Extremists try to ‘infiltrate’ US intel

Extremists try to ‘infiltrate’ US intel

Extremists try to ‘infiltrate’ US intel

The building of the NSA in Fort Meade is seen in this photo. AP photo

Al-Qaeda and other hostile groups have repeatedly sought to infiltrate U.S. intelligence agencies, which are investigating thousands of their employees to counter the threat, The Washington Post reported yesterday.

The CIA found that about a fifth of job applicants with suspect backgrounds had “significant terrorist and/or hostile intelligence connections,” the daily cited a classified budget document as saying.

The document was provided to the paper by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. Although the file did not describe the nature of the jobseekers’ extremist or hostile ties, it cited Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda and its affiliates most often.

The NSA detected potentially suspicious activity among staff members after trawling through trillions of employee keystrokes at work. The suspicious behavior included staffers accessing classified databases they do not usually use for their work or downloading several documents.

Meanwhile, the NSA’s spy program targeted the communications of the Brazilian and Mexican presidents, and in the case of Mexico’s leader accessed the content of e-mails before he was elected, the U.S. journalist who obtained secret documents from Snowden said Sept. 1. Journalist Glenn Greenwald told Globo’s news program “Fantastico” that a document dated June 2012 shows that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s e-mails were being read. The document’s date is a month before Pena Nieto was elected.

As for Brazil’s leader, the June 2012 document “doesn’t include any of Dilma’s specific intercepted messages, the way it does for Nieto,” Greenwald told The Associated Press in an e-mail. “But it is clear in several ways that her communications were intercepted, including the use of DNI Presenter, which is a program used by NSA to open and read e-mails and online chats.”