Police terror expert charged over Sunday Times leak - Press Gazette

Police terror expert charged over Sunday Times leak

A Metropolitan Police staff member has appeared in court charged with misconduct and breaching the Official Secrets Act.

Thomas Lund-Lack, 59, has been charged by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command in connection with disclosures of information to a reporter, Scotland Yard said.

Lund-Lack, who appeared at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court, worked in the Met’s Specialist Operations, in the Counter-Terrorism Command.

He has been described as “an expert on Islamist terrorism at the Met” by the Press Trust of India.

Lund-Lack is charged with “wilful misconduct in a judicial or public office”, by disclosing secret documents to a Sunday Times journalist, knowing that the information from the document would be published.

The second charge relates to unlawful disclosure contrary to the Official Secrets Act 1989.

According to the charge, he “did without lawful authority make a damaging disclosure of information relating to security or intelligence, namely a Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) document”, which had been in his possession by virtue of his position.

Police confirmed the leaked intelligence report in question was the basis for a Sunday Times article published on 22 April, which said al Qaida leaders in Iraq were planning the first “large-scale” terrorist attacks on Britain and other western targets with the help of supporters in Iran.

According to the Sunday Times article, the JTAC report warned that one operative said he was planning an attack on “a par with Hiroshima and Nagasaki”.

“While networks linked to AQ (al Qaida) Core pose the greatest threat to the UK, the intelligence during this quarter has highlighted the potential threat from other areas, particularly AQ-I (al Qaida in Iraq),” the newspaper quoted the report as saying.

The quote continued: “Recent reporting has described AQ-I’s Kurdish network in Iran planning what we believe may be a large-scale attack against a western target.”

District Judge Caroline Tubbs remanded Lund-Lack in custody to reappear at the Old Bailey on 1 June.