Monday, September 30, 2013

Last Months Leak Of An Intercepted Al Qaeda Communication Has Resulted In Severe Damage To American Counterterrorism Efforts

Qaeda Plot Leak Has Undermined U.S. Intelligence -- New York Times

WASHINGTON — As the nation’s spy agencies assess the fallout from disclosures about their surveillance programs, some government analysts and senior officials have made a startling finding: the impact of a leaked terrorist plot by Al Qaeda in August has caused more immediate damage to American counterterrorism efforts than the thousands of classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor.

Since news reports in early August revealed that the United States intercepted messages between Ayman al-Zawahri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as the head of Al Qaeda, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the head of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, discussing an imminent terrorist attack, analysts have detected a sharp drop in the terrorists’ use of a major communications channel that the authorities were monitoring. Since August, senior American officials have been scrambling to find new ways to surveil the electronic messages and conversations of Al Qaeda’s leaders and operatives.

Read more ....

Update #1: Reports: Al-Qaeda Has Gone Quiet Since Surveillance Leaks -- Atlantic Wire
Update #2: Experts: Media Leaks Make Tracking Al Qaeda Terrorists Harder -- Arutz Sheva

My Comment: My understanding is that Al Qaeda has always worked on the assumption that their communications were always being intercepted by U.S. intelligence .... so for them to all of a sudden stop because of one leak is a surprise.

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