Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Report Says Muslim-Americans Included In NSA-FBI E-mail Monitoring

According to a lengthy report at The Intercept today, documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA and FBI have secretly monitored e-mails of several prominent Muslim-Americans, including Nihad Awad (executive director of CAIR),  Agha Saeed (former Cal State professor and Muslim civil liberties activist); Hooshang Amirahmadi (Iranian-American Rutgers professor); Asim Ghafoor (attorney who has represented clients in terrorism cases); and Faisal Gill (Republican Party operative who served in Department of Homeland Security). The FBI is listed as the "responsible agency" for monitoring of these five individuals.  The reasons for including their e-mail addresses in the nearly 7,500 monitored remain classified.

UPDATE: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice on July 9 issued a statement (full text) apparently in response to The Intercept report, saying in part:
It is entirely false that U.S. intelligence agencies conduct electronic surveillance of political, religious or activist figures solely because they disagree with public policies or criticize the government, or for exercising constitutional rights..... On the other hand, a person who the court finds is an agent of a foreign power under this rigorous standard is not exempted just because of his or her occupation.