NSA Chief Says Controversial NSA Spy Programs Helped Foil 50 Terror Plots

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General Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, testifies before the House Select Intelligence Committee June 18, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on the topic of "how the disclosed NSA programs protect Americans from terror attacks on US soil, and why the disclosure of that classified information aids our adversaries."
General Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, testifies before the House Select Intelligence Committee June 18, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on the topic of "how the disclosed NSA programs protect Americans from terror attacks on US soil, and why the disclosure of that classified information aids our adversaries." Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Of those 50 (both foreign and domestic), General Keith Alexander claims that the Internet snooping program was "critical" — meaning the plots would not have been foiled without it — in about half of them. Ten domestic plots, meanwhile, were disrupted with the help of phone metadata collection. The details of these plots, and how they were disrupted, will be shared with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, but not the American public.