It's nice to say the government should never be in the business of targeting American citizens, but it's a new world, and a much more dangerous world. The level of threats we face both here and abroad is unprecedented, which means we have to take new steps to ensure public safety.
The Saudis now fear that if the Syrian civil war is allowed to continue it will eventually reach its own territory. And given the manner in which the fundamentalist jihadis are spreading it is not an impossibility. All the reason more to stop this war sooner rather than later.
If we are so smart why are we so dumb? I am referring to the "intelligence" that our spy agencies have gathered at great cost in both massive secret black box budgets and, much more important, the surrender of our personal freedom to the snooping eyes of our modern surveillance state.