The U.S. government labeled Al Jazeera journalist Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan a member of al Qaeda and put him on a watch list of suspected terrorists, new reporting by the Intercept has revealed.
Zaidan, a Syrian national who serves as Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Islamabad, Pakistan, was put on a watch list by the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2012, according to agency documents leaked in 2013 by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Among those documents are a PowerPoint slide from an NSA presentation which shows Zaidan’s face, name, terror watch list identification number, and a label that states he is a “member of Al-Qa’ida” and the Muslim Brotherhood. It also says he “works for Al Jazeera.”
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As a journalist, Zaidan spent years reporting on the Taliban and al Qaeda, conducting several interviews with senior leaders in those groups, including Osama bin Laden.
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