous," Kim said, according to the pool report from the event in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

The fund is intended to provide capital for small and medium sized women entrepreneurs.

ABC News has reached out to the White House for further information about the fund and will update accordingly.

Kim first announced the creation of the fund on April 26, 2017, releasing a statement applauding the support of Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"The World Bank Group is working with partners on the details around creating a facility for women’s economic empowerment, specifically through providing access to finance, markets and networks," the statement reads. "Typically, the governance of facilities we manage is decided among donors, and the secretariat sits within and is administered by the World Bank Group. We are very grateful for the leadership Ms. Trump and Chancellor Merkel have demonstrated on this important issue."

While specific details about the fund have not been released publicly, Trump's connection to the fund has already prompted questions from at least one senator.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, sent a letter to the director of the Office of Government Ethics on April 28 urging them to review potential conflicts that come from both Trump's involvement with the fund and her decision not to divest from her businesses.

"I am concerned that Ms. Trump’s refusal to divest from her business interests, and her creation of a fund to solicit foreign money, provides foreign governments an opportunity to improperly influence United States trade and foreign policy," Wyden wrote in the letter.

During the presidential election, Donald Trump was a frequent critic of the Clinton Foundation for accepting donations from Saudi Arabia and other countries with bad human rights records.

"Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!" Trump wrote in a Facebook post on June 13, 2016.

He reiterated that sentiment during the first presidential debate as well, saying that countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar "are people that push gays off ... buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly. And yet you take their money ... why don't you give back the money?"

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MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(TEL AVIV, Israel) -- President Donald Trump said on Monday that he "never mentioned" Israel during his controversial Oval Office meeting with Russian officials in which he reportedly disclosed classified information that could have compromised an Israeli intelligence source.

"I never mentioned the word or the name Israel. Never mentioned it during our conversation," Trump said to reporters ahead of his private meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The president was referring to his May 10 meeting at the White House with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov where he reportedly shared intelligence information from Israel about ISIS.

Trump has since defended his disclosure, arguing he has the right to share such information with Russians.

ABC News reported that Trump's sharing of the information jeopardized exposing an Israeli spy who had provided the intelligence involving an active ISIS plot.

Monday in Israel at the president's brief public appearance with Netanyahu prior to their private meeting, Trump said he did not mention Israel in his meeting with the Russians.

"They're all saying I did," the president said. "So, you had another story wrong."

In fact, there were no allegations that Trump mentioned the source of the intelligence to the Russian officials.

Trump's national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who was at the May 10 meeting, said in a press conference last week, "At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”

In Monday's public appearance of Trump with Netanyahu, the Israeli leader showed no signs he was upset about Trump's disclosure of intelligence.

"The intelligence cooperation is terrific," Netanyahu said.

Trump's meeting with the prime minister is just one highlight of his busy schedule since arriving in Israel around noon local time on Monday on what is the second stop on his first foreign trip as president.

Trump also made history Monday in becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his daughter Ivanka Trump.

Trump's visit to the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, pleased Israeli officials. But in preparations for the planned visit, a junior U.S. official commented to Israelis that the Jewish holy site is "not your territory. It's part of the West Bank" -- a remark that an Israeli official said was "received with shock."

The president, donning a yarmulke, solemnly placed his hand on the Western Wall and, after taking a few moments, left a note behind.

Before arriving at the Western Wall, Trump and the first lady toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City -- one of Christianity’s holiest sites, holding the shrine where Jesus is believed to have been entombed. He delivered remarks alongside Rivlin, repeating what he wrote in the Israeli president's guestbook, saying, "I am honored to be in the great state of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people."

The president and the first lady were greeted upon their arrival to Israel by Netanyahu, his wife, Sarah Netanyahu, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, and his wife, Nehama Rivlin, for a welcome ceremony.

"On my first trip overseas as president, I have come to the sacred and ancient land to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and the state of Israel," Trump said Monday morning on the tarmac of Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

"We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people, defeating terrorism and creating a future of harmony, prosperity and peace. But we can only get there working together," he added.

On Tuesday, Trump will have a private meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and participate in a wreath laying at the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem.

Trump will not announce during his visit any move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to a senior White House official who cautioned that it's not the right time for such a pronouncement, as the administration is focusing on brokering a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

Moving the embassy had been a campaign promise of Trump's going back to the Republican primary campaign. As early as a March 2016 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Trump vowed, "We will move the American Embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem."

Most foreign nations' embassies in Israel, including the United States' since 1966, are in Tel Aviv. Any move of the embassy to Jerusalem would likely be viewed as provocative to leaders of the region's Arab nations and to Palestinians, who claim that city as the capital of a future state.

Trump does not expect to convene a joint meeting with Abbas and Netanyahu on this trip, although he hopes that will happen after another round of solo meetings with each of the leaders, the senior White House official said.

"We're not here to force people to do things one way or the other with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," the official said.

The stop in Israel comes after the president's visit to Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, and will be followed by a trip to the Vatican, where Trump will meet with the pope.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Four climbers from four different countries died near the top of Mount Everest this weekend in what was a tragic few days on the world's highest peak.

Roland Yearwood, a 50-year-old American climber, died as a result of altitude sickness, according to Murari Sharma, managing director of Everest Parivar Treks.

Yearwood was a doctor at the Georgiana Medical Center in Alabama, and according to his bio on the center's website, he is married to another local physician and has two daughters enrolled in college.

The bio also mentions Yearwood's desire to climb Everest.

"During his spare time he likes to sail, dive and fly and is in the process of climbing the tallest summit on the 7 continents and is scheduled to climb Everest next spring,” it reads.

The body of an Indian has been found, and climbers from Slovakia and Australia also died while attempting to summit Everest over the weekend.

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iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- North Korea confirmed on Monday that it had "successfully" tested a solid-fuel ballistic missile that it claims is capable of reaching Japan and major U.S. military bases, according to state media.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the launch from an observation post and ordered it for deployment, according to state-run Korean Central News Agency.

The launch marked the country's second missile test in a little more than a week as the country continues to defy orders for it to reign in its nuclear and missile program.

The test quiets aspirations of peace between North and South Korea. South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it strongly condemns the launch and urged North Korea to immediately stop any actions that violate U.N. Security Council resolutions.

President Donald Trump, currently in the midst of his first foreign trip as president, had no immediate public comment on the test.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the country’s previous missile launch "disappointing" and "disturbing" in an interview on Sunday.

"The ongoing testing is disappointing, it's disturbing, and we ask that they cease that, because until they cease that testing, clearly they have not changed their view," Tillerson in an interview with FOX News Sunday. “But I think we're early into the game of putting pressure on them. And one could also interpret that perhaps they're just acting out now in response to some of this pressure that I believe they're beginning to feel."

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The White House(TEL AVIV, Israel) -- When President Trump lands in Tel Aviv on Monday, he'll arrive with one goal: kick-starting the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. Trump has called this achievement -- one that has proved elusive for every American president -- "the ultimate deal."

"It's ambitious to say the least," tweeted former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, who served under President Obama. "It's important to avoid any small snafu or distraction that can upend the strategic goals, or give the parties an excuse to hold back."

"A heavy lift for even the most experienced, best-managed White House," Shapiro continued. "The degree of difficulty is even higher for this team."

But before getting down to business when he touches down in Tel Aviv, Trump will first have to answer to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for just one of last week's bombshell revelations: Why he passed on highly sensitive intelligence that originated with Israel, to Russian officials.

The intel snafu

"It certainly casts a pall over the president's upcoming visit to Israel," Shapiro said to ABC News. "He'll still be received as the president of the U.S., which in Israel still counts for a lot, and I'm sure he’ll get a friendly reception, but all Israelis and especially Israelis in the security establishment ... now have to ask the question what kind of partner is this president? Is he someone they can count on, even if his intentions are not ill, to not take actions that could be harmful to Israel’s security?"

Israeli intelligence officials have given no public indication of anger over last week's news. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman only reaffirmed the strength of U.S.-Israeli relations.

"The security relationship between Israel & our greatest ally the United States, is deep, significant and unprecedented in volume," he tweeted. "This is how it has been and how it will continue to be."

Israeli Intel Minister Israel Katz underlined his "complete confidence in the American intelligence community." And Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer also stuck to the script, saying in a statement, "Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States."

"It was certainly a mistake," said Shapiro. But apparently not a fatal one.

"I think they will be very cautious about the information they share, they can't turn off the spigot, they know that the U.S. is their best and sometimes their only partner and they will continue to be that partner," he said. "But they will not put at risk information that is vital to Israel's security, so until their confidence is restored, I expect them to share less and to share it in very, very restricted channels."

Getting both sides to the table

Shapiro has indicated that what Trump wants is a re-launch of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, supported by Sunni Arab states. But for all of Trump's confidence, he's dropped very few hints regarding his approach or his administration’s policy.

"I'm looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like," Trump said at a joint news conference at the White House with Netanyahu in February. "I can live with either one."

But he's refused to delve into the details.

"Throughout my lifetime, I've always heard the toughest deal to make is the deal between Israelis and Palestinians," he said more recently alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "Let's see if we can prove them wrong."

Trump will meet with both Netanyahu and Abbas this week.

During their February meeting, Netanyahu followed Trump's lead, sticking to sweeping statements and eschewing firm details.

"Let us seize this moment together," Netanyahu said at the White House. "Let us bolster security. Let us seek new avenues of peace."

For his part, Abbas pitched the same platform Palestinians have presented for years.

"Mr. president," Abbas said, "our strategic option, our strategic choice is to bring about peace based on the vision of the two-state -- a Palestinian state with its capital of East Jerusalem that lives in peace and stability with the state of Israel based on the borders of 1967."

The sticking points

The so-called final-status issues remain the largest stumbling blocks to a peace deal. For as long as the two sides have been negotiating issues including borders, territory, security and the status of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and Palestinian refugees have remained the top issues to be decided upon. The U.S. has maintained that these two matters -- the most important, the thorniest -- must only be decided during direct negotiations between the two parties.

For a president with zero diplomatic experience, this is a potential minefield. As Trump and his team lay the groundwork this week, several issues will likely be on the agenda.

Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem


Trump's visit comes days before the 50th anniversary of Israel's capture of the Old City of Jerusalem during the 1967 Mideast War. And for the last 50 years, the United States has not recognized Israel's sovereignty over the area.

This is why the U.S. Embassy to Israel has been in Tel Aviv since opening its doors some 50 years ago. And also why if an American is born in Jerusalem, their American passport simply lists a birthplace as "Jerusalem," not "Jerusalem, Israel."

As a candidate, Trump promised to move the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem -- essentially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But as president, he's pumped the brakes on this move.

"Right now there are no plans to do anything in that regard," a senior administration official told ABC News last week. "The president said during the campaign that he believes the capital of Israel is where the embassy should be, but because we're having great conversations with everyone right now, we don't think it would be a time to do that so we don't plan to do that on this trip."

Netanyahu has repeatedly voiced support for the move, last week saying it would amend "a historic wrong and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem isn't the capital of Israel."

Meanwhile, Chief Palestinian negotiator and Secretary General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat said this weekend: "We believe that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would mean the end of the peace process." Erekat has previously warned that the move would spark chaos.

For decades, U.S. presidents have waived a U.S. law requiring the embassy be moved to Jerusalem. The waivers expire every six months, and Trump is expected to sign the renewal when it expires on June 1.

Trump and the Western Wall

The flurry of attention surrounding the unchanged, decades-old U.S. policy towards the Western Wall came last week, reportedly with a shouting match when American officials were doing a site survey ahead of Trump's visit.

According to a senior official in Netanyahu's office, the U.S. delegation rejected the Israeli request to have the prime minister accompany Trump on his politically charged visit to the ancient limestone wall in Jerusalem's Old City, claiming it was a "private visit."

According to reports, during the heated conversation, one junior American official told an Israeli official in the prime minister's office that the Western Wall is "not your territory. It's part of the West Bank."

Israeli officials were outraged.

The holy site is the outer wall of the Temple Mount -- as Jews refer to it, a vestige of the holiest site in Judaism.

Muslims refer to the same compound as al-Haram al-Sharif, also home to al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Jewish worshippers are allowed to visit and pray at the wall, and Muslim worshippers are allowed to visit and pray at the mosque.

It's this tiny piece of land, less than half a square mile, that has has largely thwarted a peace deal for decades.

National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster told reporters Tuesday in regard to Trump’s visit, "He's going to the Western Wall mainly in connection with the theme to connect with three of the world's great religions, and to pay homage to each of these religious sites that he's visiting."

McMaster twice refused to say whether the wall was part of Israel.

"That sounds like a policy decision," he told reporters.

Later that day, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters only that the Western Wall was "clearly in Jerusalem," a fact no one denies, but a question Trump will almost certainly be asked this week.

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