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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

NSA Myth Debunked; Verizon Phone Records Did Not Prevent a Terror Attack on Wall Street

Claims that the NSA used its trove of covertly collected phone records to prevent an attack on the New York Stock Exchange are a gross exaggeration if not a down right falsehood. According to Wired the alleged plot failed because the conspirators decided against it. Khalid Ouazzani who was identified as the mastermind of the plot pled guilty in 2010 to providing money — $23,000 in “material support” to Al-Qaida. He also pled to a count of money laundering and bank fraud, and is set for sentencing next month.
New York defense attorney Joshua Dratel said Ouazzani worked as a government informant — a cooperating witness — in the New York federal prosecution of Sabirhan Hasanoff, who has pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists. Even the government’s own sentencing memorandum shows that the defendants called off a proposed plot on their own, without involvement from federal authorities.
“There was no plot. There was one guy was asked to check out a tourist site downtown. It was a year and a half before they arrested Hasanoff. So if they thought it was really a plot, what were they doing letting him run around?” Dratel asked in a telephone interview.
The Christian Science Monitor is well on the way to refuting the claim that data mining by NSA helped prevent the New York subway bombing plot.
As to the New York subway plot, it was discovered not by analysis of vast amounts of Internet data of foreign users, but rather by old-fashioned police work, according to The Guardian, the British newspaper that first published a secret NSA document showing the agency collected phone metadata from Verizon Business Services.
A British intelligence investigation into a suspected terrorist cell in England’s northwest first turned up a crucial e-mail address of a Pakistani extremist, write The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington and Nicholas Watt. They passed this address to the US.
NSA is scraping the bottom of the data barrel to justify it unconstitutional assault on the 4th amendment.

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