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Feinstein: NSA programs useful in New York, Mumbai terror plots

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feisntein (D-Calif.) said Sunday that the Obama administration's recently revealed surveillance programs have helped them bring two known terrorists to justice.

During an appearance on ABC's "This Week," Feinstein suggested there are other examples of the programs being successful, but noted two cases that have now been declassified. She pointed to a 2008 siege on a hotel in Mumbai and a 2009 plot to bomb the New York City subway program.

"One of them is the case of David Headley, who went to Mumbai to the Taj Hotel and scoped it out for the terrorist attack," Feinstein said. "The second is Najibullah Zazi, who lived in Colorado, who made the decision that he was going to blow up a New York subway."

Previously, anonymous administration officials pointed to the Zazi attack as one that was  thwarted by the controversial programs.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who appeared alongside Feinstein, confirmed that the programs were "exactly" what stopped Zazi.

Some media outlets have reported that public documents contradict the idea that the surveillance programs thwarted Zazi. The documents show police work being responsible for apprehending Zazi.

Correction: This post initially said incorrectly that Feinstein said the programs thwarted the attack in Mumbai. The attack was not stopped in advance.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



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