A civilian police employee has admitted misconduct in a public office by leaking an intelligence report on terrorism to a newspaper.
Thomas Lund-Lack, 59, was working in Scotland Yard’s Special Operations section in the Counter Terrorism Command when he disclosed documents to a journalist.
On Monday he admitted misconduct in public office when he appeared at the Old Bailey.
The leaked report formed the basis for a Sunday Times article published on April 22. It warned that al Qaida leaders in Iraq, backed by supporters in Iran, were planning large-scale attacks on Britain and the West, according to the paper.
One operative was said to have warned that he was planning an attack “on a par with Hiroshima and Nagasaki” in an attempt to “shake the Roman throne”, a reference to the West.
Another feared plot could be timed to coincide with the stepping down of Prime Minister Tony Blair, or what al Qaida planners called a “change in the head of the company”, according to the newspaper.
The intelligence report was produced in April and made clear that senior figures from the terror network had been in recent contact with operatives in Britain, the Sunday Times said.
It was said to have been a quarterly review of the international terror threat to Britain, compiled by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC).
The review reportedly said that while the “core” leadership of al Qaida around Osama bin Laden provided the greatest danger, recent intelligence had highlighted the potential threat from other areas, particularly al Qaida in Iraq (AQ-I).
Lund-Lack, of Bury Street, Stowmarket, Suffolk, was bailed and sentencing was adjourned until the end of July. But the judge, Mr Justice Gross, told him: “One shouldn’t for a moment assume that I regard this as anything other than a very serious case indeed.”