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Old 06-13-2013, 12:17 PM   #35
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NSA Head Says Spy Programs Thwarted Terror Attacks

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Army Gen. Keith Alexander, in his first congressional testimony since disclosure of the secretive programs, offered few details on Wednesday about the disrupted terror plots but asserted that the two government programs — they have collected millions of telephone records and kept tabs on Internet activity — were imperative in the terror fight.

The director of national intelligence has declassified some details on two thwarted attacks — Najibullah Zazi’s foiled plot to bomb the New York subways and the case of David Coleman Headley, a Pakistani-American who used his U.S. passport to travel frequently to India, where he allegedly scouted out venues for terror attacks on behalf of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist organization.

Alexander said he is pressing for the intelligence community to provide details on the other plots.

“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.

He described the steps the government takes once it suspects a terrorist organization is about to act — all within the laws approved by Congress and under stringent oversight from the courts. He said the programs led to “disrupting or contributing to the disruption of terrorist attacks,” without offering specifics.
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