Terror plots foiled by data collection agencies


US intelligence officials say information gleaned from two controversial data-collection programs thwarted potential terror plots in the US and more than 20 other countries.

No other new details about the plots or the countries involved are part of newly declassified information released to congress on Saturday and made public by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Intelligence officials said they are working to declassify the dozens of plots NSA chief General Keith Alexander said were disrupted, to show the value of the programs, but that they want to make sure they don’t inadvertently reveal parts of the US counterterrorism playbook in the process

Intelligence officials said that fewer than 300 phone numbers were checked last year against the database of millions of US phone records gathered daily by the National Security Agency.

Under the program, the records can only be examined for suspected connections to terrorism.

Also revealed was that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court reviews the two data-collection programs every 90 days, and the data gathered must be destroyed every five years.