This is shocking (via MSNBC):
THE FBI�S ARREST of London-based arms dealer Hemant Lakhani, 68, at a hotel room near Newark Liberty International Airport this week was supposed to be only an interim step in what officials hoped would be a far more meaningful long-term operation, law-enforcement sources said. The bureau�s plan was to quickly flip Lakhani, a British citizen of Indian extraction, and then use him as an undercover informant who could lead agents to real-life Osama bin Laden operatives seeking sophisticated weapons.The war continues, and is made more dangerous by the BBC.
But those plans went awry late Tuesday afternoon when the Feds learned that the BBC was about to broadcast a sensational report on Lakhani�s arrest by one of its star correspondents, Tom Mangold. The BBC story, based on an apparent leak from a law-enforcement source, had some key details wrong. For one thing, it falsely claimed that the arms dealer�s attempted sale of a shoulder-fired SA-18 missile and launder was part of a plot by terrorists to shoot down Air Force One�a target that never actually came up in the discussions.
But even so, U.S. law-enforcement sources tell NEWSWEEK, the damage was done. The FBI had to abort its plan to recruit Lakhani as an informant and instead charged him today in federal court in Newark, N.J., with weapons smuggling and with providing material support to terrorists.