Police scrambled to close down a network around the Manchester suicide bomber with arrests in Britain and Tripoli on Wednesday, as details about the investigation were leaked to U.S. media, infuriating authorities who fear a second attack is imminent.
British-born Salman Abedi, 22, who was known to security services, killed 22 people at a concert venue packed with children on Monday.
Authorities believe he had help in building the bomb, which photographs published by the New York Times showed was sophisticated and powerful, and that his accomplices could be ready to strike again.
Manchester police arrested five men and one woman on Wednesday, bringing the total held for questioning to seven, and searched multiple addresses in northern and central England.
Explosives were found at one site, the Independent reported, citing security service sources.
A source said British investigators were hunting for anyone who may have helped build the suicide bomb.
"I think it's very clear that this is a network that we are investigating," police chief Ian Hopkins said outside Manchester police headquarters.
"And as I've said, it continues at a pace. There's extensive investigations going on and activity taking place across Greater Manchester as we speak."
Abedi, who was born in Manchester in 1994 to Libyan parents, blew himself up on Monday night at the Manchester Arena indoor venue at the end of a concert by U.S. pop singer Ariana Grande attended by thousands of children and teenagers.
Police in Tripoli on Wednesday arrested Abedi's younger brother and his father, who said he did not expect the attack.
"I spoke to [Salman Abedi] about five days ago ... there was nothing wrong, everything was normal," Ramadan Abedi told Reuters, moments before he was arrested.
A spokesman for the local counter-terrorism force said his brother Hashem Abedi was arrested on suspicion of links with Islamic State and was suspected of planning to carry out an attack in the Libyan capital.
The first arrest made in Britain on Tuesday was reported by British and U.S. media to be Abedi's older brother.
Earlier, interior minister Amber Rudd said the bomber had recently returned from Libya. Her French counterpart Gerard Collomb said he had links with Islamic State and had probably visited Syria as well.(Source: Reuters)