Al-Qaeda Charges Sat Phone Service To HM Government

BRITISH diplomats had a satellite phone stolen in Baghdad...and only noticed it was missing after a bill for FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS was run up.

The invoice shows thousands of phone calls made to Yemen and Saudi Arabia, bases for al-Qaeda terror networks. MI6 spy chiefs fear the "Thuraya" phone was used by insurgents to plot a wave of suicide bombings across Iraq.

Now furious Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has launched a major investigation into how the theft was allowed to happen - and why nothing was done until the huge bill was uncovered.

Exclusive By Rupert Hamer, Defence Correspondent


War Hero
couldent make it up lol
hackle said:
The numbers on that phone bill would have been useful... especially if someone had noticed sooner.
A lot of 900 line calls to " chat with red-hot coeds who want to meet you now!"

Foreign Ministry has been warned that failure promptly to pay the bill could adversely affect its credit rating.
Whilst our forces in Iraq get 20 minutes per week in a shared shack with no privacy to call their loved ones. Nice juxtaposition!
This explains the heavy breather called Osama who rings me at odd hours wanting to know what I'm wearing. 8O
labrat said:
Be nice to see who signed it out last!

£500k on the chitty, gulp!
Apparently it was lost in transport. The courier company who had been assigned to deliver it lost it. Why did no one bother to notice this? Why was it delivered by a courier company? Why was it not tranported by Embassy staff?

If I worked for a civvy firm and lost my company half a million I'd be issued a P45 in short order. Any civil servants going to be sacked over this one ? Thought not. They're incompetent because they can get away with it.
if you believe they'de "forgotten" about it, you'll believe anything. Hope non of the traced calls bring up any int ref attacks/deaths on our forces, heads will roll!!!!
Something in this story doesn't add up.

These phone supposedly racked up such a high bill was unnoticed for 18 months? :roll: However witless you think civs are, those that control purse strings are not normally that willing to sign away such a cost. I just can't see BE Diplo's 'not realising' that this important piece of equipment was missing or they're as clever as Orville the Duck. Wish I could find another newpaper or periodical with the same report to clarify.
The bill works out at just shy of 28,000 quid a month. Add that to the fact that someone, somewhere must surely have done an inventory check at some point and MyssL probably has a point.

Failing that, does anyone know what the civil service spends on duck food?
Oh the irony!!

As for not acting on the bill, well lets say some users have carte blanche and this bill would be normal so I wouldnt string up the poor civil serpent just yet! However someone failed to pass on that it was missing so action could be taken, poor accounting? not that special kinda people really account for anything :roll: .

What was the story not so long ago about "cough" certain users having to justify their budgets?
True Disco, I understand what you mean about the bottomless expenses and absorbant claims, but still a repeated bill at a weekly cost of seven grand... half a mil in 18 months.... I can't think of anything a civ or anyone else could claim for costing that much that an average finance dept. wouldn't be keeping an eye on whether legit or not.

Not having chewing the neck at the pleb who may or may not have realised this 'error', I'm doubting where the story came from and whether its true or not.
MyssL said:
but still a repeated bill at a weekly cost of seven grand...
These are GSM Sat phones they are not penny a minute, combine both fax and data calls into your voice traffic and before you know it 7K a week!

I assuming a little here in the amount of traffic but I dont think I am that far wrong.

Inmarsat - GAN M4 - Post Pay Tariff

Post Pay Tariff ($/Min)
GAN Voice 2.50
Data 7.50
MPDS ($/Mbit) 4.00

Its only a stink now becuase it is public.
Ta for the link Disco :wink: but I wasn't disputing the cost of these phones. I was saying that I would have thought that if you had a weekly bill of seven grand for phone, hire car, rent or whatever use, I would have thought this is something that a finance dept would keep its eye on and as the cost is so high, I'm also assuming that they'll most likely ask the user to confirm its use. I know most civs thought-process is questionnable at the least but someone who have had shite for eyes if they didn't do so. Story still skints. Perhaps I'm just not trusting that newspaper.

Most places especially government depts have some sort of annual inventory or stocktake for some reason; I still just can't see a phone like this, costing this much and being a vital piece of equipment, would be suddenly discovered as missing/stolen after 18 months especially whilst still be charged for it.
Hehe your putting too much trust into accountability.

For some, the Dept that finances accounts is a world apart from the user. All requests for justification or accountability are... well... ignored is probably the best word.

Like I said, theres only a stink when it is public. Also there could be a certain amount of spin on the use of "Al Qaeda" smoke and mirrors? :roll:
I agree too - how the journos love to link articles with the magical initials of 'AQ' or the word 'Muslim' :roll: That said, the most recent hype atm is to do with public money and accounts (MPs expenses, DTI expenses, Blunkett, more Blunkett, etc) so seeing this just seems to be news to jump on the same bandwagon.
I'ld put more trust into accountability than this 'loose' unconfirmable story from the Sunday Mirror.
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
CavalryCaptain The NAAFI Bar 37
singha61 The Intelligence Cell 14
shibusa2 The NAAFI Bar 6

Similar threads

Latest Threads