Trump condemns leaks after UK police briefly halt information sharing

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U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May react during a ceremony at the new NATO headquarters before the start of a summit in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

BRUSSELS: President Donald Trump said on Thursday that “deeply troubling” leaks to U.S. media about the Manchester suicide bombing would be investigated, after irate British police briefly stopped sharing information with U.S. agencies.
Prime Minister Theresa May raised British concerns with Trump at a NATO summit in Brussels, telling him intelligence shared between their two countries had to remain secure, in a rare public show of dissatisfaction with Britain’s closest security ally.
After a suspension that lasted about a day, Britain’s most senior counter terrorism officer said late on Thursday that the police had resumed sharing information with the United States after receiving “fresh assurances”.
Trump had called the leaks “deeply troubling”.
“I am asking the Department of Justice and other relevant agencies to launch a complete review of this matter, and if appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said in a statement released after his arrival in Brussels.
The row comes as British police stepped up their investigation into a suspected network behind Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old British-born man with Libyan parents who blew himself up on Monday night at the Manchester Arena indoor venue after a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande.
The singer’s fans are mostly children and teenagers and the explosion killed 22 people, ranging from an eight-year-old schoolgirl to parents who had come to pick up their children.
Police are holding eight people in custody in connection with the attack and bomb disposal units were used in searches as officers raided properties across the city.
In the nearby town of Wigan, where a man was arrested on Wednesday, police said they had discovered potentially suspicious items, prompting them to bring in the bomb squad and evacuate properties in the area. The security alert was later lifted.
Police said they were making good progress.
“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,” Manchester’s police chief Ian Hopkins said.
With the official threat level raised to “critical”, meaning a further attack could be imminent, troops have been deployed to free up police, and armed officers patrolled trains for the first time in Britain.
The state-run National Health Service said all 27 major trauma units in England had told staff to be prepared for a possible attack, ahead of the weekend and a public holiday on Monday. – Reuters

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