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NSA Director: Surveillance Programs Disrupted Dozens Of Terrorist Attacks

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NSA DIRECTOR TERRORIST ATTACKS
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 12: U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander (L), commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), and Rand Beers (R), Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary, answer questions during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, June 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony on President Obama's FY 2014 budget and also Cybersecurity from Gen. Keith Alexander and other goverment officials. (Photo by Mark Wilson | Getty

BY KIMBERLY DOZIER AND CONNIE CASS, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — The director of the National Security Agency says surveillance programs have disrupted or helped disrupt dozens of terrorist attacks.

NSA director Keith Alexander defended the programs at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont says some details of two cases have been declassified. He pressed Alexander for numbers on other incidents.

Leahy says the intelligence community believes that these surveillance programs are critical, but he adds that he thinks they should not be made permanent and that Congress should be able to review and debate them periodically.

A former contractor, Edward Snowden, leaked information on the programs last week.

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