OT MI5 Laptop is Missing

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MI5 laptop is stolen on Tube

BY GARY JACOB A LAPTOP computer containing sensitive information on Northern Ireland has been stolen from an MI5 intelligence agent, it emerged last night.

The #2,000 computer was snatched from the Security Service worker as he stopped to help a passer-by in the ticket hall at Paddington Underground station in Central London.

The MI5 man along with two others chased after the thief as he ran through crowds at the busy London station but failed to catch him before he disappeared into a maze of corridors.

The laptop, which was carrying coded information on Ulster, was stolen on the afternoon of March 4. Jack Straw, the Home secretary, was told of the security breach.

Last night a government source confirmed the theft and said: "We believe that the information on the laptop is secure. The theft is currently being investigated by the police.

"We believe this was a spur of the moment theft and that the MI5 agent was not targeted deliberately. The information in the computer does not constitute a threat to national security or individuals."

The source confirmed that the laptop contained information about Northern Ireland, but said that the information "did not relate to the peace process, security, terrorist suspects or possible dissident republican plans to resume a bombing campaign on the mainland."

She said that the worker did not face disciplinary action.

Any user of the laptop would need a password.

Last night Special Branch officers were investigating the theft, and a British Transport Police spokesman said that recordings from closed-circuit television cameras were being studied.

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), March 23, 2000


"password protected"? Hope the laptop has more than Win9xx loaded; like Linux.

-- bilko (sgt@arms.net), March 23, 2000.

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