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CPJ Concerned Over NSA Al Jazeera Surveillance

The committee to Protect Journalists said Friday it is troubled by reports that the National Security Agency spied on Al Jazeera's Islamabad bureau chief, Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan.

The Intercept reported that the NSA said the surveillance was based on the suspicion that he was a member of Al Qaeda, but that the NSA's support for that claim looked more like a journalist maintaining sources.

"Coloring the legitimate newsgathering activities of a respected journalist as evidence of international terrorism risks chilling the vital work of the media, especially in Pakistan where journalists routinely interview Taliban and other militant groups as part of their coverage," said CPJ's Asia program coordinator, Bob Dietz.