OpSec - we've heard of it

FFS. Doesn't anyone practice operational security any more? It seems that some blabbermouth in the White House or State Department leaked the information that the US was intercepting some communications from Al Qaeda's "Mr Mojo" Ayman al-Zawahiri. CNN apparently had the information over the weekend:

[US and Yemeni officials] grew increasingly alarmed after intercepting a message within the past several days said to be from al-Zawahiri, who is believed to be in Pakistan. The message was sent to Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group's Yemeni affiliate.
CNN, in a rare act of responsibility, held back from reporting this information. Other media organisations were not so restrained.

Two possibilities:

  1. The US is not actually reading these communications. Since al-Zawahiri and al-Wuhayshi know what they talked about, they will know if the reports are erroneous and they won't care. All this achieves is to make the US look like it's actually doing something about the terror threat. I hope, hope this is true.
  2. The US is reading these communications, after expenditure of much blood, sweat and dollars. This effort is now wasted as al-Zawahiri and co. will change their procedures - and doubtless brutally kill anyone suspected of involvement in the interception. I fear that this is actually the case.
Neither possibility reflects particularly well on the current administration. If it doesn't hunt down the leaker and throw them into Fort Leavenworth or Allenwood for a good decade or so, we'll know what their priorities are.

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree more, this is very dangerous.

    People need to understand that the secret is not that we have a secret service (its not a secret establishment, its an establishment with secrets)and it is not even what they do, spying, that is secret, it's how they do it and, far more importantly, how successful they are.

    When I first heard this story I assumed that they were shutting embassies all over the place to try and muddy the waters about what they really knew and how they obtained it, a sort of disinformation to allow them to take precautions.

    To give away that "A message from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to his second in command in Yemen told him to "do something," causing U.S. and Yemeni officials to fear imminent terrorist action, CNN has learned." is criminally insane.


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