May to confront Trump as UK police stop sharing attack information with US



British police stopped sharing information about the Manchester suicide bombing with the United States on Thursday after leaks to U.S. media that police said had risked compromising their investigations.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she would tell U.S. President Donald Trump that intelligence shared between their two countries had to remain secure, in a rare public show of dissatisfaction with Britain's closest security ally.

Police are holding eight people in custody in connection with the attack on a packed concert hall, which killed 22 people. Manchester's Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said the arrests were significant.


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Timeline of the Manchester Arena attack
Police vehicles and a police officer are seen outside the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing in Manchester, northern England, Britain May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jon Super
Police responded to reports of an incident at Manchester Arena. Please stay away from the area. More details to follow....
#arianagrande concert in Manchester where people were running to get safe after an explosion took place, the concert goers reportedly heard two loud booms and there may have been casualties #gossiptwins
An ambulance drives away from the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England, Britain, May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Yates
Emergency services responding to serious incident at Manchester Arena. Avoid the area. More details will follow as soon as available
Two women wrapped in thermal blankets stand near the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England, Britain, May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Yates
Pictures of the injured beginning to come out of Manchester (credit: Joel Goodman) https://t.co/9LebrHAmby
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - A person is wheeled away on a stretcher at Victoria Railway Station close to the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. There have been reports of explosions at Manchester Arena where Ariana Grande had performed this evening. Greater Manchester Police have have confirmed there are fatalities and warned people to stay away from the area. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
Police statement on incident at Manchester Arena https://t.co/gaKASukx9a
Due to the incident in Manchester, please only call us for life threatening emergencies at this time. Thank you.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Emergency services arrive close to the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. There have been reports of explosions at Manchester Arena where Ariana Grande had performed this evening. Greater Manchester Police have have confirmed there are fatalities and warned people to stay away from the area. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Members of the public receive treatment from emergency service staff at Victoria Railway Station close to the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. There have been reports of explosions at Manchester Arena where Ariana Grande had performed this evening. Greater Manchester Police have have confirmed there are fatalities and warned people to stay away from the area. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
Latest statement on incident at Manchester Arena https://t.co/BEpLOan3dY
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Police corden off an area close to the Box Office entrance to the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. An explosion occurred at Manchester Arena as concert goers were leaving the venue after Ariana Grande had performed. Greater Manchester Police have confirmed 19 fatalities and at least 50 injured. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Members of the public are escorted from the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. There have been reports of explosions at Manchester Arena where Ariana Grande had performed this evening. Greater Manchester Police have have confirmed there are fatalities and warned people to stay away from the area. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Police escort members of the public from the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. There have been reports of explosions at Manchester Arena where Ariana Grande had performed this evening. Greater Manchester Police have have confirmed there are fatalities and warned people to stay away from the area. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
#Manchester explosion @gmpolice statement: 19 dead and around 50 injured in the incident that's currently being tre… https://t.co/LmzzMsc5CV
Latest statement on incident at Manchester Arena @CCIanHopkins https://t.co/GEABqAk5rr
NWAS has taken 59 casualties from the Manchester Arena incident to various hospitals & treated a number of walking wounded on scene
Forensics investigators work at the entrance to the Manchester Arena, Britain May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Yates
Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, addresses the media near the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing in Manchester, northern England, Britain May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jon Super
A youngster wearing a t-shirt showing U.S. singer Ariana Grande talks to the media near the Manchester Arena in Manchester, Britain May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Yates
Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd arrives in Downing Street for an emergency cabinet meeting in London, May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 23: Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a statement outside No 10 Downing Street following the terror attacks at Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in London, England. A large explosion was reported at the end of a concert by American singer Ariana Grande. So far, police have confirmed 22 dead and over fifty injured in the explosion, now thought to be terrorist-related. PHOTOGRAPH BY Amer Ghazzal / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Amer Ghazzal / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
At the request of @JunckerEU, flags at half-mast in @EU_Commission in solidarity with the British people… https://t.co/AHKQTbW2oY
People rush out of the Arndale shopping centre as it is evacuated in Manchester, Britain May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples
Police say it's a false alarm sparked by someone panicking unnecessarily. Outbreaks like this often happen in wake of a terror attack.
#Breaking Man, 23, arrested in connection with Manchester Arena bomb attack, @gmpolice say https://t.co/Y6On1vMA4R
An armed police officer stands outside a residential property near to where a man was arrested in the Chorlton area of Manchester, Britain May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
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"I want to reassure people that the arrests that we have made are significant, and initial searches of premises have revealed items that we believe are very important to the investigation," he told reporters.

A source with knowledge of the investigation told Reuters the bomber, Salman Abedi, might have made the bomb himself or with some assistance from an accomplice. That was a change from previous thinking that a bomb-maker might be at large.

"The focus is still the search for accomplices and the network but he could have made this bomb himself," the source said.

The official threat level in Britain was raised after the attack to "critical", its highest level, meaning a further attack could be imminent.

Troops have been deployed to free up police officers for patrols and investigations, and on Thursday the British Transport Police said armed officers would patrol trains for the first time.

Hopkins said on Wednesday that Abedi was part of a network.

Born in Manchester to Libyan parents, the 22-year-old had recently returned from Libya, according to interior minister Amber Rudd.

He blew himself up at the Manchester Arena indoor venue after a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande, whose fan base is made up largely of children and teenagers. The victims ranged from an eight-year-old schoolgirl to parents who had come to pick up their children.

The attack also injured 116 people, of whom 75 were admitted to hospital and 23 remain in a very serious condition, health authorities said on Thursday.

DISTRESS

Hopkins said the leaks of details of the investigation to U.S. media, which included forensic photographs of the bomb site published by the New York Times, had been hurtful to the families of the victims.

"It is absolutely understandable the distress and upset that this caused to these families that are already suffering," he said.

May said she would talk to Trump at a NATO summit later on Thursday about the leaks.

"I will make clear to President Trump that intelligence that is shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure," she said in a televised statement.

The decision to stop sharing police information with U.S. agencies was an extraordinary step as Britain sees the United States as its closest ally on security and intelligence.

"This is until such time as we have assurances that no further unauthorized disclosures will occur," said a counter-terrorism source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The BBC said later Interior Minister Rudd was now confident the leaks, which she had described as irritating, would now stop.

The most senior U.S. diplomat in Britain condemned the leaks as "reprehensible" and said the U.S. government would take action to identify those responsible and stop them.

British authorities did not say that the investigation had in fact been compromised by the leaks.

Many European cities, including Paris, Berlin and Brussels, have suffered attacks in the last two years, underlining the importance of confidential intelligence cooperation.

Britain routinely shares intelligence with the United States bilaterally, and also as part of the "Five Eyes" network which also includes Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Trump was widely criticized this month after it emerged he had discussed sensitive Syria-related intelligence, originating from an ally, with Russian officials at a White House meeting. May said at the time Britain would continue to share information with Washington.

"A CITY UNITED"

Queen Elizabeth visited the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, where some of the casualties have been treated.

A minute's silence was observed in honor of the victims at a square in central Manchester, after which crowds broke into an emotional chorus of "Don't Look Back in Anger", an old hit song by the band Oasis who are from the city.

The city's two giant soccer clubs, Manchester United and Manchester City, laid aside their fierce rivalry to jointly donate 1 million pounds ($1.3 million) to an emergency fund set up to support families affected by the attack. They labeled their initiative "A City United."

The bombing, targeting as it did children and teenagers, has caused revulsion across the world.

British media have reported that one of the eight people under arrest is Abedi's brother but police have not confirmed that. Abedi's father and younger brother were arrested in Tripoli in Libya.

The pictures published by the New York Times included remains of the bomb and of the rucksack carried by the suicide bomber and showed blood stains amid the wreckage.

"I think it's pretty disgusting," said Scott Lightfoot, a Manchester resident, speaking outside a train station in the city. He criticized media for publishing such material.

"Who's leaking it? Where's it coming from? This is British intelligence at the end of the day, people shouldn't be finding out about this."

The Financial Times reported that such images are available across a restricted-access encrypted special international database used by government ordnance and explosives experts in about 20 countries allied with Britain. It said the database was built around a longstanding U.S.-British system.

U.S. channel ABC News reported that police had found a kind of bomb-making workshop in Abedi's home and he had apparently stockpiled enough chemicals to make additional bombs.

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