Washington, Sep 24: A former FBI agent arrested in 2012 on child pornography charges has admitted to being the source of a disclosure to the Associated Press about a foiled al Qaeda plot.
Justice Department officials said Donald Sachtleben was an FBI agent for 25 years and worked on major cases, including the Oklahoma City bombing and the hunt for the Unabomber.
The paperwork filed in federal court revealed that Sachtleben provided the national security information to the AP just nine days before he was arrested on the child porn charges, in a separate investigation.
Justice Department officials said Sachtleben was identified as a suspect in the case after records for phone numbers related to the reporter were obtained through a subpoena and compared to other evidence collected during the leak investigation, the Huffington Post reports.
Federal investigators then obtained a search warrant that authorized a more exhaustive search of Sachtleben’s cell phone, computer and other electronic media.
Sachtleben exchanged text messages with an Associated Press reporter in late April and early May of 2012 before making the disclosure in a phone call.
That leak led to an AP story that revealed the role of an undercover agent in al Qaeda’s inner circle, the report added.