Secret al-Qaida report found on London train
Update- Erring senior intelligence official have been suspended by the cabinet office.
In an embarrasing incident top secret file prepared on Al-Qaida have been found in a train in UK. The report commissioned jointly by British Foreign Office and Home Office and classifed as "UK top secret" was found in train coach and handed over to BBC after a passenger found it.
Highly classified intelligence documents relating to two of the most sensitive issues involving Britain's security interests - al-Qaida in Pakistan and the situation in Iraq - have been found on a train near London, it was disclosed last night.
The documents, including one marked Top Secret, are believed to be detailed and up-to-date assessments by Whitehall's Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC).
They were found on Tuesday and handed to the BBC's security correspondent, Frank Gardner, who reported the loss. The BBC said the documents were left on the train by a senior intelligence officer.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said last night that the documents' high security classification meant they would have had a limited circulation. "There has been a security breach, the Metropolitan police are carrying out an investigation."
A Scotland Yard spokesperson said its counter terrorism squad would be heading the investigation. "We can confirm that we are making inquiries in connection with the loss of the documents."
Gardner said the documents were left in an orange cardboard envelope on a train from London Waterloo to Surrey by a "very senior intelligence official" working in the Cabinet Office. A police search was launched when it was realised that they were missing, as officials were concerned at the possibility of such sensitive papers getting into the wrong hands, he said.
The envelope was picked up by a fellow passenger, who found a seven-page document inside setting out the latest government assessment on the Islamist terror network al-Qaida, along with a "top secret and in some cases damning" assessment of Iraq's security forces, said Gardner.
The British government says a senior intelligence official in the Cabinet office has been suspended after secret government documents were left on a commuter train.
The documents on al-Qaida and Iraq were found by a passenger on a London commuter train Tuesday. The passenger gave the documents to the British Broadcasting Corp.
The government's decision to suspend the employee comes as police launch a major investigation into the security breach. An internal inquiry is also under way.
One of the documents was a seven-page report on al-Qaida's weaknesses. The second document was top secret and contained an assessment of Iraq's security forces.