Officers investigating Manchester Arena bombing take decision as transatlantic row over leaks escalates
British police have stopped sharing evidence from the investigation into the terror network behind the Manchester bombing with the United States after a series of leaks left investigators and the government furious.
The ban is limited to the Manchester investigation only. British police believe the leaks are unprecedented in their scope, frequency and potential damage.
Downing Street was not behind the decision by Greater Manchester police to stop sharing information with US intelligence, a No 10 source said, stressing that it was important police were allowed to take independent decisions.
This is an operational matter for police, a No 10 spokesman said. The police and the Home Office refused to comment. The Guardian understands there is not a blanket ban on intelligence-sharing between the US and the UK.
Relations between the US and UK security services, normally extremely close, have been put under strain by the scale of the leaks from US officials to the American media.
After chairing a meeting of the emergency Cobra meeting Theresa May said: I will make clear to President Trump that intelligence shared between our security agencies must remain secure. She is due to meet the US president at a Nato summit in Brussels on Thursday.
Ahead of the summit, the prime minister said she would work with other leaders on the global effort to defeat terrorism and remove extremist material from the internet.
She said the domestic threat of terrorism is still at a critical level, meaning an attack may be imminent, and she urged the public to remain vigilant.
On Friday, the prime minister will attend a G7 summit in Taormina in Sicily, although her planned attendance is being cut short by a day because of the higher domestic terror threat level.
The prime minister said she will lead a discussion on counter-terrorism and on how we will work together to prevent the plotting of terrorist attacks online and to stop the spread of hateful extremist ideology on social media.
British officials were infuriated on Wednesday when the New York Times published forensic photographs of sophisticated bomb parts that UK authorities fear could complicate the expanding investigation, in which six further arrests have been made in the UK and two more in Libya.
It was the latest of a series of leaks to US journalists that appeared to come from inside the US intelligence community, passing on data that had been shared between the two countries as part of longstanding security cooperation.
A senior Whitehall source said: These images from inside the American system are clearly distressing to victims, their families and other members of the public. Protests have been lodged at every relevant level between the British authorities and our US counterparts. They are in no doubt about our huge strength of feeling on this issue. It is unacceptable.
Whitehall sources reported a sense of deflation among UK security staff at the amount of detail coming out of America. The UK had shared the material with US police and intelligence in the expectation it would remain secret. The amount released is hampering at least part of the investigation, they believe.
Manchesters mayor, Andy Burnham, said the leaks were arrogant and disrespectful, and police chiefs also criticised the actions.
A national counter-terrorism policing spokesperson said: We greatly value the important relationships we have with our trusted intelligence, law enforcement and security partners around the world.
When that trust is breached it undermines these relationships, and undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families. This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorised disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter-terrorism investigation.
The police and the domestic security agency, MI5, are facing questions over whether they ignored warnings about Salman Abedi and whether there were clues they failed to pick up on.
While not directly responding to the criticism, the agencies have stressed that they have a large number of potential suspects and, in spite of increased spending, do not have infinite resources to monitor everyone. Hard decisions have to be made about prioritising which suspects need to be put under physical and electronic surveillance, they have said.
The number of specialist personnel carrying out physical surveillance varies according to whether a suspect is being watched at home or in the outside world.
MI5 is reticent about releasing exact figures but it has a database of about 3,000 potential people of concern, of whom about 500 are regarded as potentially high risk. Only a small proportion of these can be put under 24-hour physical surveillance and often only for a limited number of days or weeks.
The ban on sharing information with the US on such a major inquiry is unprecedented, more so because the atrocity has potential implications for US efforts to prevent any similar attacks directed at American targets.
The ban is described as temporary, and British police are examining if they can put safeguards in place to stop any further leaks.
British police are angry that as their officers are in pursuit of a suspected terror network, with raids deemed so risky they are being carried out by elite armed officers, sensitive information is being regularly leaked by the US.
May will raise her concerns with the US president at the Nato summit, where she will push for the military alliance to join the coalition against Islamic State.
The images published by the New York Times revealed that the device used by Salman Abedi, which killed 22 people, had been made with forethought and care, raising questions for investigators about how it had been constructed and by whom.
Abedi had carried a metal box containing well packed explosives, metal nuts and screws in a box probably inside a Karrimor rucksack, the leaked details showed. The device was powerful enough for shrapnel to penetrate metal doors and to scar brick walls. Abedi detonated the bomb with his left hand.
It showed the force of the explosion was such that his torso was ripped from the rest of his body and propelled across the foyer and that most of those killed were in a circle around the bomber.
The kind of information that has been leaked is routinely shared with police counterparts in the US. The information goes into a shared computer system and is then distributed among different specialists in the US, ranging from bomb experts to those dealing in counter-terrorism.
The UK and US are among the closest intelligence partners in the world, with the UKs surveillance agency, GCHQ, sharing information with the NSA, MI6 with the CIA, and MI5 with the FBI. But the lines are not rigid and information is often shared more widely.
On Wednesday Amber Rudd, the British home secretary, had rebuked the US security services for leaking the bombers name to American media before it had been made public in Britain, but her warnings appear to have had no impact.
I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again, Rudd said.
I doubt you even noticed, but I blocked you. On every social media platform. On my phone. On Facebook. On Instagram. I had to block you out of my life. I had to block you out of my head and out of my heart.
Because being friends with you wasn’t working.
And the thing is, I didn’t do it for you. I didn’t do it to make you mad or to make you feel any sort of emotion. I didn’t do it so you’d miss me or want me. I did it for me.
I had to cut you out, sharply and loudly. And I’m not sorry for doing it.
I did it for me so I could give myself a chance. So I could give myself a shot at love that isn’t with you. I did it for me to give my heart a fucking break. To treat myself better than you ever did. I had to do it, to be kind to myself.
I was lying to myself for a very long time. I thought that our friendship was more important than what I really wanted. That having you in my life was better than not having you at all.
Turns out, it wasn’t better. And I finally had enough.
It was midnight and I don’t know what came over me, but I just knew that I had to do it. I had to erase you. At least erase what I could find from the click of a button. I had to wash away that love. For good.
I did it for me. I did it out of the kindness of my heart for myself. I didn’t do it for you.
I did it because I love me more than I used to love you. And when I was with you, I don’t think I loved myself. I think I loved myself because you loved me. But that was a long time ago. I’m a different person with a different heart.
I love my life.
And as much as it hurts to write this, I love my life. Without you in it. To be honest, I never thought I would. If you had told me that I’d be happy without you, I would have never believed you in a million years. I’d laugh and pull you in close promising you forever.
I used to say that you were the only thing that made feel whole. I used to say that you were the thing that made me shine. I used to say that you were the person who loved me the most.
And now? I’m you. Because I love me more than anything or anyone. And I can finally, finally put you in the past and put myself back in first place.
So, I blocked you. I cut you out. And I’m so happy I had the guts to do it. To put myself before someone else. To love me. To freaking adore the life I have. Without you.
Thanks to social media, the outrage over athletes political and personal choices is impossible to avoid but I want to get back to watching sports for fun
Will Ferrell is now a part-owner of the new MLS side Los Angeles FC, meaning supporters of the LA Galaxy or the Seattle Sounders may feel compelled, or even required, to dislike Ferrell and his movies. Such is the risk a celebrity takes when taking a side on anything: sports, politics, whether a hot dog is a sandwich, you name it.
It became harder to enjoy two mindless hours of a Tom Cruise action movie the more we learned about his role in Scientology, just as it no doubt is difficult for a diehard New York Giants or Yankees fan to forget that Ben Affleck loves the Patriots and Red Sox while watching Gone Girl or Argo. (You may feel that being a Boston fan in no way compares to espousing Scientology, but a New York fan would disagree.)
Pre-social media, James Woods was just a character who appeared in a bunch of very watchable TV shows and movies. Now hes the angry uncle you try to avoid talking to at Thanksgiving. Curt Schilling used to be a star pitcher famous for his bloody sock; now hes well, pretty much James Woods with a few World Series rings.
Everything is a culture war now. Its everywhere. And its impossible to avoid, even in the movies and sports many of us go to in hopes of finding a brief respite from all the yelling we find online and off. Sometimes I just want to watch the game, you know? Maybe flip on the TV and forget for a few hours that Donald Trump could become president of the free world.
But then you see Tom Donald Is A Good Friend Of Mine Brady and all the garbage creeps back into your brain when all you want is to see one of the greatest quarterbacks ever throw a ball to a man named Gronk. Then a Cam Newton touchdown highlight comes on and you can just feel the disturbance in the atmosphere as millions of people instantly fill with outrage over his chosen celebration routine. Please dont take sports from us, too, culture wars.
This is not an appeal for everyone to stick to sports, or in the case of Hollywood: stick to movies. Tom Brady obviously has just as much right to his opinion about things off-the-field as I do or you do and probably even more of a right, since hes rich and famous and this is America, after all. And one day, if (when?) he runs for national office, Ill want to hear all of his opinions. Because theyll have a potential impact on my life. But for now, I dont want to know who hes voting for or what is in his Netflix queue.
Thanks to social media and the omnipresent sports media, though, most of us now know exactly way too much about every athlete. I have decided I want to know less. Tell me, show me, teach me any and everything about what happens between the lines, but beyond that? My feelings are increasingly captured by the words of the great American social commentator Jay Cutler: Doooonnnnnnt caaaaaarrrrrrrrre.
Growing up I knew two things about Michael Jordan: that he was awesome at basketball and that he wore Nikes. But if Jordan was playing today, something he said or did once would become memed and thinkpieced and over-analyzed until half the country got sick of hearing the mans name. Imagine the ubiquity of the Jordan crying meme, but make it a partisan comment. It would be hell.
It might just be fun if sports and movies went back to being the place we can get away from all the partisanship that we find in so much of the rest of our lives. Yet somewhere online right now, you know theres an article about Andy Daltons thumb injury devolving in the comments section into an argument about Obamacare. No, thanks. I dont claim to be above the fray. Im just tired of the fray. Ill happily take every piece of personal information shared about an athlete to be prompted by a warning: SPOILER ALERT: What we are about to tell you could make you dislike this person. If you want to keep enjoying him as an athlete, please mute your TV now. Agree or disagree, I dont want to know. I just want to watch sports again.
The Know-Nothing Party was an American political party in the mid-1800s that was staunchly anti-immigrant and opposed to people of a particular faith (Catholics). Interestingly (or perhaps terrifyingly), that party platform is exactly the one currently advanced by supporters of Donald Trump some 165 years later, just with Muslims in place of Catholics. Since Trumps supporters, be they crazy-faced people or All-Pro quarterbacks, havent adopted the Know-Nothing name, I want to bring it back.
Trump can keep the ideology, but I want the name. Im starting a group called the Know-Nothing Sports Fans. Join me. We will just watch sports for sports. We will watch every game on mute. We wont care who athletes are dating or voting for or how they are celebrating. It will be wonderful. We will make being a sports fan great again.
Mitsubishi has brought its upcoming Eclipse Cross SUV to the Eclipses landfall in Oregon along with a bunch of influencers it flew in from 10 countries to take photos of it and post them to their social media accounts. Hopefully their cameras have flashes.
Lights out for Nissan
Nissans U.S. headquarters in Nashville is smack dab in the middle of the path of totality, so you know it had to get into the act — even if it had to make a stretch to do it. Nissan is taking the opportunity to introduce blacked-out Midnight Editions of its Titan and Frontier pickups.
If you had trouble finding a pair of eclipse glasses, buy a Volvo instead. The carmaker from the land of the midnight sun has developed an ISO-certified 12312-2 eclipse filter that fits over the entire sunroof of its XC60 crossover. It shipped a few of the magnetically-attached devices to select dealers in the path of totality, so lucky people can gaze up at the heavens together five at a time. Pulling over is probably a good idea.
While being constantly flooded with political ramblings and fake news stories, it’s refreshing to come across a story that proves the internet and social media aren’t entirely horrible.
After a Saudi Arabian cleaner was photographed staring at a storefront display of jewelry, an anonymous Instagram account posted the picture online in an attempt to mock the man because of his appearance and occupation.
The social media post included the caption, “This man deserves to look at trash only.”
The cruel post caught the attention of Twitter user ensaneyat who found it to be unfair to a man that had a life story far beyond what was captured in the photo. Taking to social media, the man reached out to his friends and followers in hopes of learning more about the unjustly ridiculed person in the picture.
“Peace and blessings upon you all, I urge those who know this worker to get in touch with me. I have a free set of gold jewelry for him.”
(CNN)Steve Bannon was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team last Friday, a person familiar with the matter said.
The Washington Post first reported that Bannon had been interviewed Friday by the special counsel team. Its report, citing sources familiar with the session, said Bannon had been asked about comments that Roger Stone, a longtime associate of Trump, had made about WikiLeaks in 2016.
Bannon, a former White House chief strategist, left his role in the administration last year after joining Trump’s campaign in a leading role through its final months. But he and the President had a falling-out in January of this year after Bannon was quoted calling an infamous 2016 meeting of a Russian lawyer, Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign chief Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner “treasonous.”
Bannon also was quoted at the time saying the Mueller investigation was “all about money laundering.”
In the face of Trump’s criticism, Bannon declined to hit back and expressed some regret.
He appeared to clash with the special counsel investigation early this year before striking a deal to be interviewed by investigators rather than going before a grand jury. CNN reported in February that the special counsel team questioned Bannon for hours over the course of two days.
As a key aide to Trump through the general election and the bulk of the President’s first year in office, Bannon is one of the highest-profile members of Trump’s circle known to have spoken with Mueller’s team.
Word of his Friday interview with the investigators came the same day the Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller’s investigators had renewed their focus on anotherwitness in the probe, Jason Sullivan, who worked as a social media adviser to Stone during the 2016 campaign.
CNN has previously reported that Mueller subpoenaed Sullivan, who testified before the grand jury in June. According to the Journal, Sullivan also received a subpoena to turn over communications.
Sullivan told the Journal that Mueller’s team had recently followed up with his attorney to ask about comments Stone might have made about Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.
Mr Jasso was on a tram at Shudehill when he challenged the boys for “swearing profusely” and “visibly upsetting” other commuters.
He responded to the insults saying some people were “extremely ignorant and not very intelligent”.
Accent and appearance
He can then be heard saying: “Seven years in the military,” as other commuters told the alleged perpetrators “you are an absolute disgrace. A disgrace to England”.
Mr Jasso, a sport lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “I didn’t do anything that was disrespectful. I literally just asked them to watch their language.
“I don’t think my accent was a part of that [abuse], I think it was more just my appearance.”
He said he did not blame anyone else for not commenting until the youths had left the tram, saying “it’s for every individual to judge and decide, they shouldn’t put themselves in harm’s way”.
“I challenge people a lot on different things when I’m out, if people are littering, language, loads of different things. If I don’t feel comfortable I’ll say something,” he added.
“I know that when I challenge somebody I’m going to be on my own and I’m still prepared to do that.”
Mr Jasso, from Todmorden, West Yorkshire, who was a signals intelligence analyst for the US Army, said it was only the second incident of its type he had experienced in his 18 years in the UK.
“As a whole this country is very tolerant,” he said.
“There are pockets in any society where people may not agree with the government or may not like individuals who are not from their area originally, but I like it here and I think this country has a history of tolerance.”
Two men, aged 20 and 18, and a boy, 16, were arrested on suspicion of affray following the incident.
The two teenagers have been bailed until 10 August while the 20-year-old man remains in custody for questioning.
Twitter is by no means an exact measure of actual political support. If it were, well, trolls would be ruling the world—that is, more than they already are.
But it’s hard to ignore the surprising enthusiasm gap between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the hashtag #OHVotesEarly, which started trending on Twitter this morning as early voting kicked off in Ohio. Throughout the election cycle, Clinton supporters have often been out-shouted by Trump’s and Bernie Sanders’ more vocal voter bases. Today, however, the Ohio hashtag was brimming with photos of voters who had already cast votes for Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, many of the tweets that included references to Trump were about how the hashtag is—you guessed it—rigged.
But according to Twitter’s data, the enthusiasm gap is real. The social media site tells WIRED that of the tweets sent using the hashtag #OHVotesEarly over the last 24 hours, 75 percent included mentions of Clinton, while just 25 mentioned Trump. “It’s an inexact science,” says Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio, but it’s a staggering disparity, nonetheless.
It could very well have something to do with the fact that it was a Clinton supporter who originally tweeted the hashtag on October 2. It could also have something to do with the fact that Clinton’s Ohio digital team is spreading it far and wide. It could have something to do with the fact that the Trump campaign tweeted out the wrong start date for early voting when they asked supporters in Ohio a few weeks ago to get out and vote. Or, perhaps, it has to do with the fact that Trump is quickly losing his lead in Ohio, after The Washington Post published a video over the weekend in which Trump talks about sexually assaulting women on a hot microphone.
A new poll by Baldwin Wallace University Community Research Institute, taken after Sunday night’s debate, shows that Clinton is now surging in the state, beating Trump 43 to 34 percent in a four-way race. In a head-to-head race, she beats him 48 percent to 37 percent. This is a drastic turnaround from just a month ago, when most polls showed Trump winning Ohio handily. For the Clinton camp, that was a bad sign, considering no candidate since John F. Kennedy in 1960 has ever won the White House without winning Ohio. Now, polls show Clinton regaining the upper hand.
The Trump campaign, naturally, resists the idea that Clinton is winning the enthusiasm game in the swing state. On Sunday, Trump volunteers in Ohio knocked on more than 118,000 doors, according to the campaign. “Our campaign will be using every day of early and absentee voting to get out our voters, culminating in an Election Day win for Mr. Trump,” Bob Paduchik, Trump’s Ohio state director, said in a statement.
Early voting returns in other states show Clinton with a slight advantage. According to a new report by NBC News and the voter data firm TargetSmart, Clinton has received more votes during the early voting period in Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina, while Trump is leading in Georgia and Florida.
In a conference call with reporters last week, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said the campaign is optimistic about these results. Clinton is still behind in overall early votes in Florida, he noted that vote by mail requests are up by 77 percent among black voters and 80 percent among Asian American votes, demographics the Clinton campaign sees as key to success in that state. In states like Ohio, Mook reported, one in every six absentee ballot requests came from Cuyahuga County, which President Obama won by 38 points in 2012. Mook went so far as to say that Nevada, North Carolina, and Florida could be decided before Election Day.
“There is so much access to early voting, that we could build an insurmountable lead in those key states before Election Day,” Mook said.
Of course, even if the Clinton campaign can make that happen, it may have an even tougher task ahead of it: convincing all those skeptical Trump supporters (and Trump himself) that the win was legit.