(photo credit: REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini )
According to a leaked US classified budget document leaked by US whistle-blower Edward Snowden, individuals with past connections to known terrorist entities such as al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas, have repeatedly attempted to obtain employment within the CIA, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
Among job-seekers that seemed suspicious to the CIA, approximately 20% of that grouping reportedly had “significant terrorist and/or hostile intelligence connections.” The nature of the connections was not described in the document.
“Over the last several years, a small subset of CIA’s total job applicants were flagged due to various problems or issues,” an anonymous CIA official was reported as saying. “During this period, one in five of that small subset were found to have significant connections to hostile intelligence services and or terrorist groups.”
The document in question was provided to The Washington Post
by Snowden, a previous NSA contractor who leaked several top secret intelligence documents to the press.
The nature of the connections was apparently not described in the document.
The document also allegedly stated that the CIA re-investigates thousands of employees each year to reduce the possibility that an individual with these connections may compromise sensitive information.
According to the Post
, the document revealed that the NSA had planned to launch at least 4,000 investigations of potentially suspicious employees last year.
CIA officials reportedly told The Washington Post
that the number of applicants connected to terrorist organizations or hostile governments was “small,” but did not provide an exact number.