NSA snooped on Islamists’ porn habits: report

NSA snooped on Islamists’ porn habits: report

WASHINGTON - The National Security Agency planned to discredit Islamist “radicals” by spying on their online pornography habits, The Huffington Post reported Wednesday, citing a document leaked by ex-intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

The eavesdropping agency focused on how propagandists for the violent extremists could be undermined with evidence of hypocrisy, citing surveillance on six individuals as examples, according to the quoted NSA document.

“A previous SIGINT (signals intelligence) assessment report on radicalization indicated that radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviours are not consistent,” said the document.

“Some of the vulnerabilities, if exposed, would likely call into question the radicalizer’s devotion to the jihadist cause, leading to the degradation or loss of his authority.”

A potentially damaging piece of evidence would show a militant “viewing sexually explicit material online or using sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls,” it said.

The leaked document is the latest in a cascade of revelations from Snowden revealing the NSA’s large-scale digital spying, which has provoked a global firestorm.

The six individuals targeted for NSA surveillance were seen as radical Muslims giving inflammatory speeches, but were not described in the document as linked to terror plots, the report said.

The Huffington Post withheld their identities and locations.

All six live outside the United States, though one was described as a “US person,” meaning he is either a citizen or has permanent resident status.

Through electronic spying, the agency had found sexually explicit information about at least two of the people targeted, some of which was gleaned through FBI surveillance, according to The Huffington Post.

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