The timing of these disclosures is all wrong, tactically and strategically. Officials are explaining how we know what Al Qaeda is planning before the current plot has been disrupted, and before any members of the attack team (or teams) have been apprehended. Since it’s clear from the number of diplomatic posts that have been closed that U.S. intelligence doesn’t know where the attackers are, Al Qaeda has the option of telling the plotters to stand down, after which more secure means of communication can be established. And they can try again.
And these foolish leaks come just as Al Qaeda seems to be regrouping. Recent large-scale jail breaks are going to, without question, bolster jihadist capabilities. Announcing how the United States has compromised Al Qaeda communications when in the midst of a growing threat is unbelievably irresponsible.