NSA Chief: Surveillance Stopped 'Dozens' of Plots
Gen. Keith Alexander defends data mining
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2013 4:58 PM CDT
Gen. Keith B. Alexander testifies on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – The head of the NSA told a Senate panel today that his agency's controversial surveillance had helped prevent "dozens of terrorist events," reports the Wall Street Journal. Gen. Keith Alexander said he couldn't go into specifics but was working to declassify some of the details. He did mention two cases in which the information helped bring about arrests, reports the Washington Post—that of Najibullah Zazi, who pleaded guilty in 2010 to plotting suicide attacks in New York City, and David Headley, who helped plan the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Also of note is an exchange with Susan Collins in which she makes reference to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, reports ThinkProgress:

  • Collins: “I saw an interview in which Mr. Snowden claimed that due to his position at NSA he could tap into virtually any American’s phone call or e-mails. True or false?”
  • Alexander: “False, I know of no way to do that.”
Click to read about how one senator halted the hearing to respond to a reporter's tweet.

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Jun 13, 2013 12:49 PM CDT
yet even after TALKING ON THE PHONE to russian security people and thengoing and interviewing them, the tsarnaev (sp?) brothers were able to blow up 2 pressure cookers...amazing
Jun 13, 2013 9:19 AM CDT
If we imprisoned every muslim we can find, domestic or foreign, and it would deter a terrorist attack, should we? From there, it is only a small step to killing them all. It seems that anything is defensible if someone says (without proof of course because of national security) it stopped a terrorist attack. Americans are exceptional? Doesn't seem that way. Everyone is willing to give up all our liberties (except guns) if someone thinks it might fight terrorism. Nothing exceptional about that.
Jun 13, 2013 9:06 AM CDT
There are only two kinds of terroist that matter. The ones that acquire a usable nuclear weapon and the ones that obtain and use a weaponized germ or virus that is deadly and highly contagious (Smallpox or gene spliced bird flu). All the other stuff is small potatos. The Feds need to focus all their attention on these two mega threats and forget about the amateurs. People don't want to wake to hear that Manhattan has been vaporized or that martial law is in effect because the contagion is unknown and spreading across the world. Get it you morons?