Ex-FBI Agent Admits Leak to AP in Al Qaeda Airliner-Bomb Plot


The Justice Department says it solved one of the major leak cases in recent memory: disclosure of an Al Qaeda airliner-bombing plot last year that had reportedly been penetrated by western intelligence services, reports Politico. Former FBI agent Donald Sachtleben, 55, admitted he disclosed classified information about the plot to the Associated Press. Sachtleben was a bomb expert working as an FBI contract technician at the time of the leak. Sachtleben, who left the FBI in 2008, will serve a 43-month sentence for disclosing national defense information and retaining classified information at his home. He will also serve 97 months on two child pornography offenses. The charges are also something of a vindication for Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who took heat for getting an order from a federal magistrate for telephone records for more than 20 telephone lines used by AP reporters. Controversy over that seizure and the seizure of email records from Fox News in a separate case led to a major public-relations headache for the administration and to a new policy making it more difficult for prosecutors to obtain such records.

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