4 Terrorist Mega Plots Thwarted By the NSA

In a hearing in front of the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, National Security Agency director Gen. Keith Alexander said that the recently-leaked communication surveillance programs have helped thwart over 50 “potential terrorist events” since 9/11, at least 10 of which were set to occur in the United States. 


While a packet of classified documents detailing these cases will be exclusively released to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees Wednesday, 4 cases have been made public. 

 

1. New York Subway Plot

In the most serious Al-Qaeda plot inside the United States since the 9/11 terror attacks, Najibullah plotted to bomb the New York subways. The Al-Qaeda-trained bomber was a cab driver in a Denver suburb when he sent a coded email to Pakistan that said, in part, “The marriage is ready.” The NSA intercepted the email and an FBI investigation led to the arrest of Zazi and two co-conspirators. 

2. New York Stock Exchange Plot

In "Operation Wifi," Deputy Director of the FBI Sean Joyce says PRISM was used to identify an extremist communicating with an individual in Kansas City in the "very early stages" of plotting to bomb the New York Stock Exchange. 

3. Financing of Somalian Suicide Bombers

Deputy Director Joyce also mentioned the use of phone records to identify an individual in San Diego who had "indirect contact" with, and was providing financial support for, an extremist group in Somalia known for suicide bombers.

4. Danish Newspaper Bombing Plot

The final plot Joyce described at Tuesday's hearing was the bombing of the of office of the Danish newspaper that came under heat for publishing a cartoon of Mohammed in 2006, stopped in part due to PRISM. 

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Maxime Fischer-Zernin

Studying Political Science at Duke University (T. '15). His interests lie primarily in American national security and foreign policy. He is currently an Editor-at-Large for the Duke Political Review, and is a contributor for PolicyMic.com.

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