U.S. officials now say that the man picked to bring a bomb onboard an airliner bound for the United States was actually an agent working on behalf of the CIA. That's the latest twist in a complicated tale — and it raises questions about just how dangerous the group behind the plot really is.
But as the latest bomb plot in Yemen shows, little stays hidden for long these days.
In the post-Sept. 11 world, even the most sensitive intelligence operations quickly become daily fodder as the 24-hour news cycle, the Internet and media-friendly politicians give the story momentum. And it's often senior government officials and the intelligence community who spread the juiciest details.
A new key detail has emerged in the foiled underwear bomb plot: NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports that a CIA informant posed as a suicide bomber in order to persuade the al-Qaida branch in Yemen to hand over a new, more sophisticated underwear bomb.
The latest plot to bomb a U.S. airliner has been foiled, but U.S. intelligence officials have described the bomb as a sophisticated device that's believed to be the work of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. Many details are still not available, but here's what is and isn't known so far: