Surveillance of a handful of Islamists who been supportive of terror groups is hardly unjust or a persecution of all Muslim Americans.
BY RYAN MAURO:
A 45-member coalition — including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities with extremist histories — is accusing the Obama and Bush Administrations of persecuting the entire Muslim-American community by monitoring the emails of five Muslims with links to terrorists.
The coalition is responding to a new report based on classified documents leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) employee Edward Snowden. It focuses on the monitoring of five Muslim-American activists, including CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. The authors of the report are Glenn Greenwald, who has spoken for at least three CAIR fundraisers, and Murtaza Hussain.
The documents provide about 7,500 email addresses monitored by the U.S. government between 2002 and 2008. This is not a shocking number, especially considering the activists’ histories and that there are 2.75 million Muslim-Americans.
Of these, only 202 are listed as Americans and some of these are multiple accounts held by one user. The authors of the report were able to identify five activists who were being monitored.
The Director of National Intelligence said in a statement 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.”
Rather, before monitoring, an independent judge from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court must be persuaded that there is strong enough evidence that the subject is linked to terrorism or under the control of a foreign power.
Public information, much of it cited by the authors, links each of the five to Islamist terrorists. The authors of the report admit they do not know what classified information the NSA and FBI is in possession of; nor do they have any evidence that the NSA failed to get a judge’s approval as required.
Yet, the monitoring of these five activists’ emails is depicted as a scandal by the authors of the report and the coalition, depicting this as an assault on the entire Muslim-American community. Further, the coalition includes groups with their own checkered histories like CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Legal Fund of America.
There are very strong grounds to believe that the government has legitimate reasons for monitoring the five activists. They are as follows:
Read more at Clarion Project