Surveillance stopped terrorist plots, NSA tells US Congress
National Security Agency, through its secretive internet spying programme, disrupted terrorist plots in 20 countries, federal agency told US Congress, media reports and lawmakers said on Sunday.
Washington: The National Security Agency, through its secretive internet spying programme, disrupted dozens of terrorist plots in more than 20 countries, the federal agency has told the US Congress, media reports and lawmakers said on Sunday.
"We know that there are dozens of them," Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of House Select Committee on Intelligence told CNN in an interview, when asked about NSA`s three-page letter to the Congress in which the federal agency said that dozens of terrorist plots in 20 countries were disrupted.
The information neither goes into the details of such plots, nor the names of the countries.
"The reason they`re being careful is we want each of the instance that will be provided, hopefully, early this next week, to be as accurate as we can and not disclose a source or a method of how we disrupted the attack exactly. We don`t want to draw a road map for the folks who are trying to kill Americans here at home and plotting overseas to kill Americans at home," Rogers said.
"I do think it helps because, as people get a better feeling that this is a lock box with only phone numbers, no names, no addresses in it, we`ve used it sparingly. It is absolutely overseen by the legislature, the judicial branch, and the executive branch, has lots of protections built in, that if you can see that just the number of cases where we`ve actually stopped a plot, I think Americans will come to a different conclusion than all the misleading rhetoric I`ve heard over the last few weeks," the Congressman said.
Referring to the Zazi case, which has been declassified so far, related to the plot to blow up trains in New York, Rogers said a terrorist overseas phone number was obtained, and they plugged it into this database.
"Remember, there`s no names and no addresses in it. So, they have a known terrorist that had a phone number that appeared to be domestic here in the United States," he said.
The lawmaker insisted that the NSA is not listening to Americans` phone calls, and it is not monitoring their e-mails.