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Leak of secret plan to protect G8 leaders sparks security




Leak of secret plan to protect G8 leaders sparks security
Leak of secret plan to protect G8 leaders sparks security



Forwarded from: William Knowles  

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=648029 

By Francis Elliott
Deputy Political Editor
19 June 2005

Tony Blair's preparations for the G8 summit were last night thrown
into disarray as confidential security information relating to the
Gleneagles meeting was leaked to The Independent on Sunday.

Details of the effort to protect the eight most powerful people on the
planet, code-named Operation Sorbus, including the location of special
forces during the summit, have been revealed by a member of the
intelligence community in Scotland appalled by ministers'
"complacency".

The information includes:

* details of the threat, including assessments of the risk from
  chemical, biological and radiological attack;

* an analysis of the Gleneagles resort's vulnerable areas;

* maps showing the precise location of lines of reinforced fencing to
  keep out would-be suicide bombers and protesters;

* and aerial photographs of the estate marking likely terrorist
  targets.

For security reasons, the IoS will not disclose operational details,
but we publish here the codename for the operation and official
photographs showing the estate and hotel where George Bush, Vladimir
Putin and other world leaders are staying for three days next month.

The IoS was also told the location of a base to be used by special
forces, the positioning of regular troops and details of a wrangle
between US and British agents over the deployment of surface-to-air
missiles. The whistleblower revealed the highly sensitive information
because, he said, he wanted to shock ministers, who he claimed were
taking for granted security arrangements for the summit. It takes
place in three weeks' time.

He said: "I have been increasingly appalled by the air of complacency
surrounding this event, particularly as displayed by ministers. The
release of a portion of non-operational material is intended as a
wake-up call before that complacency becomes truly dangerous."

David Davis, the shadow Home Secretary, said the leak was potentially
an "immensely serious breach of national security". He said: "The
immediate task for the Home Secretary must be to reappraise all
aspects of security at the G8 in the light of this breach to ensure
the safety and security of all those attending."

The operation to secure Gleneagles is being led by Tayside police,
supported by the security services and the Army, at an estimated cost
of =A3100m.

The force is already braced for an influx of tens of thousands of
people determined to register their protest at the resort itself.  
Concern is mounting within the intelligence community that the
Government is failing to ensure all organisations are working smoothly
together.

Confidence in the security of high-profile figures was undermined last
week when The Sun claimed to have secretly filmed Prince Harry as he
trained at Sandhurst military academy after gaining access
unchallenged.

Today's revelation ahead of the G8 will be viewed with far greater
alarm, however, since it calls into question Britain's ability to
protect the world's leaders. Security services in the US, Russia and
elsewhere will be closely monitoring preparations in Gleneagles to
ensure that their premiers will be safe. They will have noted that
Tayside police is already braced for the prospect of tens of thousands
of protesters demonstrating on the perimeter of the hotel's grounds.

The local authority has rejected an application for a march past the
hotel, though as a concession, Perth and Kinross Council has given
permission for a rally of up to 4,500 in the neighbouring town of
Auchterarder on 6 July, the opening day of the summit. Protesters
warn, however, that as many as 20,000 could descend to make their
voice heard and are urging the police to accommodate organised
demonstration. The former Labour MP Tony Benn and Alex Salmond, leader
of the SNP, are among those calling on the Government to overturn the
council ban.

However, Bob Geldof, the organiser of Live8 who caused consternation
by calling on a million people to gather in Edinburgh, is urging
people to stay away from the Perthshire resort, saying it does not
matter whether protesters are "1,000 miles or 1,000 yards" away.

Nevertheless, it seems likely that some groups are determined to
travel to the summit itself and police arrested three protesters in
scuffles outside a preparatory G8 meeting of home affairs ministers in
Sheffield on Thursday in a foretaste of what could occur.

Security surrounding the annual G8 summit has been relentlessly
increased each year, driven by fears of anarchist protest and
terrorist attack. The 2001 summit in Genoa was marred by violent
clashes and the death of one anti-globalisation protester.

All the security material passed to this newspaper has now been
destroyed.
 

 
*==============================================================*
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