Washington, Jan. 31: Latest claims to come out of the secret NSA documents reportedly state that the US spy agency’s alleged programmes targeted Al Qaeda through their mobile phones.
It was recently revealed that the NSA and its UK counterpart, the GCHQ, snooped on ‘leaky mobile apps’ like Angry Birds, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to pull out user data from virtual profiles.
However, the latest claims have pointed that the alleged programme has been used to snoop-on terrorists belonging to Al Qaeda in Iraq, for details like user location, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
According to the report, one of the unredacted slides, from the trove of documents revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, contained the mention of the terror group being a particular target of the NSA’s efforts.
The slide pointed to a ‘Visual Communicator’ app that combines Instant Messaging, Photo-Messaging, and Push2Talk capabilities on a mobile platform. VC used on GPRS or 3G networks, ‘heavily used in AQI Mosul Network.’
The programme focussed on clear security interests, Al Qaeda in Iraq that now goes with the name Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), which is deeply involved in the civil war in Syria, apart from a long list of civil attacks and suicide bombings in the region.
The US intelligence has long been defending the alleged mass surveillance programme as a counter-terrorism measure.
Meanwhile, Snowden, charged with espionage by the US, is currently under temporary asylum granted by Russia last August.