Public Probe Into Ariana Grande Concert Bombing Reveals Security Failures

ALBANY, NEW YORK - MARCH 18: Ariana Grande performs onstage during the Sweetener World Tour - Opening Night at Times Union Center on March 18, 2019 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Ariana Grande)

A public inquiry published by the UK government into the bombing attack at a 2017 Ariana Grande concert found that security missed multiple opportunities to prevent to the attack outside the Manchester (AO) Arena, which resulted in the death of 22 people, many of them children, and an additional 800 concert goers injured.

The 204-page report, released on June 17 and led by Sir John Saunders, the first of three initiated in September 2020, found that “there were a number of missed opportunities to alter the course of what happened that night” by security and police to prevent the terror attack by bomber Salman Abedi, who detonated a homemade explosive device in the foyer of the venue as fans were exiting, since two of the four British Transport Police were on a two-hour lunch break and none were present in the area at the time of the bombing. 

The report also found that the arena operators, SMG, The British Transport Police, and security company Showsec, missed opportunities to minimize or prevent the impact of the attack, including the potential threat of Abedi, following three prior instances of “hostile reconnaissance” prior to the May 22 concert.

Additionally, the report also highlights an inadequate CCTV system, which allowed the attacker to hide in a blind spot for an hour, at the venue. A teenage security guard also attempted to reach security control after there were some concerns raised about Abedi.

SMG has worked to improve security measures, by installing new CCTV cameras and metal detectors as well as expanding its security around the venue, following the 2017 attack.

Read the full public inquiry here.

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