World Bulletin / News Desk
Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan, the head bureau chief for Al Jazeera's Islamabad office has been put on the terror list by the US.
Top-secret national security documents obtained by The Intercept through former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden show that Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan was the subject of American surveillance as recently as 2012.
In June 2012, the NSA produced a classified presentation in which Zaidan appears listed as a member of both Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Zaidan “absolutely” denied any membershiop with either groups and said that as a veteran with a lengthy career necessitated him to interview controversial figures throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan. Zaidan interviewed bin Laden, the former Al-Qaeda leader, twice before the 9/11 attacks and was later provided audio recordings through an apparent courier containing messages from the terrorist.
He said, “For us to be able to inform the world, we have to be able to freely contact relevant figures in the public discourse, speak with people on the ground and gather critical information. Any hint of government surveillance that hinders this process is a violation of press freedom and harms the public’s right to know,” Zaidan told The Intercept. “To assert that myself, or any journalist, has any affiliation with any group on account of their contact book, phone call logs, or sources is an absurd distortion of the truth and a complete violation of the profession of journalism.”
A spokesman for Al Jazeera told The Intercept that the revelation concerning surveillance of Zaidan demonstrates “yet another attempt at using questionable techniques to target our journalists” and amounts to “a gross breach of press freedom.”
Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Mayıs 2015, 10:30