Rep. Peter King (R.-N.Y.) charged that the Obama Administration leaked information about the Times Square bomb plotter before his apprehension in order to ensure it got credit for the arrest.
“They wanted to make sure that the administration got credit when this person was arrested,” King told reporters Tuesday. “They were so confident he was going to be arrested, they wanted to get out in front of it. As a result of that, it’s very likely this person was tipped off. Certainly, the evidence was out there to tip him off, and he did get away. And he was on that plane, he made it to the airport with a … 9 millimeter weapon.”
King wants an FBI probe whether sensitive information was leaded prematurely in the arrest of Faisal Shahzad.
King said the administration has the opposite problem about sharing information with Congress. A member of both the House Intelligence Committee and ranking member of Homeland Security Committee, King said he’s watched the administration be stingy with information.
“This administration drops an iron curtain down every time,” King said. “This is one of the most secretive, control-freak type of administration I’ve seen.”
He pointed to the subpoena Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) had to issue in the case of Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan because they believed the administration wasn’t providing the necessary information.
In the case of Shahzad, who has been arrested for trying to set of a bomb in Times Square over the weekend, King said he got a quick briefing Sunday from the Department of Homeland Security, although he was unable to obtain a briefing with Secretary Janet Napolitano.
King said it had to be the administration leaking information to the media while it tracked down Shahzad.
“Every story, first of all, said ‘administration sources,’” King said. “Secondly, they didn’t give information out to anyone else.”
King said he believes that administration officials were leaking to the media starting at about 1 p.m. Monday that this was an international terrorist threat. Then came more specific information including evidence, forensics, and eventually the information that the suspect was born in Pakistan but was a naturalized American citizen. King said it was after that the suspect took off.
“I have never seen so many sensitive leaks of a criminal investigation before the person has been apprehended,” King said.
King has not sent an official request yet on the probe to the FBI but has discussed the issue with “a number of other members of Congress” and that they all “feel very strongly about it.” King said he intends to raise the issue with as many members of Congress as possible and he will do all he can as a member of the Intelligence Committee and ranking member of Homeland Security committee.
“I think it put lives at risk,” King said. “I think it’s important we pursue this any way we can.”