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A senior intelligence official has been suspended following discovery that confidential documents related to Iraq and the activities of al-Qaida were left on a passenger train. The documents were were later handed over to the British Broadcasting Corporation. Tendai Maphosa has more in this report from London.
The identity of the Cabinet Office official has not been made public. On Wednesday, the BBC announced that it was in possession of the documents that were compiled by the government's Joint Intelligence Committee.
BBC Security correspondent Frank Gardner said one of the documents, commissioned by the Ministry of Defense concerned Iraq's security forces. He added that it included a top-secret and in some places "damning" assessment of Iraqi forces.
Another document, commissioned by the Foreign Office and the Home Office is reportedly entitled 'Al-Qaida Vulnerabilities'. Gardner said the seven-page document, classified as "U.K. Top Secret", is marked "for U.K./U.S./Canadian and Australian eyes only".
The issue also came up in parliament, where Cabinet Office Minister Ed Miliband, was sharply questioned over the incident. He said the official who left the documents on the train clearly violated the rules by removing them from the government offices.
He insisted national security interests did not appear to have been damaged or operations and individuals put at risk.
The second document was a "top secret and in some cases damning" assessment of Iraq's security forces, according to a journalist who read it.
The loss came to light after the files were found by a member of the public in an orange cardboard envelope on a train from London Waterloo to Surrey.