Friday, July 06, 2007

Alan West, the loss of secret documents, the bin Laden family

In 1986, Captain Alan West of the British navy removed secret documents from the Ministry of Defence 'without permission', carried them in his coat pocket when they should have been in a security briefcase, and then lost the documents.

He 'failed to tell the MoD immediately of their loss'.

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From 1989 to 1992 West was in charge of Naval Intelligence.

In 1997 West was appointed Chief of Defence Intelligence.

The 9 11 attacks took place on 11 September 2001.

In 2002, West was promoted to become head of the navy as First Sea Lord.

In 2006, West became Chairman of the QinetiQ Defence Advisory Board. Qinetiq is a defence technology company.

The privatisation of QinetiQ in 2002 was controversial. Qinetiq had previously been government owned.

In 2002 US private equity firm Carlyle took a 31% holding in QinetiQ for £42m.

The bin Laden family and the Bush family have had investments in the Carlyle Group.

Independent industry expert Francis Tusa, editor of the London-based newsletter Defence Analysis, said: "I can't imagine the US, Germany or France selling off the crown jewels like this, can you? There is an awful lot of specialist knowledge and it has come from public money - defence contracts."

Admiral Sir Alan West has now become Gordon Brown's security minister.


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