A former British resident who lived near Manchester, England is horrified by the bombing that occurred in that city last week.
Reports say 22 people were killed and about 120 injured after a man described as an Islamic extremist set off a bomb at a Manchester arena during an Ariana Grande concert.
British police say 22-year-old Salman Abedi of the Manchester area is believed to have been the suicide bomber who carried out the attack. Late last week, British police said they had arrested eight men in connection with the bombing.
Richard Nicholson and his wife Lisa moved to Mountain View County from an area about 90 minutes away from Manchester in 2008.
Richard says in one way, the bombing hits close to home because he and Lisa used to go into Manchester often to shop. They even attended concerts, etc., at the arena.
He says they’re confident no one they know was killed or hurt as a result of the bombing because the age of those who attended the concert is far younger than anyone they know over there. Most of those who attended were young preteen or teenage girls.
ìEverybody that we know is OK,î Nicholson said. ìWe’ve got no friends or any contacts that were involved in the incident that took place.î
However, Nicholson is alarmed by the fact he and Lisa have kids in that same age group.
ìIt could have easily been our children there,î he said, adding the incident really angers him.
ìIt kind of speaks to the mindset of the person that targets such an audience ñ innocent, purely innocent ñ children.î
As a result, he said, he and Lisa believe their decision to move here was a good one.
However, Nicholson, who works as a police officer in Calgary, says we shouldn’t be too complacent. That same thing could happen in Mountain View County ñ perhaps even in Olds.
ìSadly though, when it comes down to some of these extremists, they don’t really care too much about the political side of it,î Nicholson said.
ìIt’s about them getting a message across to everybody. So I wouldn’t say that anybody’s safe or immune from these sort of things and it’s up to the community to be vigilant.î
“It kind of speaks to the mindset of the person that targets such an audience ñ innocent, purely innocent ñ children.”RICHARD NICHOLSON FORMER BRITISH RESIDENT