Saturday, August 16, 2003

US: blaming the BBC for foiling FBI plans

On Tuesday, the BBC's Tom Mangold broke the story about the arrest of Hemant Lakhani, the British man accused of trying to sell missiles to undercover FBI agents posing as terrorists.

On Wednesday, Newsweek carried this story -- based on information from anonymous officials in the US Justice Department -- blaming Mangold for blowing the entire investigation for the FBI.

Here is the lede:
While publicly congratulating themselves over the bust of an international arms dealer in an alleged plot to sell Russian-made surface-to-air missiles, top Justice Department officials are privately fuming over a premature news leak that may have blown a rare opportunity to penetrate Al Qaeda’s arms-buying network, NEWSWEEK has learned.
And now, it seems Tom Mangold has started legal action against Newsweek about that story.