NSA Intercepts Used in UK Terror Conviction

by Kenneth Anderson

Orin Kerr has an interesting post at Volokh noting a story reporting that NSA intercepts were used in the just announced conviction in the UK of terrorists in the liquid-mixing-chemicals case.  Orin is right in saying the story deserves more notice than it will probably get.  I found it particularly interesting that apparently a reason why the NSA finally signed off on the the use of the intercepts in court was because, according to Britain’s Channel 4 (emphasis added)

the agency didn’t want to tip off an alleged accomplice in Pakistan named Rashid Rauf that his e-mail was being monitored. U.S. intelligence agents said Rauf was Al Qaeda’s director of European operations at the time and that the bomb plot was being directed by Rauf and others in Pakistan.

The NSA later changed its mind and allowed the evidence to be introduced in the second trial, which was crucial to getting the jury conviction. Channel 4 suggests the NSA’s change of mind occurred after Rauf, a Briton born of Pakistani parents, was said to be killed last year by a U.S. drone missile that struck a house where he was staying in northern Pakistan.


One Response

  1. It’s also worth noting, as Glenn Greenwald has reminded us, that the intercepts were obtained lawfully, via warrants obtained from the FISA court — a vivid reminder of how unnecessary the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping regime really was.

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