May to confront Trump on Manchester attack leaks as UK authorities start withholding info from the US

  • Classified police photos from the scene of the Manchester terror attack leaked to the New York Times.
  • UK security officicials says lives are being put at risk by leaks.
  • Theresa May to confront Donald Trump in person later today.
  • British investigators halt co-operation with the US after ongoing leaks.

LONDON — Theresa May is to confront Donald Trump later today after highly sensitive police photos of the ongoing investigation into the Manchester terror attack were leaked to the US media.

The Prime Minister will raise the matter in person with President Trump at a Nato meeting later on Thursday.

Images of the remnants of the backpack used by terrorist Salman Abedi, evidence of shrapnel and a possible detonator were all published by the New York Times along with a layout of where those killed by the blast were hit.

Security officials reacted with fury to the leaks, with one telling the Financial Times that lives were now being put at risk. The BBC also reports on Thursday morning that the British police have now stopped sharing information about the investigation with the US because of the ongoing leaks.

There have been a series leaks from US officials to the media over recent days. As reported by Business Insider on Tuesday, the bomber’s name, the body count and method of detonation all emerged in the US long before being confirmed by the British authorities.

British police chiefs said the ongoing leaks are “undermining” their investigations and the UK’s relations with US security agencies as well as the confidence of terror victims.

“We greatly value the important relationships we have with our trusted intelligence, law enforcement and security partners around the world,” a National Counter Terrorism Policing spokesperson said last night.

“Those relationships enable us to collaborate and share privileged and sensitive information that allows us to defeat terrorism and protect the public at home and abroad.

“When that trust is breached it undermines those relationships and undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses, and their families. This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorised disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter-terror investigation.”

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham described the ongoing leaks as “arrogant, wrong and disrespectful” and told Newsnight that he had complained to the US ambassador.

He added: “It worries me greatly… It’s not acceptable to me. Here is a live investigation taking place and we cannot have information put into the public domain that is not in the direct control of the British police and security services.”

The leaks continued to emerge on Wednesday despite public complaints from the British Home Secretary Amber Rudd.She told the Today programme on Wednesday that she had insisted to her US counterparts that the leaks must stop.

“The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect the operational integrity, the element of surprise, so it is irritating if it gets released from other sources, and I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again,” she said.

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