FBI Investigates Media Leaks in Yemen Bomb Plot

FBI director Robert S. Mueller III today disclosed that the FBI is investigating leaks to the news media about the recently disrupted plot by Al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate to smuggle a bomb designed to be concealed in underwear onto a U.S. bound jet.

The plans for the attack, which featured a more sophisticated version of the device the “underwear bomber” of Christmas 2009 was arrested with, were first revealed by the AP. But a day later, it was revealed that the individual at the center of the plot was a double agent working for Britain’s MI-6 secret intelligence service and the CIA along with Saudi Arabian intelligence assets.

“We have initiated an investigation into this leak,” Mueller testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. “Leaks such as this threaten ongoing operations, puts at risk the lives of sources, makes it much more difficult to recruit sources, and damages our relationships with our foreign partners.”

“Leaks such as this have a – I don’t want overuse the word ‘devastating’ – but have a huge impact on our ability to do our business, not just on a particular source and the threat to the particular source, but your ability to recruit sources is severely hampered,” Mueller said, describing the implications of the leak of sensitive national security information.

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