Ariana Grande cancel tour dates following Manchester attack
- Author: Leroy Wright May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 19:00
"Furious" British officials scolded their United States counterparts on Wednesday following repeated leaks of shared material about the investigation into the deadly Manchester terror attack.
There is palpable fury inside Downing Street and from British security services over the quantity of information finding its way into the public domain, after the name of the attacker and photographs reported to be images of the crime scene taken by British investigators were published Wednesday, despite a rare public warning from Home Secretary Amber Rudd for the leaks to stop.
Among one of the US news outlets disclosing information withheld from the British press was the New York Times who published photos on Wednesday that reportedly shows remnants of the explosive device and fragments of a backpack used in the terror attack.
Neither Britain's domestic intelligence service MI5 nor the Manchester police have responded to the claims, but they are likely to be taken up by lawmakers demanding to know why Abedi was seen just as a peripheral figure rather than a threat requiring surveillance and investigation.
"We are furious. This is completely unacceptable", a government ministry source said.
Forensic officers work near the Manchester Arena in Manchester, Wednesday, May 24, 2017.
Police also warned late Wednesday of fraudulent online fundraising for the families of the victims, and pointed Twitter users to a legitimate JustGiving page. "The issue is being raised at every relevant level by the British authorities with their U.S. counterparts".
However, British journalists were also given information. Meanwhile, officials probed possible travel by the alleged bomber, looking for clues to new threats.
Sky did not say how in its report how it obtained the footage.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she plans to raise the issue with President Donald Trump at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels.
Rudd had earlier scolded USA officials for leaking details.
"But I can say that they are perfectly clear about the situation and that it shouldn't happen again". "British officials and ministers are making it clear to their USA counterparts that these leaks from within the system are unacceptable". She said she plans to "make clear to President Trump that intelligence that is shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure".
"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", the spokesman added.
The row came as police pressed a fast-paced investigation into Monday's bombing, which killed 22 people at a music venue packed with children and raised fears a further attack could be imminent. Troops have been deployed to guard key points and eight people have been arrested.
British-born Abedi was identified as the suspected suicide bomber responsible.