Manchester Bomber - Intelligence Leaks

What possible reason could the American Intelligence Services have for releasing sensitive information to the press, and damaging the intelligence sharing agreements between The USA and Britain?

Where in the link you cited, or in the New York Times article, does it say that the NYT received the information from US intelligence services?

One possible reason (hypothetically, since we don’t know if US Intelligence leaked the info) is that a US official with clearance to see this info had been compromised by or is voluntarily helping some foreign government, or is otherwise gaining some personal benefit from this alleged action.

Another possible reason, although I think too sophisticated for US intelligence to pull off, is that it’s disinformation which could lead to more information about the bombing.

The more important question is why does the media report things that the investigators have asked them to hold. I realize the natural tendency is to not listen to authorities when they try stop information from getting out, and, in general, I support this tendency. But in this instance, the Manchester police were not asking the media to not report, they were just asking for a little time, saying that they were afraid it might jeopardize their investigation.
Is this done because they (the American media) are all afraid of their competitors not having the same ethics and scooping them? Or do they actually believe the duty to report superceeds all?


Well, CNN claims held back the name of the city of the agent who got the info Trump told Russia. So they don’t always report everything. OTOH, that wasn’t something sensational or that would up ratings (the city name itself). Also, do we know the if US news agencies had been told to hold back the info or not? Or did the US leakers give the info to the news agencies without telling them that? Or is that something all news agencies know anyway, and the US news agencies just didn’t care because the British government can’t really do anything to them (or can they - in terms of lack of cooperation with correspondents in UK?).

Have there been reverse incidents in the past (where British media published something another country wanted kept quiet)? I honestly don’t know - not meant to be an accusation.

I obviously don’t have all the facts either, but the way i understand it, the British police had made a statement that they were purposefully withholding the name of the bomber due to concerns about the ongoing investigation. So, the American media had both the name (from other sources) and the British police’s statement, it’s quite clear, to me, that the information was on a (temporary) embargo.
Like I said, I kinda understand the media’s urge to report, I’m jsut trying to sort out why they did what they did in this particular case.

No, the more important question is why are government officials, including the President, leaking classified information all over the place. That’s a thousand times more important than the media reporting the classified information after it gets leaked to them.

We shouldn’t be complaining about reporters doing their job. We should be complaining about government officials not doing their job.

Yeah, that was poor phrasing on my part. I guess both parts of this equation are inseparable. There would probably be “no” leaks if the media weren’t clamoring over themselves to print them. And the media wouldn’t push so hard for leaks if they were a rare commodity.
I wasn’t complaining about them “doing their job” I just wonder if anyone anymore weighs the public’s right to know against when they should know it. Is that even a consideration? Was it ever?

The Five Eyes intelligence sharing agreement is supposed to allow highly confidential intelligence to be shared without fear of it becoming public knowledge. Maybe the US officials did not see this as all that important; in which case they need to be re-educated.

The fact is that its an unequal relationship and the US knows it. The UK (and other parties) need it a lot more than the US needs them. Which is not to say that its useless to the US, but the UK is not going to jeopardize its access to the US intelligence gathering apparatus, which it does not have the resources nor technical expertise to replicate at home.

The occasional leak of information, you would rather not see in the media is just the cost of this access.

This looks like more than an occasional or accidental leak. And two - or in this case, five - can play at that game. We can all speculate as who stands to gain from that sort of disruption, and where and how they’re more likely, at the moment, to be in a position to provoke it.

I wonder how much you would squeal, if the boot was on the other foot? The whole thing works on trust - lose that and it falls apart. Even mighty America needs allies.

Won’t give two fucks frankly, I am not American.

Well, at least your attitude reveals what sort of person you are, even if it is not your nationality.

The British Home Secretary (in charge of homeland security) and the Mayor of Manchester have both made direct complaints to US authorities, and have shut down the flow of information sharing to the US, which we must presume they wouldn’t do if they didn’t hold the US gov or Intelligence services directly responsible for the leaks.

Theresa May is also reported to be talking directly to Trump about it today at the NATO summit.

I have never seen such outrage directed towards the US from British Government spokespeople.

Worst. Chain. Ever.

I thought Snowden had confirmed what a lot of people had known for years. The NSA get around those pesky laws about spying on their own people without a warrant, by getting GCHQ to do it for them. If we stop sharing info then the guys at the NSA will have to fill in a lot more paperwork in future. Do you own a pen shop near Fort Meade by any chance?

I’ll take a contrary view. Why is this secret?

The group that organized the bombing knows who is involved. Undoubtedly it’s a group, based on the sophistication of the bomb, and that the bomber had the bomb three days after returning from Libya. The moment of the first arrest, they know that the police know. Anyone who knows anything about bombs knows the evidence does not disappear in a blast; in the first WTC bombing they got the VIN number off the van despite it making a two-storey hole in the parking garage. So really, all this hides is “we don’t know very much”. I understand the police desire to look like they know more than they do, but - sooner or later the facts will come out. In fact, releasing information can be helpful - people who know - or suspected - a bit more may come forward. (Even something simple as “some Arab guy came in my store and bought ten random boxes of wood screws”)

Note the important missing details - who radicalized him, when, where did the bomb come from, … It’s not like the total investigation has been spilled.

Why give your enemy more information?

The other matter relates to trial, when information is not public, it can be used to verify details obtained in an interview, and this can become a point of evidence in the hearing.

What if This is Trump’s ‘Reichstag Fire’?

He’s long been all about making it about leaks, not the high crimes they expose. So… he waits for the next big foreign intel issue with maximum exposure. He learns the photos have intel significance… but they just look to a reporter like standard crime scene photos. He gives the word… leak it to the NYT.

Then he sits back and waits for MI5 to explode.
Next, he’ll jump on the bandwagon and insist on curbs on all media reporting.

…and all with a smirk on his face…

Seems plausible. No I can’t prove it… but if it could be proved… and the order to leak did come down from 1600… it would be interesting…