The British government has expressed its anger over photos of evidence in the Manchester Arena attack published by The New York Times. The American newspaper on Wednesday carried photos of blood-stained fragments of the bomb used in Monday’s suicide attack, reported Reuters.
United Kingdom Home Secretary Amber Rudd warned the US against further information leak through the American media. Rudd had also called upon John Kelly, the US secretary of homeland security, on Tuesday asking for the leaks to be stopped, reported The Guardian.
“The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity,” Rudd said. “It is irritating if it gets released from other sources, and I have been very clear with our friends that should not happen again,” she added.
However, hours after Rudd’s statement, the NYT published another set of photos from the attack site. It included what appeared to be remnants of a backpack, some nuts and screws, and what was identified as a possible “detonator”, BBC reported.
The NYT had reported that the bomber had carried a powerful explosive in his backpack and may have held a small switch in his left hand. “These images leaked from inside the US system will be distressing for victims, their families and the wider public,” BBC reported quoting an unidentified Whitehall official. The issue was raised at every relevant levels by British authorities, the official added.
Information on the bomber, Salman Abedi, had also been first released by US TV networks, CBS and NBC.
Meanwhile, Manchester police arrested five men and one woman on Wednesday for questioning and searched multiple addresses across England. “I think it is very clear that this is a network that we are investigating,” police chief Ian Hopkins said, according to Reuters.
Salman Abedi’s father, who was arrested by Tripoli police, said he had spoken to his son days before the attack and there “was nothing wrong”, reported Reuters. Salman Abedi’s brother Hashem was also arrested on charges of having links with the Islamic State group. He has been accused of planning to carry out an attack in Tripoli, Libya’s capital.
The British government on Wednesday had raised the terror threat level from “severe” to “critical”. The explosion, which killed 22 people and injured 59 others, took place at an arena where American singer Ariana Grande was performing. The majority of the audience consisted of teenage fans. The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the attack on Monday.