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Tag: NSA

NSA Leader: Government Surveillance Helped Prevent More than 50 Terrorist Attacks

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Top security officials said Tuesday they disrupted more than 50 terrorist plots using government surveillance, The New York Times reports.

Trying to fend off fierce criticism about the recent disclosure of government surveillance, national security officers told the House Intelligence Committee that investigators used the private information to prevent terrorist attacks. 

One thwarted attack included a plan to bomb the New York Stock Exchange, and another involved a group of California men convinced of sending money to Islamic extremists in Somalia, The Times reported.

At the rare public oversight hearing, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, head of the NSA, said surveillance provided invaluable information.

“In the 12 years since the attacks on Sept. 11, we have lived in relative safety and security as a nation,” General Alexander said. “That security is a direct result of the intelligence community’s quiet efforts to better connect the dots and learn from the mistakes that permitted those attacks to occur on 9/11.”

Report: At least 27 Accused Terrorists Prosecuted Under Secret Surveillance Law

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

At least 27 accused terrorists were prosecuted since 2007 using evidence obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Reuters reports.

The FISA cases vary from murder to an 18-year-old American trying to join an al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria.

As early as today, the U.S. government plans to disclose how many terrorist attacks were foiled under the NSA program, which is another surveillance tool used by feds.

FISA warrants were created in 1978 after congressional hearings revealed the U.S. was illegally spying on its residents, Reuters wrote.

FISA requires approval from a judge.

Dick Cheney Defends Phone, Internet Surveillance, Said It Could Have Prevented 9/11

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said the NSA database of phone and Internet records that were recently disclosed by a self-proclaimed whistleblower would have been useful in the fight against terrorism, NECN reports.

“We might have been able to prevent 9/11,” said Former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Cheney is among those adding pressure to capture Edward Snowden and hold him accountable for exposing secret surveillance.

“He’s compromised it and he should be held accountable,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, (R) South Carolina.

Added Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia: “He needs to look an American jury in the eye and explain why he has disclosed sources and methods that are going to put American lives in danger.”

NSA to Reveal Number of Terrorism Plots Foiled by Massive Surveillance Program

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hoping to quell criticism of the National Security Agency’s widespread telephone data surveillance programs, federal officials plan to announce Monday the number of terror plot foiled by monitoring, Reuters reports.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, announced the agency’s plans after NSA Chief General Keith Alexander said dozens of terrorism plots were thwarted.

“There’s more than you think,” Feinstein told reporters of the foiled plots.

Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall expressed skepticism.

“We have not yet seen any evidence showing that the NSA’s dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records has produced any uniquely valuable intelligence,” the two said in a statement, according to Reuters.

FBI Seeks to Arrest Defense Contractor Who Revealed Sweeping Surveillance

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is intensifying the hunt.

Director Robert Mueller said the agency is stepping up efforts to arrest the defense contractor responsible for leaking information about the federal government’s sweeping surveillance programs, Reuters reports.

Mueller, who confirmed an investigation is underway, said the leak damaged U.S. national security.

“We are taking all necessary steps to hold the person responsible for these disclosures,” Mueller told the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. “These disclosures have caused significant harm to our nation and to our safety,” he said.

Edward Snowden, a defense contractor, has acknowledged being the source of the NSA leaks.

 

FBI Director Robert Mueller Defends Snatching Massive Phone Records

FBI Director Mueller testifies on Thursday.

By GINGER GIBSON
Politico

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the amassing of widespread phone records, before a House Committee, saying had it been in place before the Sept. 11 attacks, the attacks could have been “derailed” and that it was used to track a friend of the Boston Marathon bombers.

Monitoring calls between a Yemen safe house and an organizer in San Diego, “could have derailed the plan, in any case, the opportunity was not there,” Mueller told the House Judicary Committee. “If we had this program that opportunity would have been there.”

He said the phone program was also used to track Ibragim Todashev, who was shot by agents while being interrogated, saying he was found through means “including one of the programs that is under scrutiny today.”

“We came upon him in a variety of ways,” Mueller said.

To read the whole story click here.

FBI Director Mueller Faces Tough Questions in Final House Committee Meeting


Robert Mueller

Steve Neavling
ticklthewire.com 

FBI Director Robert Mueller is expected to undergo tough questions today as he nears the end of his 12 years at the helm, the Associated Press reports.

In what likely will be his final appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Mueller likely will be grilled about the Boston Marathon bombings investigation, the Benghazi attacks and the recent disclosure of massive government surveillance on millions of Americans.

“Over the past few years, we have witnessed troubling national security leaks and have learned that the Obama administration seems to be bending the rules in place that protect the freedom of the press in its investigations,” the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said.

 

NSA Director Defends Surveillance Programs As Critical Tools in Fight Against Terrorism

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The director of the National Security Agency forcefully defended the surveillance programs Wednesday that kept tabs on Internet activity and collected millions of telephone records, the Associated Press reports.

The once-secret programs, which was disclosed this month to an incensed public, were invaluable tools in the fight against terrorism, said NSA Director and Army Gen. Keith Alexander.

But Alexander declined to disclose any details of the thwarted terrorist attacks during the congressional hearing, the AP wrote.

“I do think it’s important that we get this right and I want the American people to know that we’re trying to be transparent here, protect civil liberties and privacy but also the security of this country,” Alexander told a Senate panel.