Snowden leak reveals U.S. snooped around al-Jazeera

Sept. 1, 2013 at 1:21 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. intelligence agents were able to hack into the in-house communications of the Arab news agency al-Jazeera, documents leaked by Edward Snowden indicated.

The revelations published Sunday by the German magazine Spiegel said the National Security Agency targeted al-Jazeera because it was considered a promising prospect for information on Middle East terrorists.

Spiegel said the Qatar-based network was a high NSA priority because it had become a regular outlet for video statements from al-Qaida in the years following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

The NSA was able to eavesdrop on encrypted communications involving what the agency in 2006 called "interesting targets" with "high potential as sources of intelligence."

It was not clear how comprehensive the monitoring of al-Jazeera was or if the surveillance was still going on, Spiegel said.

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