Was a subway terror plot really foiled by the PRISM surveillance program?


President Obama addressed the US government’s controversial domestic surveillance programs on Friday, justifying them in part because of his assessment that “they helped us prevent terrorist attacks.” Now, Reuters and The New York Times cite anonymous government officials who claim that the PRISM program helped foil one attack in particular.

In 2010, Najibullah Zazi pled guilty to plotting an attack on the New York subway system using explosive devices. He was arrested in September 2009, after emailing the phrase “The marriage is ready” to an accomplice to signify that an attack was in the offing. The US and UK governments reportedly intercepted Zazi’s email, leading to his arrest shortly after that message. According to New York Times a…

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