Podcast: NSA Surveillance and Intelligence Gathering
In the face of claims that the National Security Agency’s data collection program had prevented terrorist plots, ProPublica’s Sebastian Rotella took a closer look at one of those: David Coleman Headley’s foiled plan to attack a Danish newspaper. He found that, “the government surveillance only caught up with Headley after the U.S. had been tipped by British intelligence.” And he noted that, “Even that victory came after seven years in which U.S. intelligence failed to stop Headley as he roamed the globe on missions for Islamic terror networks and Pakistan’s spy agency.”
Rotella has reported extensively on the Headley case and was a correspondent for Frontline and ProPublica’s “A Perfect Terrorist” investigation. To find out more about how authorities caught up with Headley and to discuss the intelligence gathering techniques that other international law enforcement agencies have successfully used, ProPublica editor-in-chief, Steve Engelberg, spoke with Rotella on the podcast.
“The lack of or limited resources foments creativity,” said Rotella. “In other words, what several people have said in discussing this recent brouhaha in the United States is – they almost have a sense that the U.S. has such vast resources that it can be a hindrance and there’s such a focus on just gathering information that it tends to hurt things like analysis and things like knowing the world you’re trying to spy on close up. And because they have less limited resources, they’ve been forced to get out there more on the street and develop sources and have a lot of close-up human contact to infiltrate networks and watch them develop and get inside them and monitor their operations.”
Our Hottest Stories
- Meet the Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible to Block
- California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning it May Be Contaminating Aquifers
- What We Learned Investigating Unpaid Internships
- Who Advised Cuomo on Mortgage Industry Investigation? A Mortgage Lobbyist
- Thank You for Your Service: How One Company Sues Soldiers Worldwide
- Are Patient Privacy Laws Being Misused to Protect Medical Centers?
- Error: You Have No Payments from Pharma
- Even After Open Enrollment, Activity Remains Unexpectedly High on Federal Health Insurance Exchange
- New York State of Fracking: A ProPublica Explainer
- Insta-Loophole: In Florida, High-Cost Lender Skirts the Law