A CIA analyst who played a lead role in locating Osama bin Laden was placed under cover by the agency this month because of new threat information indicating that he might be targeted by al Qaeda, US officials said.
The move is a highly unusual one for the CIA, which typically takes steps to protect its employees' identities only when they are embarking on sensitive operations or travel overseas.
A US official said that the decision was driven by information about possible efforts by al Qaeda to seek revenge for the US raid that ended with the death of bin Laden at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May.
“We know from very recent intelligence that al Qaeda is interested in finding US counterterrorism officials tied to the CIA’s aggressive counterterrorism operations,” a US official said requesting anonymity.
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