WASHINGTON – Top U.S. intelligence officials say information gleaned from two controversial data-collection programs run by the National Security Agency thwarted potential terrorist plots in the U.S. 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 say that fewer than 300 phone numbers were checked last year against the database of millions of U.S. phone records gathered daily by the NSA. Under the program, the records can only be examined for suspected connections to terrorism.
Also revealed: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court reviews the two data-collection programs every 90 days, and the data gathered must be destroyed every five years.