June 18th, 2013
11:35 AM ET

Officials: Surveillance stopped NYSE bomb plot

Bomb plots targeting the New York Stock Exchange and the city's subway were among more than 50 worldwide thwarted by top-secret surveillance programs since the 2011 al Qaeda attacks on the United States, authorities said on Tuesday.

Gen. Keith Alexander, National Security Agency director, FBI and other officials revealed startling details at a House Intelligence Committee hearing aimed at finding out more about the telephone and e-mail surveillance initiatives that came to light this month through leaks of classified information to newspapers.

It was the most comprehensive and specific defense of those methods that have come under ferocious criticism from civil liberties groups, some members of Congress and others concerned about the reach of government into the private lives of citizens in the interest of national security.

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soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    Communities where the suspects lived being vigilant, helping & coming forward to tip off officials, sting operations initiated by law enforcement itself were behind the 'success'.

    June 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat

    How about those plots which were executed?
    According to FBI files, since 9/11, on our soil 30 Americans have died in terrorism by foreigners. 300 in gun violence & other political violence.1'80000 Americans lives were lost in incidents unrelated to terrorism.

    June 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BOMBO

    It is no accident that there have been so few attacks in the US since 911. It's not just luck. The terrorists have not just kindly left the US alone all that time. Contrast this with India, Philippines, or some others who do not have the resources for meaningful intelligence or law enforcement, who have faced numerous attacks in the same time period. Don't kid yourselves. Monitoring by NSA and other agencies has certainly helped.

    June 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    Can't have it all ways, people...can't express outrage at government surveillance of electronic communications, while also expressing outrage if the government doesn't stop every bomber, i.e. the Tsarnaevs, before they strike. The question is: what level of government surveillance and what level of safety do we want?
    What a mess.

    June 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat

    Countries like India, Pakistan & Philipines have a vastly useful tool ie human intelligence that works as good. Even our intelligence mostly.relies on this tool. The trouble with these countries is the blending, while AlQaeda or taliban wouldn't blend in this society of ours its no problem there, they are from among them

    June 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    Its well nigh impossible therefore to stop acts of terrorism in those countries whereas here those to be surveilled or kept under watch is an ethnic minority that has, already been defined & are easily monitored. Foreigners coming here especially of a particular ethnicity can be and are easily kept under watch and if needed prevented from entering.

    June 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    Corruption,lack of funds for law enforcement, poverty, uneducated masses are among other factors in those countries under a spate of terrorism.
    AlQaeda as stated by our own authorities is on the run and not capable of organizing an attack on our soil. Taliban on the other hand were always focused on fighting foreign forces on their land. Hence the lack of organized attacks here, thankfully.

    June 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wut

    The problem is with violent inhuman ideologies like Islam that use religion to attack innocent people for no good reason.

    June 18, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      There is no way to regulate Islam in the US. That falls under the protection of the Constitution. As much as some would like it changed to suit their purposes, if one religion is outlawed, all may be subject to the same law.

      June 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    Last time I talked to you, you called me names, then changed you handle and told everyone you were sleeping with me. Why do I think that you don't really care about my welfare?

    June 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TvNyC

    Surveilance is a great idea to save this country from future attacks. Heck if I were the FED's I would pay attention to everybody's move!

    June 18, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. wut

    Religious ideology should be banned outright and the First Amendment rewritten to prohibit all religious expression.

    June 18, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      I respectfully disagree, but good luck with that.
      People have been attacking the Constitution since it was first written. I don't think religion itself is at fault, per se; it is the extreme interpretation of the different holy books that are troublesome.

      June 18, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mary

    Okaay

    June 18, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. saywhat

    Yes @banasy
    Religion itself is not to be faulted but those who are always a minority who interpret and hijack it to suit their agenda. And that goes for every major organized religion.

    June 19, 2013 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |