An USB stick security files was found by a man and handed to the Sunday Mirror.
The Sunday Mirror was contacted by an unemployed man who found the stick while on his way to the library to search the internet for work.
He spotted the memory stick among leaves on the pavement in Ilbert Street, in Queen’s Park, West London.
He said: “I was curious about what it contained so a few days later, when I went back to the library, I plugged it into the computer. All these files were there. I couldn’t believe it.”
There were at least 174 documents. Some were marked as “confidential” or “restricted” – but could still be read.
The USB stick – containing 76 folders with maps, videos and documents – was not encrypted and did not require a password.
- The exact route the Queen takes when using the airport and security measures used to protect her.
- Maps of the airport’s Royal Suite, used by the Queen, Cabinet members and foreign dignitaries.
- Photos of X-ray machines and scanning equipment used by Her Majesty.
- Images of the route leading up to the suite and satellite images with the location of nearby checkpoints.
- Files disclosing every type of ID needed – even those used by covert cops – to access restricted areas.
- A timetable of patrols that was used to guard the site against suicide bombers and terror attacks.
- Maps pinpointing CCTV cameras and a network of tunnels and escape shafts linked to the Heathrow Express.
- Routes and safeguards for Cabinet ministers and foreign dignitaries.
- Details of the ultrasound radar system used to scan runways and the perimeter fence.
Europe’s biggest airport launched a “very, very urgent” investigation after the Sunday Mirror alerted them to the frightening security lapse.
A security source said: “In the wrong hands this would represent a profound threat in terms of terrorism or espionage.
The Sunday Mirror has passed the file to Heathrow intelligence chiefs. The man who found it has been interviewed by airport security chiefs.