A document containing sensitive information related to President Joe Biden's visit to Northern Ireland this week was found abandoned on the streets of Belfast, the Daily Wire reported. It contained the Police Service of Northern Ireland's plans for police movements, road closures, and contact information for officers.
Biden was in town to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the so-called Good Friday agreement. It marked the end of three decades of in-fighting and violence known as "the Troubles."
The agreement struck nearly a quarter century ago ended the strife ever since. However, the New IRA, which is an offshoot of the Irish Republican Army that sought to end British rule in the region, recently took credit for gunning down Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell.
Biden touched on that incident in his remarks at Ulster University Wednesday and implored North Ireland to "not go back" to another period of brutal upheaval. The president also met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his visit.
The trip continued as planned, even after the discovery of the security document that could have easily been used for nefarious reasons. The Secret Service claims it has "full confidence in our partners" to keep the president safe despite such a monumental oversight.
The mislaid five-page document was found and reported by a listener of the BBC's "The Nolan Show." The person identified only as "Bill" said the document had police contact and other information in a document marked "OFFICIAL SENSITIVE."
Nolan shared a photo of the document on the show's Twitter page. As reported in his broadcast, the document contained key information that was blacked out for the post but clearly showed it came from the PSNI.
"We are aware of a security breach," the PSNI said in a statement to the BBC in response to the discovery, Fox News reported. The police department said it was an "operational order" outlining police moves and the officers involved in them.
"An investigation has commenced and we have notified the senior information risk officer," the PSNI said. "We take the safety of visiting dignitaries, members of the public, and our officers and staff extremely seriously and will put the appropriate actions in place."
Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, dismissed concerns about Biden's security."While we do not discuss the specifics of any protective operation, the President's movements were not affected by these reports," he said.
Guglielmi also said that Jocelyn Keaveny, the senior Secret Service official for Biden's visit and Paris field office special agent, "expressed her highest confidence in our Irish and European partners and the ongoing security of the visit." However, this is not the first secure document to fall into the wrong hands recently.
Highly classified documents pertaining to the war in Ukraine were leaked by someone on a U.S. military base, CNN reported. The information, which seemed to turn on its head the narrative that Russia is losing the war, showed up on the internet as the Pentagon scrambled to fix the situation.
"There’s a full-blown investigation going on, as you know," Biden said Thursday from Dublin. "The intelligence community and the Justice Department. And they’re getting close. I don’t have an answer for you."
The document found in Belfast was likely a result of sloppiness. However, the fact that America's secrets are no longer safe is a serious problem, regardless of who the president is.