Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Terror Chief, Leaks put lives at risk

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke of the Metropolitan Police has hit out at leaks related to anti terror raids, with some choice quotes as follows:
[There were a] "small number of misguided individuals who betray confidences. By doing so, they had compromised investigations, revealed sources of life-saving intelligence and "put lives at risk" during major investigations.

"The recent investigation in Birmingham into an allegation that a British serviceman had been targeted by a terrorist network is but one example of this,"

"On the morning of the arrests, almost before the detainees had arrived at the police stations to which they were being taken for questioning, it was clear that key details of the investigation and the evidence had been leaked.

"This damaged the interview strategy of the investigators, and undoubtedly raised community tensions.

"I have no idea where the leaks came from, but whoever was responsible should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves."
At the time of the Birmingham arrests there was also some marked disquiet in the police, which I wrote about here, and an allegation in a journal that the leaks happened to distract from the cash for peerages inquiry.

From reports I have heard the journalists in Birmingham and the Midlands were not getting "all the juicy details" from their contacts, the information was coming from London based journalists, and we can all guess where that means.

After that, an the sale of stories in the Iran hostage crisis, it seems Whitehall leaks first, and thinks later, with terrible consequences for all concerned.

The BBC has this on the speech by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, you can read more on the war on terror here.


Anonymous said...

To me he's saying to "somebody" we know you did it and we know who you are ,but your a bit too powerful for us, but next time.

Benedict White said...

Anonymous , Possibly, but the thing that angers me is putting spin ahead of security.

Anonymous said...

On the basis of Blair's methodology, he would be able to refuse any enquiry about any subject on the basis he didnt believe that anyone had leaked information. There needs to be a better way for enquiries to be held, we dont want them about every piffling little issue, but its not good enough for Govt's of any description to just refuse and that be the end of it all.
However... it might leak out who leaked.. it's possible.

Benedict White said...

MTF, Blair does not like inquiries that may leave him in it!

Funny you should mention leaks of who leaked what, looks like it has leaked already :)