The request was removed from the website after it sparked furious protests that the corporation was endangering the lives of British servicemen and women.
But according to accounts last night, a story on a major operation by US and Iraqi troops against al-Qa'eda somewhere north of Baghdad contained an extraordinary request for information about the movement of troops.
Last night the BBC confirmed the wording of the request was: "Are you in Iraq? Have you seen any troop movements? If you have any information you would like to share with the BBC, you can do so using the form below."
The BBC confirmed last night that this form of words had appeared on the website from "late morning" until early afternoon.
"It was down by 2pm," The Daily Telegraph was told.
A spokesman was unable to offer a detailed explanation of why anyone at the BBC should be seeking such information or whether any details on troop movements had been received.
He refused to identify who put the message up but said that "the journalist" responsible had been reminded that "this is not a form of words we would use."