MI5 evidence into Manchester bombing to be kept secret

The coroner overseeing the inquest into the Manchester Arena bombing has ruled that evidence gathered by MI5 should be presented in secret to protect national security.

Sir John Saunders said certain highly sensitive intelligence details could assist other terrorists were they to be made public.

It means some evidence for the inquest will be heard in private, without the relatives of the victims or their legal teams present. This will be the first time that an inquiry into a terror attack has been held behind closed doors since 9/11.

No details were given as to what the coroner wanted to be kept secret, but he said it "would assist terrorists in carrying out the sort of atrocities committed in Manchester and would make it less likely that the security service and the CT [counter-terrorism] police would be able to prevent them".

Last year, a parliamentary watchdog concluded there had been a 'number of failures' by police and security services in the run-up to the Manchester Arena bombing, which killed 22 people and injured hundreds more.

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