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NSA says data mining helped thwart terror

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Posted at 3:35 PM, Jun 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-12 15:35:21-04

By Tom Cohen

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Phone records obtained by the government through a secret surveillance program disclosed last week helped prevent “dozens” of terrorist events, the director of the National Security Agency told a Senate hearing Wednesday.

Army Gen. Keith Alexander said in response to questions from Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, that he believed the program, under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, was “critical” to helping the intelligence community corroborate information on possible threats.

Alexander provided no details on specific events, calling such information classified.

Leahy brought up the controversy over the secret programs disclosed in published reports last week through leaks of classified documents, questioning whether they helped prevent attacks.

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