In more developments of the Manchester bombing which left 22 dead on Monday, police investigating the attack have reportedly stopped sharing information with the U.S. after there had been leaks of evidence and information to the media.
According to the BBC, British police are withholding sensitive information from Washington after a series of damaging leaks have “outraged” UK security officials. A move like this would break years of close counterterrorism co-operation between the U.S. and the UK after 9/11.
Brit officials were stunned when photos appearing to show debris from the attack at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena were leaked to The New York Times yesterday. UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd yesterday condemned American officials after CBS disclosed the name of the suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, citing American sources, after authorities in the UK asked information be withheld in order to protect the investigation.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today program yesterday that “the British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity.”
Rudd added: “So it is irritating when it gets released from other sources and I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again.”
Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins said the leaked images of bomb parts had caused great distress to the families of the victims.
Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to raise the issue of the American leaks with President Donald Trump at a Nato summit in Brussels on Thursday, a sure indicator of the severity of the situation.
Hopkins confirmed on Thursday that eight men remain in custody and a woman who was arrested yesterday has been released. He said that the arrests are “significant” and that a number of raids have revealed items “important” in what is still a “fast-moving” investigation.
Manchester-born Abedi, a 22-year-old whose family is of Libyan origin, killed 22 people – including children – and injured 75 people when he carried out a suicide bombing on Monday evening at the Manchester Arena as an Ariana Grande concert had just finished.
The BBC has reported that two people who had known Abedi at college had made separate calls to a hotline to warn police about his extremist views.
Earlier today, a minute’s silence was held across the country at 11am BST in rememberance of those who lost their lives or were affected by the attack. Premiere League soccer clubs Manchester City and Manchester United have jointly pledged £1M to an emergency fund to support the victims.
Meanwhile, the Queen visited Royal Manchester Children’s Hopsital on Thursday morning to visit some of the injured as well as the emergency services.