The New York Times defended its decision to publish detailed images of the Manchester Arena crime scene following Monday’s terror attack.
The US newspaper’s report on Wednesday contained photos of the backpack Salman Abedi used to house his explosive device, as well as details on how the bomb may have been constructed and detonated. It also revealed the layout of the blast area and locations of the victims and the bomber’s torso.
The story has helped fuel a growing diplomatic dispute between the UK and US over intelligence leaks from the Manchester attack, which killed 22 people. The UK has now decided to suspend the sharing of information with America on Monday’s blast.
The New York Times said it did not publish the story lightly. In a statement on Thursday, it explained:
“The images and information presented were neither graphic nor disrespectful of victims, and consistent with the common line of reporting on weapons used in horrific crimes.
“We have strict guidelines on how and in what ways we cover sensitive stories. Our coverage of Monday’s horrific attack has been both comprehensive and responsible.”
Soon after the NYT statement, US President Donald Trump condemned the “deeply troubling” leaks. He said the information breaches pose a “grave threat” to national security, adding that there is “no relationship we cherish more” than the one with the UK.
As reported by Business Insider on Tuesday, the bomber’s name, the body count, and the method of detonation all emerged in the US long before being publicly confirmed by the British authorities.
The New York Times Company is run by a British chief executive. Mark Thompson joined the company in 2012 having previously been the director general of the BBC.
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