WASHINGTON, November 27 (RIA Novosti) – The United States has been spying on alleged Islamic radicals’ viewing of online pornography as part of a plan to damage their reputation among potential adherents, according to a new report based on documents from fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.
The US National Security Agency has used electronic surveillance to obtain embarrassing sexually explicit information about at least two alleged Islamic extremists whom it describes as engaging in “online promiscuity” that could diminish their authority among audiences for their sermons should the behavior come to light, the Huffington Post reported on its website.
The NSA cites browsing pornographic websites and “using sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls” as behavior that can be used to undermine the authority of Muslims allegedly seeking to convert followers to radical strains of Islam, according to documents leaked by Snowden and published by the Huffington Post.
Other so-called “vulnerabilities” that can be exploited include using donations for personal expenses, charging substantial speaking fees, and using questionable sources or logic in their arguments, the agency states in the documents.
The report is the latest in a series of revelations by Snowden, a computer specialist and former NSA contractor who became the focus of international attention over the summer after he leaked classified evidence of US government surveillance programs to the media.
The leaks have sparked a global firestorm over the agency’s alleged massive collection of data on private individuals in the United States and abroad.
Snowden fled to Hong Kong and then to Moscow, where he was granted temporary asylum in Russia in August despite repeated extradition demands from the United States, where he is wanted on espionage-related charges. He is now living at an undisclosed location in Russia.