Intelligence sources are claiming that Google Earth is being used to scout out British army bases in Iraq.
According to the claims, raids on the houses of Iraqi insurgents have found printouts from Google Earth of British military bases, with precise longitude and latitude coordinates written on the back.
There are also reports that such maps are being sold openly in Basra markets.
"This is evidence as far as we are concerned for planning terrorist attacks. Who would otherwise have Google Earth imagery of one of our bases?" an intelligence officer with the Royal Green Jackets battle group told The Daily Telegraph.
"We are concerned that they use them to plan attacks. We have never had proof that they have deliberately targeted any area of the camp using these images, but presumably they are of great use to them.
"We believe they use Google Earth to identify the most vulnerable areas such as tents."
The maps would be of limited tactical use, since the photographs used by Google Earth of the area are thought to be two years old, but they may provide general layout information and clues as to where hardened bunkers are located.
"Of course we are always ready to listen to governments' requests," said the intelligence officer.
"We have opened channels with the military in Iraq but we are not prepared to discuss what we have discussed with them. But we do listen and we are sensitive to requests."
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