Early on Tuesday morning, British police requested that the identity of the Manchester bomber – then unknown to the public at large – not be circulated. That Salman Abedi’s name was subsequently made public by members of the US intelligence community, prompted a stern rebuke from the Home Secretary.
In a statement, Amber Rudd stressed that the police needed to maintain ‘operational integrity and the element of surprise’, and made clear that she had ‘been very clear with our friends that [this] should not happen again”.
There the issue might have rested, had the steady drumbeat of leaks not continued. First came off the record briefings to US media outlets, in which officials claimed they had warned British counterparts in advance that Mr Abedi represented a danger. That was followed by the emergence of detailed pictures from the investigation itself, including some which captured remnants of the explosive device, and the blood-stained detonator.
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