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MI5's HQ's secret plans

News of the World - March 2008

News of the World- March 2008

We were contacted by a whistleblower who had come across detailed plans of the top-security MI5 building.

Our whistleblower wanted to highlight the obvious security risks and ensure the plans were handed to the appropriate authorities.

We contacted the News of the World newspaper and the situation was resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

Read the full story below






DETAILED top-secret plans of MI5's fortress HQ have been sensationally handed to News of the World. The lost 66-page dossier of floor layouts—once used by trusted CONTRACTORS at the high-security Central London base—would be gold dust to terrorists.

The plans were given to us by a worried member of the public, who got them from a friend who worked at the building and never handed them back.

Our source said: "It's shocking that such high-level paperwork is out of MI5's control. These are many possibilities once a terrorist has detailed information like this."

The drawings, which we have blurred to protect national security, detail 11 of the 13 floors at Thames House—the real-life HQ well-known on the outside to viewers of TV's Spooks.

They reveal lift shafts, ventilation pipes and other places perfect for hiding BOMBS and spy TRANSMITTERS. They also show where the fibre optic cables are that transfer electronic data— a godsend for COMPUTER HACKERS.

And they outline the offices used by the most senior staff and containing the most sensitive information— invaluable for TARGETED ATTACKS.

Bravo Two Zero SAS hero Chris Ryan said: "If you're assaulting a building the first thing you look for are the architect's drawings and blueprints. If just a single person managed to get into the building, this document would lead them to where they could do most damage.

"That it is floating around is a cause for GREAT concern."

As we handed back the dossier to MI5, a source told us: "It would help terrorists strike at the heart of the British intelligence community.

"It is enormously significant for many reasons. Firstly it shows the layout, including lift shafts, ventilation, and key communication and equipment areas. Secondly it reveals workings of the entire internal communication system.

"This includes the places where terrorists or spies could install transmitters to send out intercepted information.

"It shows all the points where data is transferred from one place to another via fibre optic cables. This is valuable to any computer specialist.

"It also appears to show which offices are sound-proofed, indicating that sensitive matters are dealt with there.

"And it marks out an area that deals with the information flowing to the Counter Terrorism Unit. The plans also show how many data terminals are in each room, indicating how many computers are there, and therefore how many people work there. Clearly rooms with just one terminal are likely to be offices for very important people.

"It means a terrorist wanting to attack the building from outside could work out which window to fire a rocket through to hit an important office."

Only eight years ago a missile was fired at the nearby MI6 HQ.

The source added: "If a so-called 'clean skin' al-Qaeda sympathiser— one who is British-born and has never come to the authority's attention— could get a job, however menial, at Thames House, the potential is there for him or her to wreck Britain's intelligence community with these plans.

"Any attack would have a big knock-on effect at the Ministry of Defence, MI6, Scotland Yard and GCHQ."

Just a week ago we revealed four al Qaeda "sleepers" are believed to be working for the Met Police. The suspected spies live in London and are feared to have links with Islamic extremists in the UK and worldwide.