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Foreign Office satellite phone goes AWOL

Foreign Office satellite phone goes AWOL
Foreign Office satellite phone goes AWOL 

Robert Jaques
31 Oct 2005

The Foreign Office has been saddled with a =A3500,000 telephone bill
after a satellite phone belonging to a British diplomat was stolen in
Baghdad, according to UK press reports.

The phone may have been used to make calls from Yemen and Saudi
Arabia, with some potentially relating to terrorist activity.

Reports suggest that UK intelligence agents are believed to be working
through the dialled numbers in an attempt to trace the recipients.

It is thought that the phone was sent from the UK to a senior diplomat
in Baghdad two years ago via a courier, but that it never reached its
destination and was not reported as missing.

An investigation was initiated only when the Foreign Office became
suspicious about calling behaviour.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was reported to be "furious" and has
ordered an inquiry into how such a security blunder could have
occurred in such a volatile region.

But those less keen to criticise government inefficiency are pointing
out one clear upside: the phone's billing record could be a veritable
Who's Who? of terrorists.

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