On April 9th, 2009, Bob Quick, the most senior counter-terrorism officer in the United Kingdom, was photographed in Downing Street carrying two folders and a briefing paper for the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. As he exited the car, the picture taken of Mr. Quick and the exposed document information about “Operation Pathway”, an attempt to thwart “suspected AQ (al-Qaeda) driven attack” and the immigration status of the eleven suspects and the location of the targets to be raided, seven addresses in Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire.
Within a few minutes, the picture was plastered all over the internet. John O’Connor, the former commander of Scotland Yard, has said that “you could not get a more serious breach of security”. The disclosure–captured by photographers with telephoto lenses–forced anti-terrorism officers to carry out the operation many hours earlier than planned. Hundreds of officers took part in raids and all 12 suspects were arrested. The British news media reported that the group had been planning attacks this weekend on targets like a shopping center in downtown Manchester as a part of a great ‘Easter Surprise’ attack. Ten of the people in custody are Pakistani citizens, and one is British-born
Quick resigned from his £110,000 a year job, he walks away with an “index-linked police pension” worth the same amount.