We noted earlier today that British authorities shared photographs and other information about the Manchester bombing with American intelligence agencies–presumably the CIA and the FBI–and that information was promptly leaked by Democrats at one or more of the agencies to Democrats at the New York Times, which published the photos and other information.
The Sun reports that British officials are irate about the American agencies’ inability to keep a secret:
Furious Theresa May is to demand answers from Donald Trump after US officials leaked bloody crime scene photos of the Manchester bombing.
Fury erupted across Whitehall after details of the probe continued to slip out in Washington DC in defiance of Britain’s Home Secretary.
The images, leaked to the New York Times by US intelligence sources, reveal the device was probably packed in a blue Karrimor rucksack.
And they suggest that Abedi may have triggered the blast using a detonator held in his left hand.
There are also suggestions that the bomb may have had a remote control.
Ministers were described as “seething” over the graphic disclosure, which could also risk endangering future prosecutions.
The PM will ask the US president for an explanation when they meet at the NATO summit in Brussels tomorrow.
This is ironic, of course. Democrats in the intelligence agencies generally leak against the president. If he knew how to stop the leaks, he would do it. But it appears that this time, the British are serious:
Protests were raised at every level of the government, including by National Security Adviser Mark Sedwill to his counterpart HR McMaster.
A senior Whitehall source said: “These leaks from inside the US system are likely to deeply distress the victims, their families and the wider public.
“Information has also been leaked which risks compromising the ongoing investigation into this appalling crime.
“Protests have been lodged at every relevant level between the British authorities and our US counterparts.
“They are in no doubt about our huge strength of feeling on this issue. It is unacceptable.”
I couldn’t agree more with this comment by an MP:
Former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell said: “There seem to be some seriously third rate, untrustworthy spooks in the US.”
There is more at the link, to the same effect. Who knows? Perhaps British anger will finally make it possible to identify, fire, and where appropriate criminally prosecute the leakers at the CIA and, in all likelihood, the FBI.