So who was the official who lost them, anyway? Why isn’t his name being released? An update on this story. “Lost al-Qa’eda documents ‘could have been useful to terrorists,'” from the Telegraph, June 12 :
The top secret documents about al-Qa’eda left on a train could have been useful to terrorists, a security expert said today.
They contained assessments made by the Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee, part of the Cabinet Office, on matters of security, defence and foreign affairs.
The information is provided to senior government ministers and officials and the lost files are likely to have offered an insight into possible future government policy regarding al-Qa’eda in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the security situation in Iraq.
Bob Ayers, a security expert from the Chatham House think tank, said: “The JIC is an intelligence organisation which tries to provide considered opinion to senior government officials as to what is going on.”
He said that the organisation did not provide policy but its detailed analysis could be acted upon by the Government.
Mr Ayers said whoever had lost the data should face prosecution.
He explained that the loss of private child benefits data by HMRC last year was down to “stupidity”, but said this latest breach was criminal.
“For a senior intelligence officer to leave this kind of material on a train constitutes criminal damage and he should be prosecuted,” he said….
Yes. A prosecution of that kind would be very interesting.