June 19, 2013
In response to the revelation that the NSA has been illegally spying
on all Americans for more than a decade, NSA chief General Keith
Alexander claimed that the spying prevented a terrorist attack on Wall
Street and the New York subway.
There’s only one problem: the claim is completely false.
The Christian Science Monitor notes today:
According to officials at the House Intelligence hearing,
this plan was caught when the NSA was using its Internet intercept
authority to monitor the communications of a known extremist in Yemen.
This suspect, in turn, was in contact with an individual in the United States named Khalid Ouazzani. Thus warned, the FBI investigated Mr. Ouazzani through traditional law enforcement methods, and discovered a burgeoning plot to bomb the NYSE.
“Ouazzani had been providing information and support to this plot,” FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce told lawmakers.
However, Mr. Ouazzani pleaded guilty to providing material support – in his case,money – to Al Qaeda, not to terror planning. His May 2010 plea agreementmakes no mention of anything related to the New York Stock Exchange, or any bomb plot, notes David Kravets in Wired magazine.