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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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July 9th, 2014
06:13 PM ET

Report: NSA, FBI spied on Muslim-Americans

(CNN) – A new report finds the federal government spied on Muslim-Americans for six years, according to the latest documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. They include an attorney, two professors, the executive director of the Muslim organization CAIR, even a political candidate running for office, all of whom vehemently deny any ties to terrorism.

Many Muslim-American advocates say this is alarming.

"All Americans should be concerned, because it may be one group of Americans today, but tomorrow it can be another group of Americans," said Haris Tarin, director with the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

The article published overnight by Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept identifies the five Americans based off an NSA spreadsheet titled "FISA recap," showing e-mail addresses the government monitored.

The Foreign Intelligence Act of 1978 allows the government to monitor U.S. citizens with a judge's approval from the FISA court

The spreadsheet designates 202 e-mail addresses belonging to "U.S. persons" and nearly 2,000 belonging to foreigners. Many of the email addresses on the list reportedly belong to foreigners the government believed were linked to Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda.

"We're concerned about our security, at the same time we are concerned about the fundamental rights we have as Americans," Tarin said.

The government – under president george w. Bush – allegedly began monitoring the american-muslims soon after the 911 terrorist attacks ... And continued until sometime in 2008 under president barack obama. In some instances, targets included members of the president's own party. Faisal gill was a gop operative and served in the department of homeland security under bush.

In a joint statement, the Department of Justice and the director of national intelligence said the government values privacy as much as national security, and that it's entirely false that U.S. intelligence agencies conduct electronic surveillance of political, religious or activist figures solely because they disagree with public policies or criticize the government.

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