The facts are these. The night before a sensitive series of police anti-terrorist raids in Birmingham, a London-based source told a number of media outlets that significant raids and arrests would take place in Birmingham. The leaker wilfully compromised the effectiveness of the operation.
Secondly, within a few hours of the arrests the media were told that the plot had been to kidnap and behead a British soldier. The leaker wilfully compromised the ability of the police to effectively question the suspects.
It would appear that the source of these leaks was either the Metropolitan Police, the Home Office, Downing Street or MI5, from either a civil servant, police officer, politician or political advisor, assistant or PR employee.
The leak is a clear breach of s.39(2)(a) of the Terrorism Act 2000 and carries a prison sentence of 5 years. The Act states:
39. - (1) Subsection (2) applies where a person knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a constable is conducting or proposes to conduct a terrorist investigationThere must be a full inquiry to find who leaked this information. They must be brought to trial.
(2) The person commits an offence if he-
(a) discloses to another anything which is likely to prejudice the investigation,