Information leaked in United States affects Manchester bomb probe
- Author: Leroy Wright May 26, 2017,
May 26, 2017, 13:00
The following day, the Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the bombing.
They showed remnants of the explosive device, the backpack and a detonator used by 22-year-old British national Salman Abedi at the exit of the Manchester Arena shortly after an Ariana Grande concert ended.
Manchester police said that they would no longer share details of the investigation with their US counterparts, and the city's top police official, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, noted that the disclosure "has caused much distress for families that are already suffering terribly with their loss", the BBC reports.
The chairman told Sky News he has banned political discussions at the mosque and has previously referred matters to police where he has been concerned about radicalisation.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who said Abedi had been known to British security officials, complained Wednesday about US officials leaking sensitive information about Abedi to the media, saying that could hinder Britain's security services and police. The reports citing the name and death toll later proved to be true.
Before the meeting with Ms May, Mr Trump has said the United States will investigate intelligence leaks that revealed sensitive information about the Manchester bombing.
The leak, which followed a similar disclosure of the bomber's identity and probe details, rocked the intelligence-sharing relationship between close allies London and Washington.
The Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins announced: "We now have eight people who have been arrested in connection with Monday's attack".
There are now eight people in custody in the United Kingdom but police fear more accomplices of Abedi may be on the loose.
Hashim Ramadan Abedi is shown inside the Tripoli-based Special Deterrent anti-terrorism force unit after his arrest on Tuesday for alleged links to the Islamic State extremist group.
With the official threat level raised to "critical", meaning a further attack could be imminent, troops have been deployed to free up police, and armed officers patrolled trains for the first time in Britain.
A former British intelligence chief, who requested anonymity, said of USA sources, "They don't understand the complexities of just blurting it out, and the reasons not to". "I personally talked with him and tried to convince him that it was just a criminal act", he added.
"Traditionally what news organizations do is. usually go to security officials in the United States, with sensitive information, to [ask], 'Does this actually harm our efforts or put U.S. security at risk?' So part of that is to think, you know, how does this harm people?" Hopkins said the leaks "caused much distress for families that are already suffering terribly with their loss". Britain's intelligence links with the USA are among the closest in the world, and information is routinely shared by security and intelligence agencies as part of the special relationship between the transatlantic allies. "They arrested the father, and I think the rest of the family kind of disappeared".
The leaks included suggestions that bomber Salman Abedi's family had warned security officials he was unsafe.
The man, who did not want to be identified, said Abedi was "away at random times throughout the year" but he did not know if he was overseas or playing truant because he hung around "the wrong crowd and was very, very gullible". Under normal circumstances, he said, Abedi may have been able to travel to the United States because he was from Britain, a visa-waiver country, but he would have been subjected to a background check via the US government's Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA. "We did our checks".