British security stops sharing intelligence on Manchester attack with US over leaks

A woman looks at flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester Britain. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

British police have stopped sharing information on the suicide bombing in Manchester with the United States, the BBC reported on Thursday, because of fears that leaks to the U.S. media could hinder a hunt for a possible bomb-maker still at large, Reuters has reported.

The row came as police pressed a fast-paced investigation into Monday’s bombing, which killed 22 people at a music venue packed with children and raised fears a further attack could be imminent. Troops have been deployed to guard key points and eight people have been arrested, Reuters said.

Authorities have said the 22-year-old bomber, British-born Salman Abedi, was part of a network and had recently returned from Libya, where his parents were born, Reuters indicated.

Police chiefs have made clear they are furious about the publication of confidential material in U.S. media, including bomb site photographs in the New York Times, saying such leaks undermined relationships with trusted security allies, Reuters added.

“This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorized disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter-terrorism investigation,” a National Counter Terrorism Policing spokesman said in a statement, Reuters indicated.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will raise the issue with U.S. President Donald Trump when she meets him at a NATO summit in Brussels later on Thursday, a government source told Reuters.

Reuters also said the pictures published by the New York Times included remains of the bomb and of the rucksack carried by the suicide bomber, and showed blood stains amid the wreckage.

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