A lost dossier containing information on the al-Qaeda terrorist organisation has been reunited with its rightful owners, after a man found it on a train and made an incredible journey to the mountains of Afghanistan.
Albert Twaddle, 82, of Surrey, was travelling home on the Waterloo to Epsom train on Tuesday, when he spotted an orange cardboard envelope marked "Secret: Do Not Leave On Trains". On examining its contents, he realised it was top secret information on al-Qaeda.
Having been brought up properly by his parents more than 70 years ago, he instinctively knew that he should return the package to its owners, and determined to do so. Having travelled a bit in his youth, he decided that, as he had never been to Afghanistan, he would put that right, and embarked upon the trip of a lifetime.
He flew to Pakistan, then made his way by road to Peshawar. From there, he trekked by donkey over treacherous mountain passes to Waziristan where, according to local residents, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been living. Mr bin Laden had now moved into Afghanistan, so Twaddle walked to the border, where he was met by Taliban soldiers. They welcomed him with open arms, gave him shelter and food, and, seeing he was old, looked after him, something the British government consistently fail to do with people in his age group.
After handing over the dossier, Mr Twaddle left the region, and arrived back in London this morning. Later, he plans to go to the community centre in Epsom, and tonight will have a pint at his local, where he is now a major celebrity.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said:
"This is all very embarrassing."