Gig attack probe leaks: United Kingdom stops sharing info with US

Elizabeth Williams
May 27, 2017

British police have stopped sharing information on the suicide bombing in Manchester with the United States, the BBC reported on Thursday, because of fears that leaks to the USA media could hinder a hunt for a possible bomb-maker still at large.

May will raise concerns over the leaks when she meets US President Trump at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting on Thursday, the BBC reported.

And late on Wednesday, The New York Times published photos of items "found on the scene in Manchester", including possible switches and power sources for the bomb.

A total of eight people have been arrested in the U.K.in connection with Monday night's suicide bombing outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, including two men arrested early Thursday morning, the Washington Post reports.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd says Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi was known "up to a point" to the British intelligence services and police. He added: "I want to reassure people that the arrests that we have made are significant and initial searches of premises have revealed items that we believe are very important to the investigation".

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The Prime Minister and the U.S. president will be in the Belgian capital for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, and she is expected to confront him over media leaks regarding the Manchester attack investigation. "The alleged leaks coming out of government agencies are deeply troubling", Trump said in the statement.

The National Police Chiefs' Council in Britain called the leaks a breach of trust, saying, "This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorized disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counterterrorism investigation".

Tension between British and US officials began following a series of leaks about the investigation into the bombing, which has led to the U.K.to raise its terrorism threat level to "critical" and has resulted in the arrest of at least two other suspects connected to a terror network.

Britain's terrorism threat level has been raised to 'critical, ' meaning a new attack could be imminent. The investigation is continuing and at the time of this writing, 10 men have been arrested and are being held in custody. Her French counterpart Gerard Collomb said he had links with ISIL and had probably visited Syria as well.

Police said on Wednesday that suspected bomber Salman Abedi was part of a terrorist network.

Other reports by VgToday

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