Manchester attack: 'Fury' at U.S. 'evidence' photos leak

British police briefly suspended intelligence sharing with the United States on Thursday after confidential details of their investigation repeatedly appeared in USA media.

British police and security services are also upset that the name of British bomber Salman Abedi was apparently leaked by USA officials and published while police in Britain were withholding the name for operational security.

On Monday night, an explosion occurred outside the Manchester Arena at the end of USA singer Ariana Grande's concert, leaving at least 22 people dead and dozens more injured.

Prime Minister Theresa May has placed Britain on virtually a war footing following the Manchester bombing, warning that another terror attack was "imminent", raising the security to its highest level and calling out the army.

However, Security Minister Ben Wallace said there was no evidence of a specific threat over Britain's holiday weekend, when major events will take place including Saturday's soccer FA Cup final in London, where extra armed officers will be on duty.

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 U.S. Justice Department said it had initiated steps to address the "rampant leaks", which it said could not be tolerated.

Prime minister also expected to confront President Trump at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting over intelligence leaks on Manchester to U.S. media.

United Kingdom police have accused USA media of undermining the investigation into Monday's terrorist attack in Manchester after unauthorized images were published of some of the bomb materials used in the attack.

On Wednesday, The New York Times published pictures of remnants of the attacker's homemade bomb, including a shredded backpack, a 12-volt battery, and nuts and screws used as shrapnel.

Among those taken into custody in Libya were the suspected bomber's father and his younger brother, the latter of whom confessed to knowing "all the details" of the attack plot, Libyan anti-terror authorities said. "What they will see is many more police officers - some armed, some unarmed - out there to protect the public", he said.

Police in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, arrested a brother of Abedi and his father.

McCaul told Fox News television that Monday's bombing was "a very soft target, a very premeditated sophisticated attack using a very sophisticated explosive device".

Ariana Grande is returning to Manchester. She later cancelled several concerts scheduled in London and Europe through June 5.

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

A nationwide minute of silence was observed at 11 a.m. local time Thursday morning and Queen Elizabeth II visited a children's hospital in Manchester. The National Health Service says 75 people have been admitted to eight hospitals, "including 23 patients now receiving critical care".

  • Salvatore Jensen