U.S. counterintelligence targets Israel with Iran and China, secret budget reveals

(JTA) — U.S. spy agencies target their counterintelligence operations on Israel along with Iran and China, among other countries, a budget summary for the secret National Intelligence Program reveals.

The $52.6 billion “black budget” for fiscal 2013 for the 16 U.S. spy agencies was obtained by The Washington Post from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the newspaper reported Thursday.

The budget summary, formally known as the Congressional Budget Justification for the National Intelligence Program, revealed that counterintelligence operations “are strategically focused against [the] priority targets of China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Israel,” according to The Washington Post.

Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, was a former technical contractor for the National Security Agency and employee of the Central Intelligence Agency who revealed the existence of mass surveillance programs by the United States and Britain against their own citizens and citizens of other countries.

The budget summary also revealed that the CIA and NSA became more aggressive in efforts to hack into the computer networks of other countries to steal information or to sabotage the computer systems of enemy countries.

It also showed that the NSA planned to investigate at least 4,000 personnel with high security clearance suspected of compromising sensitive information. In addition, terrorism is shown in the budget to be considered the most serious threat to U.S. national security.

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