Trump ‘Deeply Troubled’ Over Leaked Information in Manchester Blast Probe
President Donald Trump says he is deeply troubled by leaks to U.S. media about the Manchester bombing investigation in Britain and promises an investigation.
Leaked details about the probe, including the bomber’s name and police pictures of the evidence, have incensed British investigators. They briefly suspended sharing information with the U.S. Thursday.
“I am asking the Department of Justice and other relevant agencies to launch a complete review of this matter,” Trump said in Brussels Thursday. “If appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Watch: May on Pressing Trump About Manchester Intel Leaks
British Prime Minister Theresa May, who was also in Brussels for the NATO summit, said defense and intelligence sharing is built on trust.
“Part of that trust is knowing that intelligence can be shared confidently,” May said.
It is unclear who the source of the leaked information was.
The New York Times Thursday defended printing the pictures of the evidence, saying the images were not graphic or disrespectful to the victims.
They included shredded pieces of the backpack the bomber used and the bloodstained detonator.
British born Salman Abedi blew himself up in a Manchester arena Monday night, moments after a show by American pop star Ariana Grande.
Twenty-two people were killed and 116 wounded. Most of the victims were young girls who were big fans of Grande. The youngest was 8 years old.
Eight people are in custody in Britain after raids in and around Manchester and in a town in central England.
Details on how they may be tied to the bombing have not been released.
Watch: Manchester Police Chief on Investigation, Arrests
Manchester Police Chief Ian Hopkins said these past few days have been intense for the officers and staff of the department, but that they continue to make 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,” Hopkins said Thursday.
Libyan authorities also say they have arrested Abedi’s father and brother in Tripoli, alleging the brother knew about the plot.
Abedi’s father, Ramadan, told Reuters he spoke to his son days before the bombing and “everything was normal.”
According to a spokesman for Libya’s anti-terror force, Salman Abedi called his mother just hours before the attack to say, “Forgive me.”
Islamic State has claimed responsibility, a claim British and U.S. authorities have not confirmed.
In Manchester, a moment of silence was held Thursday morning for the victims.
Residents gathered in a large circle in the city’s St. Ann’s Square with heads bowed before a makeshift memorial of flowers, balloons and candles.
Shortly after, Queen Elizabeth arrived at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to visit some of the injured.
Prime Minister May has raised Britain’s terror threat level to critical, the highest level, meaning an attack may be imminent.
British soldiers are patrolling high-profile events such as football matches and concerts.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will make his first official visit to London Friday to meet with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
A State Department spokeswoman said Tillerson is expected to “reaffirm America’s commitment to the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom and our solidarity in defeating terrorism in every part of the world.”