Free Press

AP Records Probe Came as Part of an Extended Anti-Leak Frenzy

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The Justice Department's controversial decision to seize phone records of Associated Press journalists was just one element in a sweeping U.S. government investigation into media leaks about a Yemen-based plot to bomb a U.S. airliner, government officials said on Wednesday.

The search for who leaked the information is being led by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington and has involved extensive FBI interviews of personnel at the Justice Department, U.S. intelligence agencies, the White House's National Security staff and the FBI itself.

The interviews have been lengthy and thorough, said people who have been questioned in the investigation, but requested anonymity. Two of those interviewed said leak inquiries were always aggressive and that being questioned is a wearing and unpleasant experience.