WASHINGTON -- Rep. Peter King's (R-N.Y.) public thanks to Jordan this month for helping capture Osama bin Laden's son-in-law has upset a delicate U.S. government agreement to keep Jordan's role in the operation secret, U.S. officials told The Huffington Post.

King, a member of the House Intelligence Committee and until recently the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, was the first U.S. official to confirm the arrest of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith. In a March 7 statement several hours before the indictment against Ghaith was unsealed, King thanked "our allies in Jordan" for help capturing Abu Ghaith, who served as a spokesman for al-Qaeda.

The effort to capture Abu Ghaith required work between the State Department and the United States national security apparatus as well as cooperation from foreign allies. While Jordan is one of the closest U.S. allies in the region, it would have preferred not to have its role mentioned because cooperating with the U.S can be politically toxic in the Middle East. The Jordanian embassy in D.C. did not respond to a request for comment, while the U.S. has yet to officially acknowledged its role.

King told The Huffington Post he was never notified of the operation to capture Abnu Ghaith through official channels. King said he learned of Jordan's assistance informally, from calls from reporters following up on foreign reports and from friends in New York's law enforcement community.

"Local law enforcement people knew about it in New York, it was no secret," King said of Jordan's role in the operation. Members of the New York City Police Department are on the FBI's New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which played a major role in the arrest.

King -- who once authored a barely veiled novel called Vale of Tears about a Long Island Republican congressman who saved New York City from a terrorist attack -- said his sources never told him to keep his mouth shut.

"I was never briefed on it, never told not to say anything. I just thanked everybody involved," King said. "I didn't go into any of the details, which were all over the media within hours."

A Justice Department lawyer said at Abu Ghaith's arraignment that he was taken into custody on Feb. 28. The U.S. never said where the arrest took place.

Abu Ghaith apparently was taken into custody in a luxury hotel in Turkey, but that country did not want to send him directly to the U.S. because he could face the death penalty . The suspect was reportedly being taken to Kuwait when he was apprehended by U.S. law enforcement on a stopover in Jordan.

It wasn't clear whether any of King's colleagues in Congress were informed of Abu Ghaith's arrest before King made his announcement. The White House said the day after the announcement that "relevant" congressional leadership "were informed about the indictment of Abu Ghaith and the decision to try him in New York," but did not say when those notifications took place.

King's March 7 statement was sent out shortly after 10 a.m. The Justice Department press release didn't hit reporters' inboxes until nearly 5 p.m. In the intervening hours, government officials across several agencies scrambled to explain the breach, according to several government officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Elise Foley and Joshua Hersh contributed reporting.

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    The House has 233 Republicans and 200 Democrats. Each party should pick up one more seat when two vacancies are filled. Going into the election, the GOP edge was 242-193. Senate Democrats will have a caucus of 55, including two independents, Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Republicans have 45. That's a pickup of two seats for Democrats. <em>(Text <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130103/us-new-congress-glance/">via the Associated Press</a>)</em>

  • Women

    The House will have 79 women, including 60 Democrats. At the end of the last session, there were 50 Democratic women and 24 Republican women. The new Senate will have 20 women members, an increase of three. That consists of 16 Democrats and four Republicans. The last Senate had 12 Democratic women and five Republicans. (Text <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130103/us-new-congress-glance/">via the Associated Press</a>)

  • Freshmen

    With two vacancies to be filled, the House has 82 freshmen; 47 Democrats and 35 Republicans. As of the end of the last session, 87 of 103 freshmen were Republicans. The Senate will include 14 new faces, with nine Democrats and the independent King. Five are women. New senators include Brian Schatz, who was sworn in on Dec. 27 to fill the seat of the late Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye. (Text <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130103/us-new-congress-glance/">via the Associated Press</a>) <em>(Pictured at left: Incoming House freshmen of the 113th Congress pose for a group photo on the East steps of the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. AP Photo/Susan Walsh)</em>

  • African Americans

    The House will have 40 African-Americans, all Democrats. The number of Democrats is unchanged, although two Republicans will be gone: Allen West, R-Fla., lost his re-election bid, and Tim Scott, R-S.C., was appointed to fill the Senate seat of Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who is retiring. Scott will be the first black lawmaker in the Senate since Roland Burris, who retired in 2010 after filling the Illinois Senate seat of Barack Obama for almost two years. (Text <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130103/us-new-congress-glance/">via the Associated Press</a>) <em>(Pictured at left: Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who was appointed by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to replace outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., walks out of the Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. AP Photo/Susan Walsh)</em>

  • Hispanics

    The new House will have 33 Hispanics, with 25 Democrats and eight Republicans. That's up slightly from last year. The Senate will have three Hispanics: Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Republican Marco Rubio of Florida and Republican freshman Ted Cruz of Texas. (Text <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130103/us-new-congress-glance/">via the Associated Press</a>) <em>(Pictured at left: Rep.-elect Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, speaks with members of the media after a news conference with newly elected Democratic House members on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)</em>

  • Other Minorities

    The new House will have nine Asian Americans, all Democrats. There are two American Indians: Tom Cole, R-Okla., and Ben Lujan, D-N.M. (Text <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130103/us-new-congress-glance/">via the Associated Press</a>) <em>(Pictured at left: Sen.-elect, current Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and her husband, Leighton Oshima ride the Senate Subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)</em>

  • Other Facts

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