- By Emily TamkinEmily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. She writes for FP’s The Cable, a real-time take on the news in Washington and the wider world. She has been at FP since the fall of 2016, before which she was an associate editor at New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. She has a B.A. in Russian literature from Columbia University, an M.Phil. in Russian and East European studies from the University of Oxford, and studied Soviet dissidence in archival centers in Moscow, Tbilisi, and, on a Fulbright, in Bremen — all of which means that at FP, she writes when she can on Russia and Central and Eastern Europe.
The United Kingdom decided to stop sharing information about Monday evening’s attack in Manchester with their U.S. counterparts after a photo showing debris from the bomb was published in the New York Times.
British officials were reportedly outraged over the leaks. As the BBC noted, the name of the 22-year-old attacker appeared in U.S. media hours after the explosion, while British media remained in the dark.
Greater Manchester Police, which apparently hopes to resume intelligence sharing soon, was “furious.” All other intelligence between the United States and United Kingdom, which make up two of the “Five Eyes” countries that share intelligence, is continuing as normal.
But, for now, where information regarding the Manchester attack is concerned, “we quite frankly can’t afford to risk it any more,” Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham told CNN.
The announcement comes just a day after Israeli Defense chief Avigdor Lieberman said that his country had changed intelligence-sharing protocols. Israel made unspecified tweaks after — and, presumably, because — U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly shared classified intelligence obtained from Israel with Russian officials during their visit to the White House earlier this month.
U.K. officials apparently believe U.S. law enforcement, and not the White House, was responsible for the Manchester leaks, which is probably why Trump came out vowing to prosecute whomever was responsible.
“These leaks have been going on for a long time and my administration will get to the bottom of this. The leaks of sensitive information pose a grave threat to our national security,” Trump said, adding that, “if appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Trump also said that there is “no relationship we cherish more than the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.”
That’s a message that will be conveyed in London soon by his secretary of state. On Thursday, the British Foreign Office announced Rex Tillerson will make his first official visit to to the United Kingdom this Friday “in an expression of UK-US solidarity following the terrorist attack in Manchester earlier this week.”
Photo credit: MATT DUNHAM/AFP/Getty Images