Controlled explosion overnight as anti-terror police swoop on Moss Side property

A British official says police in Manchester will stop sharing information about their bombing investigation with the US until they get a guarantee that there will be no more leaks to the news media.

The paper said the pictures - published just hours after British Home Secretary Amber Rudd condemned leaks to the media by U.S. officials - showed the bomb was a highly-powerful device full of shrapnel including nuts and screws.

But on Wednesday, one day later, sensitive crime scene photos from Manchester Arena were leaked to the New York Times.

Police investigating the Manchester Arena bomb attack have stopped sharing information with the USA after leaks to the media, the BBC understands.

"I think it's very clear that this is a network that we are investigating", police chief Ian Hopkins said outside Manchester police headquarters. To some extent, it may even serve his preferred narrative that leaks to the media are a bigger problem than, well, anything he's been accused of.

Prime Minister Theresa May had warned the "special relationship" could be harmed by the repeated leaking of confidential details and raised her concerns with Donald Trump at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels.

"She expressed the view that the intelligence-sharing relationship we have with the hugely important and valuable, but that the information that we share should be kept secure", a British government source said.

Abedi got his passport back after telling his father he was going on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, but returned to England instead.

"Those relationships enable us to collaborate and share privileged and sensitive information that allows us to defeat terrorism and protect the public at home and overseas".

A spokesman for Libyan authorities said one of Abedi's final acts was to ring his mother.

There have been a series of other leaks from USA officials to the media over recent days about the attack. Yvette Cooper said she was very troubled by the leaks amidst a "live investigation where public safety at risk", while Lilian Greenwood asked, "What is the Government doing with USA counterparts to address these breaches?"

Britain's terror threat assessment has been hiked to "critical", the highest level, meaning an attack is considered imminent.

The New York Times credited the images as "preliminary information gathered by British authorities" with no further details on how they were obtained.

It comes at a time when European security officials have expressed concern about sharing intelligence with the US after President Donald Trump discussed highly classified intelligence about Daesh, also known as ISIS or ISIL, with senior Russian officials visiting the White House.

Arriving in Brussels, May warned that intelligence sharing with the United States was "built on trust".

Ramadan Abedi said he spoke to his 22-year-old son Salman Abedi five days ago and he was getting ready to visit Saudi Arabia and sounded "normal".

Another brother and the suspect's father were arrested in Libya, witnesses and security forces said.

A Whitehall source described the second United States leak as "on another level" to the BBC, and said it had caused "disbelief and astonishment" across the British government.

US channel ABC News reported that police had found a kind of bomb-making workshop in Abedi's home and he had apparently stockpiled enough chemicals to make additional bombs.

  • Leroy Wright