Manchester Police Resume Intel Sharing With US

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Will Racke Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter
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British officials say they have resumed sharing information about the investigation into the Manchester bombing with U.S. counterparts, following a brief suspension over concern that American intelligence agencies were leaking sensitive details to the media.

The reversal comes hours after U.K. Prime Minster Theresa May met with President Donald Trump at the NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday morning. May reportedly raised the issue of intelligence leaks with Trump as they gathered for a group photograph of NATO leaders.

“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 official told Reuters.

Trump’s assurances that his administration would work to tamp down on leaks to U.S. media apparently convinced officials to restart the exchange of information, reports the BBC.

U.K. officials have been angered by a series of leaks to American media outlets since Monday’s suicide bombing at Manchester Arena. British Home Secretary Amber Rudd issued Tuesday a public rebuke to the U.S. government for leaking the name of the suspect into before U.K. authorities were prepared to release it. The next day, a New York Times report that included photographs of fragments of the bomb prompted British authorities to cut off intelligence sharing with U.S. counterparts.

The decision was an extraordinary measure for Britain, which routinely shares highly sensitive intelligence with the “Five Eyes” group of nations: the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The Trump administration has recently suffered a spate of damaging leaks on numerous issues, including the FBI’s investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia and the president’s sharing of sensitive information with foreign leaders.

Trump condemned the leaks in a statement, calling them “deeply troubling” and harmful to the intelligence partnerships between the U.S. and its allies.

“These leaks have been going on for a long time, and my administration will get to the bottom of this,” he said Thursday. “The leaks of sensitive information pose a grave threat to our national security.”

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