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NYT reporter James Risen will not be forced to reveal confidential source

Ending a years-long battle, Attorney General Eric Holder has directed that reporter James Risen not be forced to reveal a confidential source's identity, according to a senior Justice Department official who spoke with NBC News.

Risen's book, State of War, outlined the CIA's efforts to sabotage Iran's nuclear arms program. The Justice Department had been deciding whether or not to subpoena Risen about whether former CIA official Jeffrey Sterling was the source behind The New York Times reporter's information, The Washington Post notes.

A federal judge overseeing Sterling's case had given the Justice Department a Tuesday deadline to decide whether it would compel Risen to name his source. While Holder decided Risen can still be subpoenaed, he must only be compelled "to confirm that he had an agreement with a confidential source, and that he did write the book," the senior official said.