How the West Bugs Middle East Revealed, But Who Leaked It?

According to exclusive new reporting by the UK Independent, citing information contained in documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the British government maintains a secret monitoring station that allows Western intelligence agencies to tap into telecommunication systems across the Middle East.

Though the reporting did not reveal the exact location of the station, which sifts through electronic data extracted from “underwater fibre-optic cables passing through the region,” the British government claims the program is a centerpiece of the US and UK’s so called “war on terror” as key agencies, including the CIA, NSA, and GCHQ, pour over the information provided.

Strikingly, the Independent‘s reporting caused Glenn Greenwald, the journalist behind much of the reporting so far on the NSA documents, to question publicly how the newspaper received the information contained in its ‘exclusive.’ At the Guardian on Friday morning, Greenwald wrote:

The indication, it seems, was that following the recent detention of Greenwald’s partner David Miranda at Heathrow Airport and the confiscation of his electronic equipment—widely believed to contain at least portions of the information provided by Snowden–that it may have been the government itself who leaked portions of that information to the Independent.

Greenwald, who has been in consistent communication with Snowden via email, then quoted the whistleblower himself, who said:

The suggestion that his newspaper was “duped” their reporting was met with derision by the Independent‘s Oliver Wright, who tweeted: “For the record: The Independent was not leaked or ‘duped’ into publishing today’s front page story by the Government.”