THE BLOG
12/13/2013 11:26 am ET Updated Feb 12, 2014

New York Times Held News Of Missing American's CIA Ties

The New York Times is expected to publish a story Friday on Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who went missing in Iran in 2007.

On Thursday night, The AP first revealed that Levinson was working for the CIA at the time of his disappearance, a detail the news organization held for three years at the government's request while efforts were underway to find the missing American.

Government officials had maintained Levinson was in Iran as a private citizen, when in reality, he was working as a rogue CIA operative to find information about the country's nuclear program.

The Times is expected to also acknowledge having held information on Levinson's CIA ties, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Barry Meier, the Times reporter who wrote the story, has covered Levinson's ordeal for several years. When reached Friday morning, Meier declined to discuss the matter.

New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, managing editor Dean Baquet and a spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment about plans to publish.

The Washington Post also reported Thursday night on Levinson's CIA ties.

Reporter Adam Goldman, who previously worked at the AP and shared a byline on the AP's version, wrote the Post's story.

Despite criticism from the White House Thursday night that it "strongly urged" the AP not to cover, both the AP and Post defended their decisions to publish at this time.