Manchester Police Will Stop Sharing Intel With The U.S. After Media Leaks

Photo: Peter Byrne/Getty Images.
After information was leaked about the investigation into the Manchester attack that killed 22 people Monday night, Manchester police will no longer share information on the probe with the United States, a British official told The Associated Press.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she plans to discuss the leaks with President Donald Trump at the NATO summit in Brussels. She said she plans to "make clear to President Trump that intelligence that is shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure."
British officials are particularly angry that photos detailing evidence about the bomb used in the Manchester attack were published in The New York Times, although it's not clear that the paper obtained the photos from U.S. officials.
British police and security services were also upset that the name of the suspected bomber was apparently leaked by U.S. officials and published while British police were withholding it — and while raids were underway in Manchester and in Libya, where the bomber's father lives.
A British official told The Associated Press on Thursday that police in Manchester have decided to stop sharing information about their bombing investigation with the U.S. until they get a guarantee that there will be no more leaks to the media. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
The White House had no immediate comment on the Manchester decision. Trump, who's in Brussels, ignored two questions from journalists on whether Britain can trust the U.S. with sensitive information. Trump himself has been accused of leaking confidential security information to the Russians.
The New York Times on Thursday defended its publication of photographs of evidence collected at the Manchester bombing crime scene.
"The images and information presented were neither graphic nor disrespectful of victims, and consistent with the common line of reporting on weapons used in horrific crimes," the paper said. "We have strict guidelines on how and in what ways we cover sensitive stories. Our coverage of Monday's horrific attack has been both comprehensive and responsible."
Earlier, the Greater Manchester Police condemned the investigation leaks on behalf of the National Counter-Terrorism Policing units in a statement that suggested a severe rupture in trust between Britain and the United States.
"When the trust is breached it undermines these relationships, and undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their family," the statement said. "This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorized disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter terrorism investigation."
May insisted Thursday that progress is being made in the Manchester bombing investigation but added the national threat level remains critical — meaning another attack may be imminent.
As hundreds of British soldiers protected some of the world's most visited tourist sites in London and elsewhere, police are pressing to uncover the network that is thought to have helped Salman Abedi in the deadly attack Monday night at the Ariana Grande concert.
In addition to those killed, 116 people have received medical treatment at Manchester hospitals for wounds from the blast. The National Health Service says 75 people have been admitted to eight hospitals, including 23 receiving critical care.
The bomber's father, Ramadan Abedi, insisted Wednesday in an interview with the AP that Salman had no links to militants, saying "we don't believe in killing innocents."
He and another of his sons, Hashim, were taken into custody Wednesday in the Libyan city of Tripoli.
Grande cancelled concerts that were to take place Thursday and Friday in London, and in several other sites in Europe.

More from Global News


R29 Original Series