US takes full responsibility for leaks after Manchester attack

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the special relationship will withstand the "unfortunate event" of the leaks.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with his British counterpart Boris Johnson when he said US took full responsibility for leaks over the Manchester bombing investigations.

The United States government says it takes full responsibility for leaks of the British police investigation into Monday's deadly bomb attack in Manchester which killed 22 people, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday.

Appearing alongside British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in London, Tillerson said that "all across America, hearts are broken" at news of the attack on people attending a concert by US pop singer Ariana Grande.

British police briefly suspended intelligence sharing with the United States on Thursday after private details of their investigation repeatedly appeared in American media.

Full responsibility

"We take full responsibility for that and we obviously regret that that happened," Tillerson said. "With respect to the release of information inappropriately ... certainly we condemn that."

Tillerson said he expected the close security relationship between the United States and Britain to withstand the leaks. 

The "special relationship" between London and Washington "will certainly withstand this particular unfortunate event," Tillerson added.

Tillerson made the comments at the foreign secretary's official residence in London where he wrote a message in the book of condolences for victims of Monday's suicide bombing.

Tillerson wrote that the attack broke people's hearts all across the United States.

Britain is renowned for its "strength in times of darkness" and will not be broken by terror, he told reporters after a 90-minute discussion with Johnson.

"Even as our ally and friend mourns, the fires for justice burn very hot in all of our hearts," Tillerson added.

"We will drive out the terrorists and the extremists... we must drive them off the face of the Earth."

Priests, Rabbis and "every Imam in every mosque must condemn the souls of those who carried out these attacks."

May and Trump concerned over leaks

On Thursday, British Prime Minister Theresa May raised the issue of the leaks with US President Donald Trump at a NATO meeting in Brussels.

In a statement released after Trump arrived at meeting, he said he would seek an official review to stop leaks that he said posed a serious security threat.

"The alleged leaks coming out of government agencies are deeply troubling," Trump said in the statement.

"I am asking the Department of Justice and other relevant agencies to launch a complete review of this matter, and if appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

He said the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom was the most cherished of all US ties.

TRTWorld and agencies