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Paul Sperry: Another spying scandal at Gitmo

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 1, 2009 09:01 AM

When will we learn? Paul Sperry, veteran investigative journalist, Hoover Institution fellow, and author of the explosive “Muslim Mafia,” reports on yet another security-undermining scandal at Gitmo.

Must-read in the NYPost today:

A number of Arabic and Pashtu interpreters at the terror-war detention center at Guantanamo Bay are under active investigation for omitting valuable intelligence from their translations of detainee interrogations, among other security breaches. This could taint some of the evidence at the “9/11 trial” in New York and proceedings against other detainees.

Remarkably, the Pentagon never cleaned up the “mole infestation” at its highest-security facility after the FBI busted a Muslim spy ring at Gitmo in 2003.

The 2003 probe involved at least two Arabic interpreters with high-level security clearance. Senior Airman Ahmad al-Halabi, a Syrian native, and former Army linguist Ahmed Mehalba, an Egyptian native, were later convicted of stealing or mishandling classified documents.

Six years later comes a new problem with Muslim personnel who have virtually unfettered access to detainees and intelligence at Gitmo. Professional military security and intelligence officials at Gitmo did the preliminary probe, then prepared a classified summary and are now briefing top officials and members of Congress in Washington. An active FBI criminal probe is also under way.

The possible new spy ring involves several Arabic linguists, some also Egyptian and Syrian immigrants. They’re suspected of, among other things:

* Omitting valuable intelligence from their translations of interrogations.

* Slipping notes to detainees inside copies of the Koran.

* Coaching detainees to make allegations of abuse against interrogators.

* Meeting with suspects on the terror watchlist while back in the United States.

Officials say some of the suspected “dirty” linguists — who met privately in a locked mosque at Gitmo — have had access to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other high-value al Qaeda detainees.

“Three years of investigations have revealed the presence of pro-jihad/anti-Western activities among the civilian-contractor and military-linguist population serving Joint Task Force Guantanamo,” states a copy of a classified Gitmo briefing, prepared in May for the FBI, CIA and Congress’ intelligence committees.

CAIR, you won’t be surprised to learn, sued “Muslim Mafia” co-author David Gaubatz and demanded that documents obtained by his son (who worked undercover at CAIR) be returned. Late last week, a judge ordered the documents returned — but the FBI intervened and now wants the docs:

FBI agents swooped in last night on attorneys representing the co-author of the top-selling controversial book, Muslim Mafia, as they prepared to comply with a federal court order to return documents obtained from the Council on American-Islamic Relations in an independent undercover operation.

FBI agents, who served a warrant at a Washington, D.C., law office, want to see the thousands of pages of documents and audio and video recordings that P. David Gaubatz, and his son, Chris Gaubatz, gathered in a daring undercover penetration of CAIR where Chris Gaubatz posed as an unpaid intern. The material appears in Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that’s Conspiring to Islamize America, which the elder Gaubatz co-authored with investigative journalist Paul Sperry.

“Obviously, we were prepared to honor the court order,” said Joseph Farah, chief executive officer of WND and its subsidiary, WND Books, who has been raising money for the defense. “Now we will have to confer with the attorneys to determine what happens next. Which takes precedence – a federal court order or an FBI warrant? … Personally, I would like to see these papers in the hands of trained FBI investigators. The revelations raised about CAIR in Muslim Mafia have clearly piqued the agency’s interest.”

…CAIR–whose litigious history includes suing American citizens for reporting suspicious activity on a commercial flight–claimed the material recovered in the investigation was obtained without consent or stolen by Chris Gaubatz. As an unpaid intern, Chris was frequently tasked with shredder duty. Realizing the sensitive nature of the information, he salvaged it instead.

Garbus said Americans have an interest in seeing the CAIR documents, because they are relevant to federal law enforcement officials’ concerns about the group’s ties to terrorist operatives that threaten the nation’s security.

“The more information you have, the better able you are to form a judgment about the organization,” he said.

This isn’t the first time the FBI has turned a close eye on CAIR. It cut off ties to the organization, which lauds itself as a Muslim civil-rights group, in January after CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case in Texas, the largest terrorism-finance case in U.S. history.

Related: Frank Gaffney has much more on CAIR at BigGovernment.com. See the IRS and CAIR for the latest.

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