Greater Manchester police ran a mock anti-terrorist operation a year ago featuring a bomber shouting in Arabic, “Allahu akbar,” or God is great.
But the day after the practice drill, authorities apologized to the city’s Muslim community and admitted they had been guilty of stereotyping.
After Monday night’s suicide bombing, many Manchester residents praised police, fire and ambulance workers for their rapid response. The 22-year-old suspect in the suicide bombing, for which the Islamic State extremist group claimed responsibility, was described as an English-born son of Libyan immigrants.
Muslim leaders were among those who were quick to condemn the attack, which killed 22 people and wounded dozens, and declare that the city would not be divided.
Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of Ramadhan Foundation in Manchester, said in a statement that the deadly explosion after an Ariana Grande concert was the “darkest day” in the city’s history.
Shafiq said the people of Manchester would not be divided and would instead “mourn, remember the victims and get on with our lives.”
“I love Manchester and its people — we are a resolute people and will not be divided by these barbaric animals or cowered by their violence,” he said.