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Tillerson: US Takes 'Full Responsibility' for Manchester Intel Leaks

  • VOA News

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson meets U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at his official residence in London, Britain, May 26, 2017.

The United States takes “full responsibility” for the leaking of sensitive information in the aftermath of the suicide bombing in Manchester Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

On his first official trip to London Friday, Tillerson said the U.S. “regrets” that information was leaked after British officials complained about it appearing in various U.S. publications.

“The president has been very strong in his condemnation and has called for an immediate investigation and prosecution of those who are found to have been responsible for leaking any of this information to the public,” Tillerson said.

The leaks led Britain to briefly stop sharing intelligence with the U.S. about the bombing. But the information sharing resumed quickly after U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke and Trump promised future information would be protected.

Trump, in a statement released Thursday, vowed to “get to the bottom” of the information leaks and asked the Department of Justice to launch a complete review of the matter.

U.S. President Donald Trump, right, talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Taormina, Italy, May 26, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump, right, talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Taormina, Italy, May 26, 2017.

Tillerson said Friday the “special relationship that exists between our two countries will certainly withstand this particular unfortunate event.”

The secretary of state also paid tribute to the 22 victims of the suicide bombing during an appearance with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

“Even as our ally and friend mourns, the fires for justice burn very hot in all of our hearts,” Tillerson said. "We will drive out the terrorists and the extremists."

He said the decision by the Islamic State group to “target a concert full of children” would only serve to intensify efforts to defeat the jihadists on the battlefield.

“We will not allow them or any terrorist organization to spread violence and hatred without a fight, and we will block their efforts to recruit new followers, whether on the ground or online,” said Tillerson.

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