US officials have secretly monitored radiation levels at mosques and Muslim homes, since September 11, 2001 as part of a secret programme searching for nuclear bombs, the US News and World Report said on Friday. The news magazine said in its online edition that the far-reaching programme covered over a hundred sites in the Washington, DC, area and in at least five other cities as well.
“In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the programme,” the magazine said.
Federal officials cited by the report maintained the programme was legal and said warrants were not needed for the kind of radiation sampling it conducted.
According to the magazine, the programme began in early 2002 and was run by the FBI and the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Emergency Support Team.
At its peak, the effort involved three vehicles in the Washington area monitoring 120 sites a day, nearly all of them Muslim targets such as prominent mosques and office buildings selected by the FBI, the report said, adding that the programme also operated in at least five other cities—Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York, and Seattle—when threat levels there have risen.
Wiretaps far more than admitted: NYT
NEW YORK: The volume of information gathered from telephone and Internet communications by the US National Security Agency without court-approved warrants was much larger than the White House has acknowledged, The New York Times reported on Saturday. Citing current and former government officials, the Times also said the NSA had the cooperation of major telecommunications companies to obtain access to domestic and international communications.