The outrage that UK officials had after learning that the United States leaked sensitive information regarding the Manchester Arena bomb attack has caused the UK to stop sharing information with the US. Reports have indicated that the UK police were livid when photos appeared showing debris from the attack in the New York Times. Those pictures came after the name of the bomber, Salman Abedi, was leaked to US media just hours after the attack which has left 22 people dead.
The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, said that she would talk with President Trump at this week’s NATO meeting that shared intelligence “must remain secure.” The United States acting ambassador to the UK “unequivocally condemned” the leaks while doing a BBC interview. “These leaks were reprehensible, deeply distressing,” Lewis Lukens said. “We have had communications at the highest level of our government … we are determined to identify these leaks and to stop them.”
While visiting patients who experienced Monday’s attack at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, the Queen of England paid tribute to the “extraordinary” way the city had responded. Along with the 22 who lost their lives, there were 116 people injured in the terrorist attack. There is now a total of 8 men in custody following the bombing. It has also emerged that two individuals who knew the bomber at college made separate calls to a hotline to warn the police about his extremist views. According to one source, Abedi is one of a “pool” of people who are now subjects of interest by security services. Those who are leading the investigation on the ground in Manchester give their information to National Counter-Terrorism, which then shares it across the government. Because of “Five Eyes” intelligence, it is then automatically shared with the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Gordon Corera, a BBC security correspondent, believes that US law enforcement is responsible for the leaks rather than the White House. The decision by the UK police to stop sharing information is a significant move and shows just how livid the British officials are. The system for the exchange of information is based on trust and the “control principle.” If intelligence is shared, those who receive it have no right to disseminate it without permission.
Do you think this most recent US leak will cause significant complications for future sharing of intelligence?
Credit: BBC News