Defenders of “PRISM” say it stopped subway bombings. But British and American court documents suggest old-fashioned police work nabbed Zazi.
Defenders of the American government’s online spying program known as “PRISM” claimed Friday that the suddenly controversial secret effort had saved New York City’s subways from a 2009 terrorist plot led by a young Afghan-American, Najibullah Zazi.
But British and American legal documents from 2010 and 2011 contradict that claim, which appears to be the latest in a long line of attempts to defend secret programs by making, at best, misleading claims that they were central to stopping terror plots. While the court documents don’t exclude the possibility that PRISM was somehow employed in the Zazi case, the documents show that old-fashioned police work, not data mining, was the tool that led counterterrorism agents to arrest Zazi. The public documents confirm doubts raised by the blogger Marcy Wheelerand the AP’s Adam Goldman, and call into question a defense of PRISM first floated by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, who suggested that PRISM had stopped a key terror plot.
Reuters’s Mark Hosenball advanced the claim Friday, based on anonymous “government sources”:
A secret U.S. intelligence program to collect emails that is at the heart of an uproar over government surveillance helped foil an Islamist militant plot to bomb the New York City subway system in 2009, U.S. government sources said on Friday.
The sources said Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, was talking about a plot hatched by Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-born U.S. resident, when he said on Thursday that such surveillance had helped thwart a significant terrorist plot in recent years.
President Barack Obama’s administration is facing controversy after revelations of details of massive programs run by the National Security Agency for collecting information from telephone and Internet companies.
The surveillance program that halted the Zazi plot was one that collected email data on foreign intelligence suspects, a U.S. government source said.
The New York Times also emphasized the Zazi case Friday:
To defenders of the N.S.A., the Zazi case underscores how the agency’s Internet surveillance system, called Prism, which was set up over the past decade to collect data from online providers of e-mail and chat services, has yielded concrete results.
“We were able to glean critical information,” said a senior intelligence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It was through an e-mail correspondence that we had access to only through Prism.”
But public — though not widely publicized — details of the Zazi plot cast into doubt the notion that a data mining program had much to do with the investigation.
IF this system could have thwarted a terrorist attack why did it miss the Boston bombers?
We had Russia telling us that they were bad actors.
We had their cell phones calling Islamic terrorist organizations in Dagistan (or someplace).
They also emailed back and forth with known terrorists.
They even were good friends with one or more of three guys who ended up throat-cut dead, pot sprinkled and cash spread on bodies and a gun missing!
One got thrown out of a Mosque on more than one occasion for extremist utterances.
But catch them before they killed a few and maimed many more was ”above Obama’s/Holder’s pay grade.”
Obama lies constantly.
His ”weekly radio address” just this week end falsely claimed illegals will have to learn English to get citizenship.
Only when illegal immigrants apply for their “legal permanent resident” status, or green card, would they be required to demonstrate their ability to speak English or prove that they are currently enrolled in a course to achieve an understanding of English.
The ”gang of 8’s immigration bill weakens the current law by allowing illegal immigrants to simply claim they are enrolled in a course to learn English rather than actually requiring them to know it.
Can Obama tell the truth about ANYTHING???
Without a written script all Obama can do is, “Ummmmmm, uhhhhh, ummmmm, …..”
With the evidence found in the captured terrorist’s computer tying Najibullah Zazi to them, a Federal Judge would have surely approved a warrant to acquire and search Zazi’s full email account data, based on probable cause due to his communications with the terrorists. Again, I state that the Patriot Act is not needed, as such search warrants already fall under existing law.
yes I would think so, to a percentage of less power to do that search which is now
in a so big scope, by including all AMERICANS to be the SUSPECT,
I came to think that THE FRAMERS OF THE EXTRAORDINARY LAWS OF THE LAND,
thought of minute details to protect THE PEOPLE from excess empowering the GOVERNMENT
can do with that big power,
but yes I don’t think they envisage today and what people are doing with advance technology
used to change a whole NATION,
they over estimated the bad will leaders who have trick their way to the HIGHEST POSITION,
while consumed with vengeance and hate toward the citizens the whole NATION they lead now,
THE FRAMERS did not stress enouph on the way to remove them QUICLY when they are being exposed,
to do harms to the PEOPLE by removing their foundamental RIGHTS,
the way as it is is not serious and require too much time ,
it give the USURPER the means to finish his NEFARIOUS AGENDA.
you are NOT talking of a born AMERICAN with ROOTS DEEP ON THE GROUND giving solid stable values,
of what AMERICA IS, without any doubts ever and unquestioned LOVE FOR HIS COUNTRY,
PROVEN WITH ACTIVE DUTY ,
NO, you are talking of one raise in a foreign land much smaller than AMERICA, with many habits and having been influence by his youth different mindset
and beliefs ,which are un AMERICAN, and foreign to this NATION, that PERSON went to his own struggle as he grew up and blame his failures to AMERICA, he became to hate with fervor, and decide to use his skills to influence
a group who help him take power over the GOOD TOLERANT PEOPLE,
THE FRAMERS visualize the GOOD WILL PEOPLE WOULD ABIDE BY THEIR LAWS,
they never thought the BAD WILL PEOPLE SIDING WITH ENEMIES OF AMERICA FROM CENTURIES OF GREEDS AND JEALOUSY determinated to advance their intent to CONQUER THE WORLD AND SUMIT THE PEOPLE TO THEIR LAW RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL, would be help to land in AMERICA to make it submit into their mindset to CHANGE AMERICA FOREVER,
it is being done as we speak,
are we looking at it too late? if not,
we better get involve, the clock is ticking.