British PM May to raise Manchester attack leaks with Trump

Elias Hubbard
May 29, 2017

Two men were arrested by police in Greater Manchester overnight on Thursday, bringing the number in United Kingdom custody to eight.

A US law enforcement official later authenticated the photos and said they had been provided by British authorities to American investigators, CNBC reported.

With British police investigating an alleged network linked to the British-born suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, the matter of information leaked to US media will be taken up by British Prime Minister Theresa May when she meets President Donald Trump at a later North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, the BBC reported.

But after of the bomber's identity and details of the probe were leaked, the intelligence-sharing relationship between close allies London and Washington was left rocking.

"I think it's very clear that this is a network that we are investigating", police chief Ian Hopkins said outside Manchester police headquarters.

The news emerged on a fan page on Twitter late on Tuesday, under the handle @ArianaDailyWW, in a post that read: "News on Ariana: Ariana has reached out to the families who's loves ones died last night (sic). she is gonna pay for the funerals!"

U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd was reportedly irritated by information released about Salman Abedi and had warned Washington saying: "It should not happen again".

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham told the BBC on Thursday that the leaks were "arrogant".

He said: "When the bang went I heard screaming and shouting and then they took the woman out".

"We'll do whatever we can to honour that", he said.

Two Labour lawmakers tweeted their concern Wednesday.

"She expressed the view that the intelligence sharing relationship we have with the U.S. is hugely important and valuable, but that the information that we share should be kept secure", a British government source said.

The New York Times published on Wednesday what appeared to be police photographs showing fragments from the bomb and a backpack used to hide it.

Contacted by AFP, Greater Manchester Police declined to comment on the BBC report.

A government source told the Guardian newspaper, "Protests have been lodged at every relevant level between the British authorities and our USA counterparts".

Britain's official threat level was raised to the highest level, or "critical" following the Manchester attack, with armed troops deployed to guard landmarks.

Speaking after a meeting of the government's COBRA crisis committee, May said "the public should remain vigilant". May said eight suspects are in custody and "progress is being made".

A suicide bomber killed at least 22 people in a packed concert hall in Manchester, in what British Prime Minister Theresa May called a sickening act targeting children and young people. Police say he was part of a network and they are racing to track down his links. Dozens were also wounded in the incident. "Eilidh was vivacious and full of fun".

"Horror. Absolute horror", Phil Dick said. "Sorrell was only 14, but she was our rock, she kept us all grounded". Abedi's relative said he had spoken with his brother only, asking that his message be relayed to his mother.

The family is believed to live between Manchester, where the children were born and grew up, and Libya.

The attack was the deadliest in Britain since 2005, when 56 people were killed in an attack on the London transport system.

A further two people were arrested in Libya, taking the total number of people in custody in connection with the bombing worldwide to 10.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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