By Charles Pugsley Fincher, A Spin-Off of

I've been following different mentions of Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan since a week ago. Khan is the Al Qaeda computer expert secretly arrested in Pakistan during July. Last week the New York Times named Khan as one of the sources of information that caused Tom Ridge's announcement of the recent orange alert in financial districts.

Then Reuters reported that Khan had been helping Pakistani intel locate Al Qaeda operatives through e-mail, but that the U.S. reports had ruined that leaving the Pakistani's exasperated. Moreover, the hasty arrest of the 12 Al Qaeda suspects in Britain was done because British authorities -- who had them under surveillance -- worried that the outing of Khan would ruin the investigation.

But, I didn't find any mention of Khan's role in helping Pakistani intel all week in the Times until Saturday when a paragraph in a news story mentioned the Reuters' report. Yesterday on CNN, Condoleeza Rice was asked about the report that the U.S. had outed Khan, and Reuters described her as defensive in her answer saying she didn't know who had revealed Khan's name to the Times, but that it was done on background. For a solid report on this see The News Writer blog.

At this point, I don't know if a mistake was made in revealing Khan's name by some U.S. authority and if so, whether it was improvident or inadvertent, or even if it happened at all. But, I've found the story around the Mysterious Mr. Khan intriguing. 08.09.04

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