NSA chief: agency programs prevented over 50 potential terrorist acts

WASHINGTON Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:42pm EDT

1 of 2. Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) U.S. Army General Keith Alexander testifies before a U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on recently disclosed NSA surveillance programs, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington June 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Keith Alexander, the director of the U.S. National Security Agency, said on Tuesday that the NSA's data gathering programs had prevented potential terrorist attacks more than 50 times since September 11, 2001.

"In recent years these programs, together with other intelligence, have protected the U.S. and our allies from terrorist threats across the globe to include helping prevent ... potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11," he said in testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives intelligence committee.

Alexander said the intelligence agencies would give documents about those cases to the committee in a classified setting on Wednesday for its review and that he would discuss two thwarted plots during his testimony on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Tabassum Zakaria; editing by Jackie Frank)

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Comments (30)
mb56 wrote:
Why do I feel like it’s “the smoking gun could be a mushroom cloud” all over again. These guys are trying to sell American the deluxe “police state package” and fear is the sales pitch. If people will recall… the “Patriot Act” was originally supposed to be a TEMPORARY measure designed to expire… now they want it to be a permanent fixture in our lives. Once a free people put on the chains… they very rarely ever come off willingly. This may be our only chance to reign in these abuses, restore some sanity to this country, and stop our poor Founding Fathers from rolling in their graves.

Jun 18, 2013 11:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
mb56 wrote:
General Alexander is also the same person who stated the NSA was only interested in FOREIGN intelligence, and that the NSA was not collecting “Dossiers” on Americans when he talked at DEFCON 2012. You can listen to his speech on YouTube. I personally think when your cataloging every phone call, website activity, and emails, you’re in effect building a “dossier”. So the question is… given his proclivity to “color” the truth in the very recent past, how can you take what he says today without a BIG grain of salt?

Jun 18, 2013 12:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RupertPupnick wrote:
And here’s another question you that will neither be answered nor even asked:

What is done with the people who have been identified as being associated with a “thwarted plot”? Are they prosecuted? Can evidence obtained by a secret government program be presented in a criminal court? How is the chain of evidence or authenticity of the data from a secret government program established?

The whole thing stinks, and it really isn’t generating a lot of public concern.

Jun 18, 2013 12:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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