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Has the Obama administration accidentally tipped off the terrorists?


According to a report from the Washington Times today, there are concerns within the intelligence community that the Obama administration disclosed too many details about purported Middle East terror threats and some of America's sources and intel-gathering methods may now be compromised.  If this is the case, the Times notes, it may be more difficult to detect future threats:

Intelligence officials are dismayed that the administration provided so much detail on what prompted the [embassy] closings, and that the disclosures could work against obtaining new information. Militants are now likely searching for the sources of the information to both the U.S. and Yemeni officials, and almost certainly will kill anyone they suspect of working with Western intelligence.

“There simply are not that many who would know about the attacks,” says one former high-ranking U.S. intelligence officer, “so it won’t be hard for al Qaeda leaders to pin-point the sources of information. Once that happens, they certainly won’t be working with us anymore.”

Other sources are also likely to reconsider their relationship with the United States over the disclosures. “These guys know their lives are in danger. As soon as the U.S. shows we can’t be trusted, they will go under ground and we won’t hear from them again,” says a current intelligence officer. [...]

Intelligence officers say Washington could have cited other reasons for closing the embassies, which likely did play into their decision-making. Recent drone attacks have successfully targeted militant leaders, raising the possibility of retaliation against the United States. Additionally, over the last month, al Qaeda has mounted attacks on numerous prisons to release al Qaeda prisoners. Ten days ago, al Qaeda took credit for breaking out more than 500 militants from Abu Ghraib prison, for example.

This wouldn't be the first time that the administration has come under fire for putting valuable sources in jeopardy.  Following the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, many criticized the administration for leaving secret informants at the mercy of the Pakistani government.

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