The publication of a book by a former top counter-terrorism officer has been blocked by the Attorney General.
Baroness Scotland QC stepped in at the last minute to obtain an injunction preventing The Terrorist Hunters from hitting the shelves today.
The book, by retired Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Andy Hayman, focused on the struggle against Islamic terrorism in the aftermath of the July 7 attacks.
It also looked at the murder of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko and gave a behind-the-scenes glimpse of top-level political and intelligence work.
An advisory notice highlighting the injunction, granted by an unnamed High Court judge, was circulated to newspaper editors at 11.45pm last night.
Further details of the reasons behind the injunction cannot be published for legal reasons linked to continuing criminal proceedings.
Thousands of copies of the 372-page book were delivered to bookshops nationwide ahead of its publication today.
Large sections of the Bantam Press book, co-written by former BBC home affairs correspondent Margaret Gilmore, were also serialised in The Times newspaper.
It is understood that a copy of the book was provided to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) two months ago.
Sources close to the publication said it was vetted by officials at the Cabinet Office, MI5 and MI6 but no copy was passed to Scotland Yard.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has complained that he was not given a preview of its contents.
He told a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) last week that he was reluctant to give the book more publicity.
But Sir Paul said members of the force's watchdog might like to consider whether senior officers should be allowed to publish such books.
He said: "I find it surprising as commissioner that I have no right on this occasion to have access to the book before it is published. That surprises me. It is troublesome and it does not help good conduct."
A spokeswoman for Random House, which owns Bantam Press, declined to comment.