Bloggers published text of airline security directive that followed the Christmas Day attack on an Amsterdam-Detroit flight.

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WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration has dropped the subpoenas it had issued to two travel writers in its effort to find who leaked an airline security directive that followed the attempted attack on an airliner. . The subpoenas were criticized by a leading journalism organization.

The TSA said the investigation is “nearing a successful conclusion and the subpoenas are no longer in effect.”

The security directive quickly became known to passengers at screening lines and aboard their flights, following the failed Christmas Day attack on the Amsterdam-Detroit flight. Nonetheless, the passenger screening agency said Thursday it “takes any breach in security very seriously.”

One subpoena went to travel writer Christopher Elliott, a blogger and reader advocate for National Geographic Traveler whose articles also are carried at He obtained an attorney and did not immediately comply.

Elliott, from Florida, said TSA agents had showed up at his house, demanding that he reveal who leaked the security directive.

The administrative subpoena — a demand for information issued without a judge’s approval — is a civil, not a criminal document.

Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said her organization is supporting Elliott.

Another travel blogger who received a subpoena, Steve Frischling, said he met with two TSA special agents Tuesday night at his Connecticut home for about three hours and again on Wednesday morning when he was forced to hand over his laptop computer.

Frischling said the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn’t cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo.

Dalglish said she was not speaking for Frischling, but added there’s nothing to challenge if he already handed over his computer.

Dalglish said she could not remember the last time an administrative subpoena had been served on a reporter in last decade.

The TSA directive outlined new screening measures that went into effect the same day as the airliner incident at Detroit. It included many procedures that would be apparent to the traveling public, such as screening at boarding gates, patting down the upper legs and torso, physically inspecting all travelers’ belongings, looking carefully at syringes with powders and liquids, requiring that passengers remain in their seats one hour before landing, and disabling all onboard communications systems, including what is provided by the airline. Some of the security procedures have since been relaxed.