The United States' leaking problem is becoming a problem for the United Kingdom as well.
Before British police could confirm details about the Manchester terror attack and the individual responsible, American media was already talking about 22-year-old Salman Abedi and the people he had killed and wounded at the Ariana Grande concert. U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd asked U.S. officials to put a stop to the leaks in order to not compromise the investigation, but it looks like there are still holes that need plugging up.
"The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect the operational integrity, the element of surprise, so it is irritating if it gets released from other sources," said Rudd on the BBC Radio 4 Today program Wednesday morning. "And I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again."
However, on Wednesday afternoon, more leaks appeared in American media with details regarding the terrorist. NBC journalist Richard Engel tweeted a number of developments, citing his source as a "US intel official."
A US intel official tells @nbcnews UK bomber likely "had help" making “big and sophisticated bomb.”— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) May 24, 2017
A US intel official tells @nbcnews bomber ID’d by bank card in his pocket. Confirmed by facial id.— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) May 24, 2017
A US intel official tells @nbcnews members of bomber's family warned sec officials about him in past, that he was “dangerous.”— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) May 24, 2017
Us intel official told me uk bomber had "help" with explosive. Uk media now reporting hunt underway for bombmaker— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) May 24, 2017
While we do not know whether this information was leaked to Engel before or after Rudd asked U.S. officials to cease discussing intelligence with the American press, the timing certainly doesn't look good from the U.K. side of things.
This tension arises at a time when the White House has developed a reputation for loose lips and U.S. President Donald Trump himself is under fire for leaking classified intelligence to Russia, a nation with which he's already regarded as being suspiciously intertwined. If U.S. "friends" are already doubting this administration's ability to make wise choices when it comes to intelligence and are reconsidering sharing information, this certainly won't put their minds at ease — and the U.S. can't afford to be shut out.