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Al Qaeda trying to get into US spy agencies

world Updated: Sep 03, 2013 01:39 IST

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Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and other hostile groups have repeatedly tried to infiltrate American intelligence agencies, forcing US authorities to reinvestigate thousands of employees every year to counter the threat, according to a classified budget document.

“The CIA found that among a subset of job seekers whose backgrounds raised questions, roughly one out of every five had significant terrorist and/or hostile intelligence connections,” The Washington Post said, citing a classified budget document provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The groups cited most often were Hamas, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda and its affiliates, but the nature of the connections was not described in the document, the paper said.

“So sharp is the fear of threats from within that last year the NSA planned to launch at least 4,000 probes of potentially suspicious or abnormal staff activity after scrutinising trillions of employee keystrokes at work.

“The anomalous behaviour that sent up red flags could include staffers downloading multiple documents or accessing classified databases they do not normally use for their work, said two people familiar with the software used to monitor employee activity,” the Post said.