Alleged police concerns about terror plot leaks

#1
Guardian Sat 3 Feb - "'Police fear lurid terror briefings being used to divert attention from Whitehall problems"

Police investigating the alleged plot to abduct and behead a Muslim soldier expressed growing anger yesterday at a series of leaks and briefings which they say are hampering their inquiry.

Whitehall officials briefed journalists early on Wednesday before all of the suspects had been found, with the result that lurid details of the alleged plot were broadcast while one suspect remained at large. At least one tabloid newspaper had even been tipped off the night before the dawn raids, and its reporters put on standby to race to Birmingham.

Police sources in the West Midlands said yesterday they suspected the anonymous briefings may have been intended to deflect attention from the prisons crisis and the cash for honours inquiry, while counter-terrorism officials in London told the Guardian there was concern that the speculation generated is interfering with the investigation by the newly formed Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit.

One counter-terrorism official warned yesterday that "an awful lot of inaccuracies" had begun to appear in the media, to the alarm of West Midlands police. "As a result of some of the speculation, police feel they have been hampered in their evidence gathering," he said.

Some of the more sensational claims about the plot - such as reports yesterday that two young British Muslim soldiers had agreed to act as "live bait" in an attempt to trap the suspects - were dismissed by counter-terrorism officials as being completely untrue. Claims that police uncovered a list of 25 intended victims were also dismissed.

The Ministry of Defence said that it had no idea who was responsible for the briefings, while Home Office officials insisted no briefing had been offered by its press office, but a spokeswoman added: "I can only speak for what has been done on the record by the press office."

West Midlands Assistant Chief Constable David Shaw revealed officers began searching three new locations yesterday, bringing to 18 the number of addresses examined, and said a "significant quantity" of exhibits had been taken away. But he expressed the force's frustration at the anonymous briefings, telling a press conference: "Everything I have said so far and everything I will say will be the truth. Anything further you wish to draw from comments elsewhere is down to yourselves."

Paul Snape, vice chair of West Midlands Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said: "The police force is asking the question, where did it all come from? There may be political reasons for it, such as what was going on at the Home Office and at Downing Street." ...
 
#2
hackle said:
Guardian Sat 3 Feb - "'Police fear lurid terror briefings being used to divert attention from Whitehall problems"

Police investigating the alleged plot to abduct and behead a Muslim soldier expressed growing anger yesterday at a series of leaks and briefings which they say are hampering their inquiry.

Whitehall officials briefed journalists early on Wednesday before all of the suspects had been found, with the result that lurid details of the alleged plot were broadcast while one suspect remained at large. At least one tabloid newspaper had even been tipped off the night before the dawn raids, and its reporters put on standby to race to Birmingham.

Police sources in the West Midlands said yesterday they suspected the anonymous briefings may have been intended to deflect attention from the prisons crisis and the cash for honours inquiry, while counter-terrorism officials in London told the Guardian there was concern that the speculation generated is interfering with the investigation by the newly formed Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit.

One counter-terrorism official warned yesterday that "an awful lot of inaccuracies" had begun to appear in the media, to the alarm of West Midlands police. "As a result of some of the speculation, police feel they have been hampered in their evidence gathering," he said.

Some of the more sensational claims about the plot - such as reports yesterday that two young British Muslim soldiers had agreed to act as "live bait" in an attempt to trap the suspects - were dismissed by counter-terrorism officials as being completely untrue. Claims that police uncovered a list of 25 intended victims were also dismissed.

The Ministry of Defence said that it had no idea who was responsible for the briefings, while Home Office officials insisted no briefing had been offered by its press office, but a spokeswoman added: "I can only speak for what has been done on the record by the press office."

West Midlands Assistant Chief Constable David Shaw revealed officers began searching three new locations yesterday, bringing to 18 the number of addresses examined, and said a "significant quantity" of exhibits had been taken away. But he expressed the force's frustration at the anonymous briefings, telling a press conference: "Everything I have said so far and everything I will say will be the truth. Anything further you wish to draw from comments elsewhere is down to yourselves."

Paul Snape, vice chair of West Midlands Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said: "The police force is asking the question, where did it all come from? There may be political reasons for it, such as what was going on at the Home Office and at Downing Street." ...
I have for the last year said that anyone who leaks information to the press should be arrested and charged. A significant number of posters disagreed with me.

Are those posters now going to change their mind?
 
#3
Sven, I totally agree. There are a lot of worried servicemen & women from ethinic minorities out there. Unfortunately the media speculation has blown the entire operation out of proportion. They even tried to claim that they knew the identity of the soldier being targetted. Thankfully they don't, as the soldiers and their families would have half the press corp camped on their front gardens. The press were responsible for Cpl Byles being targetted by an islamic extremist. If they publish the identities of the present targets, they will expose them to even more danger. Freedom of the Press be damned, you put my life or the lives of my fellow servicemen in mortal peril you deserve to do time.
 
#4
hackle said:
Guardian Sat 3 Feb - "'Police fear lurid terror briefings being used to divert attention from Whitehall problems"

Police investigating the alleged plot to abduct and behead a Muslim soldier expressed growing anger yesterday at a series of leaks and briefings which they say are hampering their inquiry.

Whitehall officials briefed journalists early on Wednesday before all of the suspects had been found, with the result that lurid details of the alleged plot were broadcast while one suspect remained at large. At least one tabloid newspaper had even been tipped off the night before the dawn raids, and its reporters put on standby to race to Birmingham.

Police sources in the West Midlands said yesterday they suspected the anonymous briefings may have been intended to deflect attention from the prisons crisis and the cash for honours inquiry, while counter-terrorism officials in London told the Guardian there was concern that the speculation generated is interfering with the investigation by the newly formed Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit.

One counter-terrorism official warned yesterday that "an awful lot of inaccuracies" had begun to appear in the media, to the alarm of West Midlands police. "As a result of some of the speculation, police feel they have been hampered in their evidence gathering," he said.

Some of the more sensational claims about the plot - such as reports yesterday that two young British Muslim soldiers had agreed to act as "live bait" in an attempt to trap the suspects - were dismissed by counter-terrorism officials as being completely untrue. Claims that police uncovered a list of 25 intended victims were also dismissed.

The Ministry of Defence said that it had no idea who was responsible for the briefings, while Home Office officials insisted no briefing had been offered by its press office, but a spokeswoman added: "I can only speak for what has been done on the record by the press office."

West Midlands Assistant Chief Constable David Shaw revealed officers began searching three new locations yesterday, bringing to 18 the number of addresses examined, and said a "significant quantity" of exhibits had been taken away. But he expressed the force's frustration at the anonymous briefings, telling a press conference: "Everything I have said so far and everything I will say will be the truth. Anything further you wish to draw from comments elsewhere is down to yourselves."

Paul Snape, vice chair of West Midlands Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said: "The police force is asking the question, where did it all come from? There may be political reasons for it, such as what was going on at the Home Office and at Downing Street." ...
Disgusting and desperate acts.
 
#5
Police chief's fury over 'Labour leaks on beheading plot'
by IAN GALLAGHER, ANDY WILKS and KEITH BEABEY - More by this author » Last updated at 21:59pm on 3rd February 2007

The senior policeman leading the investigation into an alleged plot to behead a Muslim British soldier believes the inquiry has been "hijacked" by the Government.

Assistant Chief Constable David Shaw was "seething" when he discovered Whitehall officials leaked sensitive details of Operation Gamble to the media in an apparent attempt to divert attention from the problems engulfing Tony Blair.

And he is said to be increasingly frustrated that the anonymous briefings may be impeding his officers' efforts to gather evidence.

A source close to Mr Shaw said: "He is angry that while he had played a straight bat there are others in Government departments who, without asking him, briefed the media about his inquiry."

Last Wednesday morning, only a few hours after the dawn arrests of nine men in Birmingham, Mr Shaw watched despairingly as details of the operation he hoped would remain secret flashed up on TV.

The source said: "He said through gritted teeth, "I haven't said any of those things - it has all come from London."

At one point, to the bewilderment of senior officers, details of the operation were being broadcast while one of the suspects had still to be found.

Mr Shaw never intended for the public to know, at least not yet, the existence of the alleged beheading plot, fearing the huge publicity would only further inflame Birmingham's Muslim communities at a time when he needs their assistance.

Following the leaks, senior officers were sent to try to pacify community leaders and explain that the police were not to blame.

Mr Shaw, a married father of two, is a highly espected figure among the city's ethnic minorities and is understood to be dismayed at the rancour in the Muslim community that the interference from Whitehall has produced.

The source said: "He feels the inquiry has been hijacked by those who don't have to live - as he does - with the direct consequences of what they say publicly.

"To my knowledge, he hasn't speculated as to what motivated these people to brief the media but it's really rather obvious that there are various agendas at work here."

Mr Shaw had released only scant information about the arrests, not operational details.

But the unofficial release of lurid detail about an alleged beheading plot - and an accompanying account of how two soldiers were used as "live bait" to try to flush out the suspects - dramatically raised the interest in the story.

Conveniently for the Government, it replaced the prisons crisis as the story of the week - and took the sting out of the cash-for-honours row that saw Tony Blair questioned by police for a second time.

Mr Shaw felt it necessary to spell out his discomfort in a news conference on Friday.

Referring to Birmingham, he said: "I am acutely aware that members of the community are confused and bewildered by what is being said by the media."

The Home Office said: "We have only released factual statements on the matter and the Secretary of State and the Attorney General have reminded media not to do anything that would prejudice the operation."
Source: Daily Mail

Why am I not surprised.
 
#6
ishinryu said:
Sven, I totally agree. There are a lot of worried servicemen & women from ethinic minorities out there. Unfortunately the media speculation has blown the entire operation out of proportion. They even tried to claim that they knew the identity of the soldier being targetted. Thankfully they don't, as the soldiers and their families would have half the press corp camped on their front gardens. The press were responsible for Cpl Byles being targetted by an islamic extremist. If they publish the identities of the present targets, they will expose them to even more danger. Freedom of the Press be damned, you put my life or the lives of my fellow servicemen in mortal peril you deserve to do time.
Unfortunately I do not only mean just for servicemen. I am talking about any leak of classified or sensitive documents - if they are covered by OSA then the full weight of the law should be thrown agaist the individual concerned, if the information is confidential and contravenes the persons contract of employment then the leaker should lose their job. Even if it doesn't contravene a contract then severe repercussions should ensue
 
#7
Sven said:
ishinryu said:
Sven, I totally agree. There are a lot of worried servicemen & women from ethinic minorities out there. Unfortunately the media speculation has blown the entire operation out of proportion. They even tried to claim that they knew the identity of the soldier being targetted. Thankfully they don't, as the soldiers and their families would have half the press corp camped on their front gardens. The press were responsible for Cpl Byles being targetted by an islamic extremist. If they publish the identities of the present targets, they will expose them to even more danger. Freedom of the Press be damned, you put my life or the lives of my fellow servicemen in mortal peril you deserve to do time.
Unfortunately I do not only mean just for servicemen. I am talking about any leak of classified or sensitive documents - if they are covered by OSA then the full weight of the law should be thrown agaist the individual concerned, if the information is confidential and contravenes the persons contract of employment then the leaker should lose their job. Even if it doesn't contravene a contract then severe repercussions should ensue
Does this include members of the Labour Government?
 

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