McCain says Manchester bombing a ‘reminder that the world is on fire’
PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that the bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England was a fresh indication the world is in chaos.
“[Monday]’s horrific attack in Manchester was a gruesome reminder that the world is on fire,” he said in an opening statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington, D.C.
“Everywhere we turn, we can see threats to the rules-based order that underpins global security and prosperity,” he continued.
McCain said, despite the increase in frequency of terror attacks around the globe, U.S. national security policy still leaves much to be desired.
“When it comes to the great national security challenges we face, U.S. policy and strategy are consistently lacking.
“Whether it’s China, Russia, North Korea, Iran or radical Islamist terrorism, I have heard few compelling answers about how the United States intends to use its alliances, its trade, its diplomacy, its values, but most of all, its military to protect and defend our national interests and the rules-based order that supports them.”
Though McCain has been critical of President Donald Trump’s administration, he seemed to offer the White House a little leeway on the issue.
“This is still a young administration. Cogent, coherent policy and strategy take time to develop,” he said. “But we should be ever mindful that our adversaries are not waiting for us to get our act together.”
Trump labeled the people responsible for the attack as “evil losers in life” during a joint press conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
“So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life,” he said.
Twenty-two people were killed and 59 were injured when a suicide bomber detonated an IED outside of Manchester Arena.
The Greater Manchester Police said the explosions were reported around about 2:35 p.m. Arizona time. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said during a press conference that a suicide bomber — later identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi — carried out the attack by detonating an IED, but the attack has not been officially classified as a terror act.
“We have been treating this as a terrorist incident and we believe that while the attack last night was conducted by one man, the priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network,” Hopkins said.
The Islamic State group claimed one of its “soldiers” was responsible, but United States intelligence said it hadn’t verified that assertion.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.