The National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, which was leaked this month by ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden, was involved in stopping at least 50 “potential terrorist events” since the Sept. 11 attacks, according to an FBI official.
Deputy director of the FBI Sean Joyce testified on Tuesday before the House Intelligence committee on the agency’s snooping programs. He spoke about four specific plots, including one to bomb the New York Stock Exchange and another involving an individual giving financial support to a terrorist group abroad.
Joyce said that the NSA used Internet surveillance to find an extremist in Yemen who had been in contact with Khalid Ouazzani, who lived in Kansas City, about a plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange.
He also mentioned the New York City subway plot of 2009. The NSA intercepted an email from a terrorist who was talking with Najibullah Zazi, an Afghani-American, about making explosives. Zazi pled guilty to planning suicide bombings in the subway.
According to Joyce, the NSA programs helped identify David Headley, a Pakistani-American living in Chicago who was plotting to attack a Danish newspaper office that published Mohammad cartoons.
The phone record grabbing and data mining programs that were leaked by Snowden have provoked fear and outrage from liberals, conservatives and libertarians, over the government’s apparently limitless snooping. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit this week challenging the constitutionality of the programs.