A.P. wants you to know they waited for approval before publishing Al Qaeda bomb-plot mole story

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National Intelligence Director James Clapper is ordering an internal review to root out the source for the initial report in the Associated Press about an Al Qaeda plot to blow up a U.S.-bound plane using a new I.E.D. secreted by the bomber in his underwear.

And legislators from Joe Lieberman to Dianne Feinstein to Peter King are complaining that the leaks are serious and could damage U.S. intelligence partnerships.

None of these legislators have blamed the A.P. for publishing the story, focusing instead on finding out how they got it; though in their previous intelligence reporting several elected officials and some newspapers, notably the Daily News editorial page, have railed against them for compromising securtity.

Today the A.P. is understandably eager to show that it coordinated the release of their report with government officials. They waited for assurances that officials' "security concerns had been satisfied" and that the White House was planning to make an announcement about the successful C.I.A. operation the next day.

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Here's the statement, which is also posted here on the A.P. website:

The Associated Press acted carefully and with extreme deliberation in its reporting on the underwear bomb plot and its subsequent decision to publish.  

As the AP has reported, we distributed our exclusive report on the underwear bomb only after officials assured us—on Monday—that their security concerns had been satisfied and we learned that the White House would announce the news the next day (Tuesday).