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The NSA Has A Much Bigger Role In Drone Strikes Than We’ve Realized

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October 17, 2013

The National Security Agency has a much deeper role in the CIA’s drone program in Pakistan, with new documents leaked by Edward Snowden showing a much more sophisticated and efficient targeted killing program than previously known, The Washington Post reports.

The controversial CIA program of using drones to target terror suspects in lieu of capture began in 2004 as the agency came under fire for their detention and interrogations of terror suspects. As Rolling Stone put it, they got out of the prison business and “into the assassination business.”

The NSA has offered a big helping hand with a secret unit called Counter-Terrorism Mission Aligned Cell, or CT MAC, providing intercepts inside Pakistan of emails, phone calls, and “targeted network penetrations” — aka hacking.

From The Post, which detailed the tracking of Hasan Ghul, an associate of Osama bin Laden:

In the search for targets, the NSA has draped a surveillance blanket over dozens of square miles of northwest Pakistan. In Ghul’s case, the agency deployed an arsenal of cyber-espionage tools, secretly seizing control of laptops, siphoning audio files and other messages, and tracking radio transmissions to determine where Ghul might “bed down.”

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This article was posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:51 am

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