A law enforcement official says investigators are conducting a probe into who leaked information about an al-Qaida plot in which an explosive device was to have been detonated on a U.S.-bound airline flight.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity about the ongoing leak investigation, which is just getting under way.

The probe follows stories by The Associated Press and other news organizations disclosing the terrorist operation by the group known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. The reports said that al-Qaida had completed a sophisticated new, nonmetallic underwear bomb last month and that the would-be suicide bomber actually was a double agent working with the CIA and Saudi intelligence agencies.

A spokesman for the AP, Paul Colford, says in a statement that the news organization "acted carefully and with extreme deliberation in its reporting on the underwear bomb plot and its subsequent decision to publish."

Colford says "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."


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