Friday, February 03, 2006

Domestic Spying on "Muslims of America" Organization ?

There has been much consternation and hyperbolic hysteria amid the revelations that **gasp** the government is monitoring the homeland and listening to people's conversations. As much publicity as the Carnivore and Echelon surveillance programs received in the past, I didn't figure anyone should be surprised with these latest "revelations", if you can call them that. I assumed it was public knowledge that electronic eavesdropping, even within the homeland, was nothing new. This latest "controversy" has been fabricated simply to castigate President Bush.

That said, I just ran across another interesting tidbit from a recent news story focusing on the NSA "domestic spying" program. The only reference I found to this was on several left-wing blogs, but that was about it. However, I think they may have misunderstood the actual context of the item. I tracked down the transcript of a story that ran on NBC Nightly News on December 16, 2005. There was an interesting blurb in an exchange between Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell (emphasis added):

WILLIAMS: Andrea, these stories may possibly cause some justifiable paranoia among people. Is there any way of saying who are the people being listened on?

MITCHELL: Well, a former intelligence official tells NBC News tonight that the people most likely to be swept up in this are listed in a Homeland Security database, Brian, called Muslims of America. But most people targeted are never charged with a crime. And one former official says this does amount to a giant electronic fishing expedition. Is it legal? The president says yes. Critics say no. Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter says his committee will hold hearings in the new year. Brian:
Now, the kneejerk reaction I saw on other sites was that this was interpreted to mean that they were spying on Muslims at large. However, I think what Mitchell was actually referring to is the specific group "Muslims of America" aka "Muslims of the Americas" aka the group I've been investigating the last four months.

Click here to read my post on the Government Investigation

Sheikh Gilani -- who lives in Pakistan, has ties with al-Qaida and is the leader of Muslims of America, the front organization for Jamaat ul-Fuqra -- maintains contact with his followers inside the U.S. I would guess they communicate via satellite phone among other means. Of course, knowing that they are being watched, they probably use couriers as well. Remember, Gilani's operatives in the past have been described as "extremely covert" and operated under a classic cell structure. It makes sense that they would fall under the constructs of the "domestic spying program".

Let's hope that if there's anything to find, it's found in time...

"We didn't ask for this global struggle, but we're answering history's call with confidence, and a comprehensive strategy. Defeating a broad and adaptive network requires patience, constant pressure..."

-- President George W. Bush
ADDENDUM: Another line from the transcript re: the surveillance program - "One positive result, officials say, preventing a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge." See my post here on the culprit and possible Fuqra associate, Iyman Faris.

(Hat tip to Pajamas Media's NSA Files blog for linking this post.)

1 comment:

NorthShoreHI said...

Interesting comments. It is nice to see your determination at research. Again, well done...