A new report says a UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) blunder has put the Falkland Islands at risk of attack from Argentina, which claims sovereignty over the archipelago and in 1982 invaded the Islands militarily until they were defeated and ousted 74 days later.
According to the Sunday Express, MoD workers are accused of handing Argentina an “invasion handbook” for the Southern Atlantic archipelago after forgetting to encrypt a secret document, and putting it online.
The document details every technical aspect of the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) main military facility on the islands.
The Ministry of Defense removed the data from the website after being alerted by the Sunday Express.
The Mount Pleasant Aerodrome Manual, which states it is supposed to be password protected, is intended for RAF pilots and security-screened civilian contractors who need to land at the base, just 30 miles from Port Stanley.
However, the Sunday Express discovered it was openly available to anyone who clicked its link on the homepage of the “British forces overseas: Falkland Islands and Ascension Island” website.
Details revealed include the exact make-up of runways and thickness of concrete, enabling attacking bombers to know precisely which bombs to use for maximum effect, as well as full operating procedures of how the runways are used at any given time, making it easy for an airstrikes to cause maximum disruption by targeting specific sections.
It also boasts the exact GPS coordinate of every facility, color maps illustrating the hardtop covers of the RAF’s Typhoon fighters and advice as to the best approach in different weather conditions – not to mention the name and personal phone number of every senior officer at the base.
The gaffe is particularly embarrassing as it comes just 10 days after Defense Secretary Michael Fallon confirmed a review of the islands’ defenses with a £280m boost to be invested in ten years, conceding the dispute with Argentina remained “a live threat”.