This story in the Washington Post is fascinating:
A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.
Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company’s Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.
The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group’s communications network.
Anyone would read this as follows… a small private intelligence group was able to tap into the AQ pipeline. They provided the info to the GW admin. The GW admin then made the information available to one and all, including AQ, which has since changed its M.O. (Aiding and abetting, anyone?)
While this is being portrayed as a leak that cost the American military its chance to monitor al-Qaeda, it seems to me al-Qaeda just lost its communications. And a smart fellow, upon learning his communications network was compromised, would start using it to send fake stuff to put the U.S. military on wild goose chases.
Looks like al-Qaeda just went back a few centuries.
So, sorry to hear that SITE has lost its edge. And it really sucks that it was someone at The White House who leaked the video.
But why would you give the video to the White House and not to the FBI or CIA? The White House leaks like a sieve. That’s just the way the White House works.
I’m also sorry to hear that this scared al Qaeda into being more cautious. In fact, that same day al Ekhlaas and a few other jihadi forums went down. There was a lot of speculation as to why. Some at the time claimed that the online Zionist conspiracy had hacked al Ekhlaas. But now we know why they went down: to upgrade their security measures.
But no matter how hard they try, they will never be as good as we are.
We pwn you al Qaeda and as Sahab. We. Frickin. Pwn. You.
So according to these guys, its either a good thing, or at least not a bad thing, that AQ is now aware that its network was compromised.
I don’t have enough snark available to comment.