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Saudi's Al Qaeda intelligence coup and the perils of too much disclosure

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The Associated Press broke the story on May 7, after keeping the story under wraps for a few days at the request of the CIA and the Obama Administration. The AP didn't identify its source or sources at all, saying only that it "has learned" of the foiled effort. The story carried a Washington dateline, which points in the direction of a leak from the US end.

"It's really, to me, unfortunate that this has gotten out, because this could really interfere with operations overseas," Peter King, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in Congress, told CNN yesterday. "My understanding is a major investigation is going to be launched because of this."

Much of the early reporting that the CIA was responsible for disrupting the latest bombing effort has since been walked back. Saudi Arabian intelligence, led by Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, are the experts on AQAP and have been keeping close tabs on the group for years. The New York Times ran a good piece yesterday, sourced to unidentified officials, that identified the man who posed as a would-be bomber as working for the Saudis.

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