Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Al Qaeda Bomber Was Double Agent Working for U.S. and Arab Intelligence Agencies

Well, who knew, really? I thought something was strange about this story all along, particularly with regard to AP's reporting. So here comes the news that the CIA planted a double agent inside al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. There's going to be lots more information on this over the next few days so consider this developing. So far, Rep. Peter King thinks the administration is in fact jerking the public, see: "Rep. King suggests administration may have misled public on bomb plot, Calls for review." Frankly, there's no doubt in my mind that Obama is working national security --- and coordinating press coverage according to intelligence rules --- to score political points. President #GutsyCall is going rogue.

Anyway, the Los Angeles Times reports, "Al Qaeda bomb plot was foiled by double agent."

And at the Wall Street Journal, "Bomb Plotter Was U.S. Informer: Double Agent Infiltrated Yemeni Terror Group, Fed Information to U.S. Intelligence":

The supposed bomber at the center of a foiled plot to bring down a jetliner was actually a double agent who funneled vital information to U.S. and Arab intelligence agencies, according to officials, marking an apparently successful infiltration of al Qaeda's most dangerous branch.

The revelation came a day after U.S. officials said the Central Intelligence Agency, working with foreign security services and other agencies, had thwarted a bomb plot by al Qaeda's Yemeni branch aimed at bringing down a U.S. jetliner with a more advanced version of an underwear bomb used in a failed 2009 Christmas Day attempt.

The newest plot appears to provide a chilling illustration of al Qaeda's determination to learn from its mistakes: The bomb that was recovered has two detonators, providing a crucial backup in the event one failed, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

According to a U.S. official familiar with the operation, the double agent spent several perilous weeks working inside al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, answering to a foreign intelligence service that works in concert with the CIA. Saudi intelligence officials played "a large role" in handling of the double agent inside AQAP, this official said.

The man was able to convince members of the Yemeni terror group that he wanted to carry out a suicide mission, the official said.

The man was given the bomb and general instructions for carrying out the attack, the official said. Instead of following those directions, however, when he left Yemen, he contacted intelligence authorities, turning over the bomb and fresh intelligence about AQAP.

Some of the information gathered in the course of the multiweek operation led to the U.S. drone strike in Yemen on Sunday that killed a top operative of the Yemeni group, officials said Tuesday.

The Saudi embassy in Washington had no immediate comment. In the past, some Saudi officials have chafed at characterizations that Saudi Arabia used former al Qaeda militants as informants to disrupt plots by the Yemeni branch.

Yemeni officials say they weren't informed about the operation.
Continue reading.

The Journal also mentions the possibility of a congressional GOP investigation of Obama's intelligence coordination and public manipulation.