Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced a full internal review to determine who might have leaked information to the media about the suicide bomb plot that was thwarted by an Al Qaeda spy. The plot itself was first unveiled in an Associated Press report on Monday, thought the AP admitted that it held the story for several days at the request of the CIA. A day later we learned that the request was based (at least in part) on the desire to protect the key figure in the investigation — a Saudi spy who infiltrated al Qaeda in Yemen—and walked away with their newest bomb.
Clapper says the investigation will cover all 16 national intelligence agencies that he oversees, although the fact that there are 16 intelligence agencies that might have known about this gives you some clue as to why this was a difficult secret to keep. The mission turned out to be a gigantic success, it did cost Saudi Arabian intelligence, and by extension the United States, what is perhaps their most successful asset ever (that we know about!) and left Clapper with a bit of a mess to clean up when he and teams (all 16 of them) should be celebrating.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.