Brussels/London – The leaks of information about the Manchester
terrorist attack from US sources are “deeply troubling,” US President
Donald Trump said on Thursday, promising an investigation after
British police said the publication of forensic photographs had
caused distress to victims’ relatives.
“These leaks have been going on for a long time and my administration
will get to the bottom of this,” Trump said in a statement released
by the White House as he arrived at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
“The leaks of sensitive information pose a grave threat to our
Trump said he was ordering a review by the Justice Department and
other agencies and “if appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted
to the fullest extent of the law.”
In London, Lew Lukens, the acting US ambassador, also promised that
“appropriate steps will be taken” following an investigation of the
Lukens said Washington will “continue to offer resources and
intelligence to assist the UK authorities in their investigation.”
Prime Minister Theresa May said she planned to “make clear” to US
President Donald Trump at a NATO summit in Brussels that
“intelligence that is shared between our law enforcement agencies
must remain secure.”
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins told reporters
that the leaked forensic photographs from Manchester Arena, published
by the New York Times overnight, had “caused much distress for
families that are already suffering terribly with their loss.”
But he declined to comment on reports that his force had stopped
sharing intelligence on the Manchester attack with the United States.
The New York Times defended publishing the leaked photographs from
the scene of the attack, which killed 22 people and injured dozens at
the end of a concert by US popstar Ariana Grande.
The US newspaper’s coverage of the bombing was “both comprehensive
and responsible” and the paper has strict guidelines on how to cover
sensitive stories, a spokeswoman for the newspaper said in a
“The images and information presented were neither graphic nor
disrespectful of victims, and are consistent with the common line of
reporting on weapons used in horrific crimes, as The Times and other
media outlets have done following terrorist acts around the world,
from Boston to Paris to Baghdad, and many places in between,” the
The BBC said British officials were “outraged” by the publication of
The leak came after the name of the alleged attacker, 22-year-old
Salman Abedi, was reported by US media on Tuesday, quoting US
officials, before British police had released it publicly.