Greater Manchester Police will stop sharing terrorist intel with the United States surrounding Monday’s suicide bombing at Manchester Arena, following concerns that U.S. officials will continue to leak intel to the media.
The “irritating” leaks must stop, according to UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who also said she received promises from American officials that it would not happen again.
Many American news outlets this week published details of the bombing, which killed 22 people and injured 59 others, before British police had released intel to the UK media, including initial death tolls, the attack being an apparent suicide bombing and also the name of the attacker, according to the Independent.
“It’s not acceptable to me that here there is a live investigation taking place and we cannot have information being put in the public domain that’s not in the direct control of British police and security service,” said Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham during a BBC interview this week. “To have information put in the public domain before it was put there by people here is just wrong.”
A spokesperson for the National Counter Terrorism Security Office told CNN it’s important to have trusted relationships.
“When that trust is breached, it undermines these relationships, and undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families,” the spokesperson said. “This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorized disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter terrorism investigation.”
Prime Minister Theresa May said she would discuss the matter with President Donald Trump during a meeting this week at the NATO Summit in Brussels.
“I will make clear to President Trump that intelligence that is shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure,” she said, adding that the threat level will “remain at critical and the public should remain vigilant.”
President Trump has also ordered the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the bomb probe leaks, according to The Washington Post.
Former Chief of the Metropolitan Police Lord Blair said this incident of leaked intel rings a bell of former leaks. “It’s a different world in which the U.S. operates in the sense of how they publish things,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today. “This is a very grievous breach, but I’m afraid it’s the same as before.”