ASIO has locked classified Cabinet files in safes at the ABC following massive national security breach

Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Getty Images.

ASIO officers have locked up thousands of top secret and classified Cabinet files at the ABC in an early morning operation.

According to the ABC, security staff went to the broadcaster’s offices in Canberra and Brisbane at 1am, with big white safes to lock away the files.

While the ABC still has access to the documents, lawyers for the ABC and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) are now negotiating what will happen to them.

Meanwhile the department has already launched an urgent investigation into the massive national security breach.

Yesterday it was revealed that someone bought two locked filing cabinets from a second-hand store in Canberra, only to later find they contained “thousands of pages” of highly classified cabinet documents spanning five governments and nearly a decade. The were subsequenrly obtained by the ABC. Read more on what’s in the files here.

Some are calling for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to join the inquiry, including Terry Moran, former secretary of PM&C from 2008-11.

“Whoever was responsible for selling a couple of the filing cabinets… ought to be found and sacked,” he told the ABC’s 7.30 program.

“I would probably bring the AFP in to do a major investigation.”

Tony Abbott also agrees that someone must be held responsible for the “monumental lapse”.

“It’s a matter the head (of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) Martin Parkinson should be called on to explain because these documents were apparently in the custody of the department,” Abbott told 2GB radio

The ABC has more.

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