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Prominent Muslim-Americans monitored by NSA and FBI

Logo of the National Security Agency. The NSA has allegedly been surveilling various Muslim-Americans.
Logo of the National Security Agency. The NSA has allegedly been surveilling various Muslim-Americans.

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NSA records leaked by Edward Snowden show that the NSA and FBI monitored the emails of several  prominent Muslim-Americans living in the United States.

Among the individuals who were monitored include Faisal Gill, a Republican operative who served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush’s administration, Hooshang Amirahmadi, professor of international relations at Rutgers University, Agha Saeed, former political science Cal State University professor, and Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the U.S.

The surveillance was completed under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, where a judge must be convinced that there is indeed probable cause and the targets are engaged in espionage, sabotage or terrorism.

The records also show racial slurs were used in the memo templates of the organization, using phrases such as “Mohammed Raghead” as placeholders in place of where the monitored individual’s name would go.

What should be the standard procedure in monitoring American civilians? What should constitute as probable cause? Do you feel that the NSA was justified in its actions?


Glenn Greenwald, editor, The Intercept; He broke today’s story about the NSA’s alleged activities. He is also a constitutional lawyer and his most recent book is No Place to Hide

Edina Lekovic, director of policy and programming with the Muslim Public Affairs Council

Colonel Cedric Leighton, former deputy director of training for the NSA, chairman of Cedric Leighton Associates, a strategic risk and leadership management consultancy