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The Latest Terrorism Leak

In his post on the latest Bush exposure of counter-terrorism resources, Noah Schachtman links to this long profile on the woman and firm exposed by BushCo. Two things stick out from the article:

Taking two staff members from the Investigative Project, Katz set upher own office. She got by on small government contracts. Some of thatwork, done for the Treasury Department, involved identifying Islamicgroups that might be sending money to terrorist organizations. She alsohad a contract with the Swiss government and with a group of relativesof 9/11 victims who were suing Saudi Arabian officials, businesses, andcharities. [my emphasis]

In other words, there is a small chance–admittedly remote–that this is the second leak of information provided by Katz’ firm to the government. After all, the best-known prosecution of Islamic charities is that of Holy Lands Foundation. The Foundation was tipped off to the impending raid on their office by a leak through the NYT (though the leak to the NYT was more than just the suspicion they provided support to terrorist groups–it included news of the impending raid). I don’t know what to make of that (admittedly outside) possibility, but it deserves note.

And then there’s this.

One afternoon early last fall, Katz came across a new thread. It was about her. A jihadi had posted a link to the SITE Institute’s Web site. “The SITEis lurking,” he wrote. Its people were on the boards, using false namesand acting as spies. He urged his brothers to ferret them out and expelthem.

But another poster responded that SITEmight be providing a valuable service. He wrote, “They translate thestatements into English on our behalf, and they do not analyze them.Why do we not grab the opportunity?” Eventually, a moderator on thesite weighed in: “All right, men, do not argue. We will carry out anelection, and then we will see if we should keep them or expelthem—what do you think? I am a democratic operative, don’t you think?”He ended with a smiley-face emoticon. By the time attention shifted toa new thread, opinion was running fifty-fifty as to whether SITE was, on balance, good for jihad.

In other words, back in fall 2005, someone went onto a jihadi site and exposed SITE’s presence. While that exposure could have come from any number of sources (SITE’s clients include members of the media and corporations, as well as the government), whoever exposed SITE had current and detailed information on SITE’s work. (I also love how we never learn whether the jihadis identified SITE’s lurkers or not.) So regardless of whether SITE’s info from Treasury got leaked, their work has been compromised at least once before.

Now couple those two details with this detail, offered by a SITE competitor in the WaPo article.

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