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28 February 2024

UK police stop sharing information on Manchester attack with US after leaks

By AFP/Reuters

British police have stopped sharing information on the suicide bombing in Manchester with the United States, the BBC reported on Thursday, because of fears that leaks in the U.S. media could hinder a hunt for a possible bomb-maker still at large.

If confirmed, the halt to the sharing investigative details with Britain's most important defence and security ally would underscore the level of anger in Britain at leaks to the U.S. media of details about the police investigation.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will raise the issue with Donald Trump on Thursday, a government source told Reuters, after the New York Times published detailed pictures of the crime scene in Manchester where 22 people were killed.

The pictures included the remains of the suspected bomb, the rucksack worn by the suicide bomber and showed blood stains amid the wreckage.

The BBC said Manchester Police hoped to resume normal intelligence relationships soon but is currently furious.

After the deadliest attack in Britain since July 2005, police are hunting for accomplices whom they suspect helped Salman Abedi build the bomb that killed 22 people on Monday in a crowded concert hall in the northern English city of Manchester.
British police have arrested two more men in connection with the Manchester attack, taking the number of people in custody to eight, Greater Manchester police said.

Britain views the United States as its closest ally, and the two countries also share intelligence as part of the "Five Eyes" network which also includes Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

After Trump defended his decision to discuss intelligence with the Russians during a White House meeting, Prime Minister Theresa May said last week that Britain would continue to share intelligence with the United States.

Two new arrests in Manchester bombing probe, woman released

Police said they arrested two men Thursday in the Manchester area in connection with the deadly bombing of a pop concert, while a detained woman was released without charges.

The new arrests bring to eight the total number of men being held in the probe of the attack Monday in Manchester that killed 22 people, police said.

Manchester police conduct explosion in terror probe

British police investigating the Manchester attack carried out a controlled explosion at an address in the south of the city early Thursday.

Seven people have been arrested so far in the investigation into Monday's suicide attack at a pop concert, which killed 22 people and wounded dozens of others.

The perpetrator, named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, was born and brought up in the south of Manchester, Britain's third city.

"This morning we have been carrying out searches at an address in the Moss Side area during which a controlled explosion took place," Greater Manchester Police said in a statement on the overnight raid.

"These searches are connected to Monday's attack on the Manchester Arena, but this is a fast-moving investigation and we are keeping an open mind at this stage.

"As it stands, six men and one woman have been arrested in conjunction with the investigation and remain in custody for questioning."

The seventh arrest was made Wednesday in the town of Nuneaton, central England, widening the probe as the previous arrests were all in the Greater Manchester area of northwest England.

The fifth arrest, made in Wigan outside the city, saw armed police swoop on a man and the town centre put in lockdown.

He was carrying a package which police took away for assessment.

Soufiane Hamdadou, the owner of nearby restaurant Fat Olive, said he saw police with machine guns and covered faces on the street.

"I heard shouting and screaming and looked out of the window and saw a man getting wrestled down to the ground," he said.

"It was undercover police and they were armed with balaclavas on."

"The man had a red bag and the police sealed off the whole area and moved the bag to the other side of the road," he said, adding that a man in forensic garb then examined it.