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Speier: Muslim Youths Could Become So Isolated That Violence Becomes ‘Only Avenue of Making a Statement About Their Religion’

• May 24, 2017 4:44 pm

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Rep. Jackie Speier (D., Calif.) said Tuesday on MSNBC that Muslim youths could become so isolated that violence becomes the "only avenue of making a statement about their religion."

Speier's comment came after host Stephanie Ruhle asked her about the terrorist attack Monday night following an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England that killed 22 people and wounded over 50 others, including many children.

"ISIS has now claimed responsibility," Ruhle said. "Is there any evidence you've heard to back that up?"

Speier said there was no evidence at the time to link suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedi to the Islamic State. She then discussed how many of the recent terror attacks have been lone-wolf acts of violence that ISIS likes to take credit for.

"The real issue is whether or not Muslim youth around the United States and around the world feel there's a pathway forward for them, or do they become so isolated that this is their only avenue of making a statement about their religion," Speier said.

Since Speier's interview on Tuesday morning, British authorities have confirmed that Abedi was part of a terrorist network, not a lone-wolf attacker, according to NBC News.

The revelation by police Wednesday came as British troops were deployed to protect landmarks in major cities and six more suspects, including suspected bomber Salman Abedi's younger brother and father, were arrested.

"It is very clear this is a network we are investigating," Manchester Police chief Ian Hopkins said. "We are carrying out extensive searches."

NBC also reported that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials said the bomber was known to them before the attack.

Those officials also said that Salman Abedi had traveled outside of the UK and had recently returned. As one official put it, "This is a similar situation to the brothers in Boston. We wish we knew more about the travel."

Another official said, "We knew he was going a little crazy and left, but he went quiet and returned a few days ago, and we had no information about him in between."