By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, July 10, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Homeland Security: In a sign background checks are far too lax, an alarming number of Arabs and Muslims have landed sensitive government jobs only to be caught later spying for the enemy.
Guarding against penetration by terrorist agents and sympathizers should be a top concern of public agencies, but it's not. Guarding against charges of job discrimination is.
Multiculturalism and political correctness have made it easier for the terrorists to use Arabs and Muslims to infiltrate the government and steal security secrets.
In the latest example, a former city 911 operator faces multiple felony counts for allegedly searching the names of friends and relatives on the FBI's terrorist watch list.
Nadire P. Zenelaj, an ethnic Albanian, says she's being singled out because she is Muslim. "I feel they targeted me because of my religion," she said.
No, she was investigated for looking up classified information on her confederates. At least one of the 227 names she checked was on the terrorist watch list, according to Rochester, N.Y., police.
A D.C.-area cop recently was convicted of doing the same thing.
Federal prosecutors say Fairfax County Police Sgt. Weiss Rasool, an Afghan immigrant, tipped off a fellow mosque member that he was under FBI investigation. When agents went to arrest the terrorist target early one morning they found him and his family already dressed and destroying evidence. They knew they had a mole and worked back through the system to find Rasool.
Thanks to post-9/11 data-sharing, local police like Rasool — as well as first responders like Zenelaj — now have access to classified FBI files on terror suspects maintained with the NCIC, or National Crime Information Center system.
Prosecutors said Rasool's actions "damaged the integrity of the NCIC system and jeopardized at least one federal investigation."
That's not all. In May, the Energy Department had to revoke the security clearance of an Egyptian-born nuclear physicist because of "conflicting allegiances." The FBI questioned Moniem El-Ganayni, also a Muslim prison chaplain, for allegedly inciting inmates to carry out jihad against the U.S., charges he denies.
Still, such questioning should've taken place before El-Ganayni got access to nuclear secrets. It's likely his extracurricular activities would have been enough of a red flag to bar his employment.
Same goes for an EPA toxicologist who turned out to be an al-Qaida fundraiser.
Waheeda Tehseen would never have been hired at all if the feds hadn't cut corners on her background check. Not only did Tehseen's husband work for Pakistani intelligence, but she lied about her U.S. citizenship on her government application. EPA missed it.
Then there's the case of Hezbollah spy Nadia Prouty. The Lebanese immigrant also lied about her citizenship and was hired anyway by both the FBI and CIA.
The good news is, these moles were caught. But they should have been screened out before they could ever get in and do damage.