Leaked information 'undermines' Manchester attack probe

Cheryl Sanders
May 28, 2017

US President Donald Trump speaks beside Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the start of the Nato summit at their new headquarters in Brussels May 25, 2017.

It said that there was "disbelief and astonishment across the British government" about the leaks to US media, which they felt could compromise the investigation.

In his statement, Trump - who was already struggling domestically to stem a tide of damaging leaks from law enforcement agencies - said the information coming out in the U.S. media was "deeply troubling".

President Donald Trump pledged in a Thursday statement to get the bottom of the leaks and suggested that he may even prompt prosecution of the leakers. "The leaks of sensitive information pose a grave threat to our national security". Former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke said he did not blame the British for stopping the flow of information, which might suggest that U.S. confidence in the Trump administration is also waning. These images leaked from inside the U.S. system will be distressing for victims, their families and the wider public.

On Tuesday, "U.S. officials" named the suspected attacker as Salman Abedi, hours before the British authorities released that identity.


"It is unacceptable", the source concluded.

Leaks of the investigation into the Manchester attack to the U.S. media were "reprehensible" and will be stopped, the top United States diplomat in the UK has said.

She said: "It was a devastating occasion, it was ... more sophisticated than some of the attacks we've seen before and it seems likely, possible that he wasn't doing this on his own, so the intelligence services and the police are pursuing their leads in order to make sure that they get all the information and reduce therefore the risk that they need to keep us all safe".

Photos were published by The New York Times on Wednesday of evidence collected from the carnage - a public display that British counterterrorism officials strongly objected to because they said it "undermines our investigations". "Of course that partnership is built on trust, and part of that trust is knowing that intelligence can be shared confidently", May told reporters. She also said the bomber was known "up to a point" by the intelligence services.

The president called on the U.S. Department of justice to investigate and prosecute whoever is behind the leaks, "to the fullest extent of the law".


Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said in a statement Thursday that the leaks published by the New York Times have caused "much distress for families that are already suffering terribly with their loss".

Puzzling to some experts is what motivated Trump to tell Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte about the location of USA nuclear submarines, a key component of the nation's land-air-sea triad of nuclear retaliatory capability.

Twenty-two people were killed in Monday's attack at the Manchester Arena, when a 22-year-old man detonated an explosive device shortly after an Ariana Grande concert.

And since Trump took office, he and other Republicans have repeatedly expressed frustration about leaks within the USA intelligence community, particularly of damaging information about Trump and his associates.

"You know what the Americans will bring in terms of assistance: Billions of dollars of resources and technology", the official said.


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