The Associated Press | Politico
In a story revealing that the CIA had foiled an al-Qaida plot to blow up an airliner around the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, the AP reported that it had held the story for several days:
The AP learned about the thwarted plot last week but agreed to White House and CIA requests not to publish it immediately because the sensitive intelligence operation was still under way. Once those concerns were allayed, the AP decided to disclose the plot Monday despite requests from the Obama administration to wait for an official announcement Tuesday.
The AP story notes that the CIA was working on the operation even as the Obama administration assured the U.S. public that it knew of no al-Qaida plots connected to the anniversary of bin Laden’s killing. AP intelligence writer Kimberly Dozier wrote in a story just before the anniversary, “There’s no sign of an active revenge plot against U.S. targets,” although she noted that the al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen posed the greatest risk. That’s where the attack was hatched. Dozier is listed as a contributor to today’s report about the thwarted plot, but AP spokesman Paul Colford told me that the AP learned of the plot after the anniversary.
Two of the reporters who broke Monday’s story were part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, for exposing the New York Police Department’s spying on Muslim communities. || Related: Last week the AP apologized for firing a reporter who broke the embargo on German’s surrender at the end of World War II.