I found the word, “legit intel” in the following sentence of Maureen Dowd’s article titled “Shadow of a Doubt” in today’s (September 3) New York Times.
“Once more, we’re vociferously debating whether to slap down a murderous dictator who has gassed his own people, and whether we have the legit intel to prove he used W.M.D.
Many around the president are making the case that if he doesn’t stand firm on his line in the sand, having gotten so far out on a limb, he’ll look weak and America will lose face and embolden its foes.”
Though Google Ngram shows no incidence of “legit intel,” I surmise it is an abbreviated form of legitimate intelligence from the context.
Does the phrase have currency? If so, is it more common in writing or in day-to-day conversation? If not, is it simply a part of Ms. Dowd's idiolect?