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Did the Associated Press blow an Al Qaeda informant's cover?

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But he makes a good point about why the Justice Department went to such lengths to find the source of the leak regarding a story involving what could have been a successful underwear bomber tied to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula targeting a US airliner.

“What went completely without mention in the initial coverage was the fact that thwarting this plot was not the objective of the ongoing undercover operation,” Mr. Schroeder wrote on Huffington Post this week. “Its true objective was to gain enough intelligence to locate and neutralize the master bomb builder, Ibrahim Hassan al-Ashiri, who works with an Al-Qaeda affiliate, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).”

“Penetrating AQAP is incredibly difficult,” Schroeder continued. “This double agent provided a rare opportunity to gain critical, life-saving information. Whoever disclosed the information obtained by the AP had not only put the agent's life and his family's life in danger. He also killed a golden opportunity to save untold more lives that now remain at risk due to al-Ashiri remaining at large.”

Ken Dilanian of the Los Angeles Times reports on the widespread dismay the leak caused intelligence agencies working with the CIA around the world.

“The informant, reportedly a British subject of Saudi birth … was trained and outfitted with the latest version of an underwear bomb designed to pass metal detectors and other airport safeguards,” officials told Mr. Dilanian.

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