Muslim 9-1-1 dispatcher arrested for unauthorized access of government databases

by Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

8 May 2008: The FBI charged Nadire ZELENAJ, a 9-1-1 dispatcher in Rochester, (Monroe County) New York with 232 counts of computer trespassing for unauthorized access of law enforcement sensitive databases containing information about terrorist suspects and related investigations. ZELENAJ, pictured at left, also allegedly accessed other secure databases containing proprietary data, including but not limited to New York State drivers license data.

According to information provided by sources exclusive to the Northeast Intelligence Network, ZELENAJ is part of a larger investigation involving at least ten-(10) others, some who are members of a local Islamic Center. Based on a law enforcement source close to he investigation and speaking on the strict condition of anonymity, the information obtained by ZELENAJ was obtained for a “specific purpose,” which was allegedly to “inform and assist area individuals with suspected ties to known terrorists or terrorist organizations.” According to media reports, ZELENAJ accessed the computer databases at least 232 times since 2006, but her activities reportedly span a much longer time period dating back to 2003.

Hired in 2002, her position as a 9-1-1 dispatcher enables her to access secured police databases, including those containing sensitive information on terrorism suspects and data of investigative value. Based on information provided to the Northeast Intelligence Network, other arrests related to ZELENAJ are likely. Investigation is also addressing how much damage to other investigations might have been caused by her unauthorized disclosure of sensitive data.

The law enforcement source confirmed that ZELENAJ “is Muslim with direct and tangential ties to the Muslim community.”

The Northeast Intelligence Network will continue to follow this matter closely.