British colonel 'passed Afghan casualty secrets to female friend'

Crusader74

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British colonel 'passed Afghan casualty secrets to female friend'

Philippe Naughton

February 4, 2009

A senior British Army officer has been arrested in Afghanistan for allegedly supplying civilian casualty figures to a female human rights campaigner he is said to have befriended.

Lieutenant-Colonel Owen McNally, 48, was held on suspicion of breaching the Official Secrets Act. The Ministry of Defence said that the officer was being sent back to the UK for questioning, where his case has been referred to the Metropolitan Police.

According to The Sun newspaper, Lt-Col McNally had access to the figures through his work for Nato’s International Security Assistance Force, which is running military operations in Afghanistan. American generals in the Afghan capital Kabul were reported to be furious about the allegations.

The campaign group Human Rights Watch said last year that civilian deaths in Afghanistan from US and Nato air strikes nearly tripled to at least 1,633 between 2006 and 2007. The group said that it used “the most conservative figures available”.

The MoD said in a statement: “We can confirm that a British Army officer has been arrested in Afghanistan on suspicion of breaching the Official Secrets Act. He is being returned to the UK for questioning.

“The investigation has been referred from the MoD to the Metropolitan Police and is now under consideration. No further details will be released at this stage.”

If charged, the officer will appear at the Old Bailey in London, which hears all Official Secrets cases. He faces a maximum sentence of 14 years if convicted.

Lt-Col McNally joined the Army as a private in 1977 and worked his way up through the ranks before being commissioned in 1995. He is thought to be one of the Army’s most senior former non-commissioned officers.

Source
 

Crusader74

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POS! :mad:

I hope he gets fucked big time for this!


Copied from another form:D


Demmit, he's an hossifer. Chap needs to be left alone with a loaded webley, a glass of scotch and a cheap carpet. Someone instruct the wallah not to go in untill after the shot. Saves a lot of fuss....

seriously - if its true, he in doo-doo
 

pardus

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Spy Daniel James became British general’s interpreter before leaking military secrets to Iran

The unmasking of an Iranian spy who was working as a British general’s personal interpreter has become an embarrassing espionage fiasco raising questions about the screening for sensitive military posts.

Corporal Daniel James, 45, who had been security-vetted to work alongside General Sir David Richards when he was commander of Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan in 2006, was yesterday remanded in custody after being convicted of spying for Iran.

The jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict on two other charges.

Security sources said the actions of James, who was born in Tehran, had been a serious embarrassment for the British Army and undermined relations with allies, who might feel constrained from sharing future intelligence.

James had seemed to be a loyal member of the Territorial Army, and defence sources confirmed that he had been vetted before he joined the TA in 1987 and when he was selected to act as interpreter to General Richards, who is to succeed as Chief of the General Staff in August next year.

Thorough checks on his background, however, should have uncovered certain features of his lifestyle which might have raised the alarm. He had strong ties to Tehran where his family still lived after the Islamic revolution, he had kept his Iranian passport even after becoming a British citizen in 1986, he was £25,000 in debt, and he practised black magic.

Ministry of Defence sources said there had been nothing in the security checks to indicate that James was anything other than slightly odd. “He was regarded as an oddball but harmless and he had all the right clearances,” one MoD source said.

MI5 counter-espionage officers were called in to investigate James after it was discovered he had been sending e-mails and making telephone calls to Colonel Mohammad Hossein Heydari, a military assistant at the Iranian Embassy in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Although his espionage ambitions were preempted before he could become a fully fledged secret agent for Iran, his contacts with Colonel Heydari – and the sensitive documents he was found to have stored on a USB computer memory stick – caused a full-scale alert.

Security sources said it was not just the content of the e-mails and telephone calls that raised the alarm, but the wider implications of a British soldier in a confidential position being prepared to divulge information without authority.

The prosecution said James had two “Nato-confidential” military situation reports about troop movements and fuel stocks in Afghanistan stored on a USB device. The jury was told that he had no right to possess the reports. In one e-mail to Colonel Heydari, he wrote: “I have a very good present for you.”

The security sources said that the unauthorised communication with a potential enemy and suspected passing of confidential information to a third party broke the rules governing the handling of sensitive documents.

The realisation that James was a fantasist who believed he could personally bring peace to Afghanistan by indulging in his own form of diplomacy – handing out business cards to Afghan ministers and to the Iranian Ambassador in Kabul – was also a deep embarrassment to the Army. James had changed his name by deed poll in 1997 because he wanted to sound British, but he joined the TA under his birth name, Esmail Mohammed Beigi Gamasai. He was called up for duty in Afghanistan because he was fluent in Dari and Farsi, a rare talent in which the Army was desperately lacking.

The MoD said James, who was convicted under the Official Secrets Act of communicating with an enemy, had been discharged from the TA.

The prosecution will seek advice from Baroness Scotland, QC, the Attorney-General, about a possible retrial.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5102160.ece
 

QC

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Oh...:doh: I've just discovered why I'm not gettin' any.

But seriously, could the guy be and sillier? Sending emails etc. 24 carat toolbag.
 

SpitfireV

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The US has enough problems with people getting caught out spying so I doubt they'll throw stones in this particular glass house.
 

Typhoon

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This is why you don't sleep with hippies.
Hey, Christine Keeler was no hippie! :D

(Matter of fact she still looks good now!)

That is a shame. Wonder if the British authorities will throw the book at him...
 
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