South Africans could be forgiven a wry smile following reports that the US's leading crime fighters, the FBI, has managed to lose not only 160 firearms, but the same number of laptops in a three-and-half-year period. That's nearly four laptops (and firearms) every month. 


USA Today reports that, according to a Justice Department audit, of the computers lost from February 2002 to September 2005, at least 10 contained sensitive or classified information.
One of these computers, the department says, included telephone numbers and addresses of bureau employees, as well as software used to make bureau ID badges.
"Most troubling," it adds, was that the FBI could not determine whether 51 of the missing computers contained sensitive or classified information.
Seven of these 51 laptops were assigned to the bureau's counterintelligence or counterterrorism divisions, which handle some of the most sensitive national security material.
"Without knowing the content of these lost and stolen laptops, it is impossible for the FBI to determine the extent of the damage these losses might have had on its operations or on national security," the department's report says.
Believe it or not, the figures for this period show a significant improvement on the last official review.
A 2002 audit found that 354 weapons and 317 laptops were lost or stolen in a 28-month period that ended in January 2002.