“Do Something” were the two words Al Qaeda’s current leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri told his second in command in Yemen. Those two words have sparked a worldwide fear of a potential imminent attack by Al Qaeda. That fear led to the shutting down of numerous embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa, and issuing a worldwide travel alert.
Those two words were uncovered by U.S. intelligence intercepting the message most likely electronically through a cell phone, in which was probably obtained through U.S. intelligence officials listening to phone conversations of potential terrorists.
Ironically, this comes only a few days after Edward Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence officer who leaked details on several U.S. surveillance programs, was granted a temporary one-year asylum in Russia.
As many know by now, Snowden revealed to the world classified information sparking a worldwide debate over whether he was a traitor or a hero. Considered by many to be a hero for disclosing the unsupervised power the NSA had to invade people’s privacy by monitoring their phone calls and web history. Considered to be a traitor by many for jeopardizing the United States’ national security in which the monitoring of phone calls and web history is used to prevent future terrorist attacks.
This highly publicized debate that ensued after Snowden’s revelations even led to a House of Representatives vote that nearly passed on its first attempt through Congress to provide more oversight over the NSA surveillance. While that debate is fair and reasonable, it is awfully ironic that U.S. intelligence officials have appeared to have intercepted a very dangerous message from a very dangerous man clearly planning a large attack through the monitoring of a cell phone.
While the conversation around the need for further oversight of the NSA surveillance program will continue to go on we cannot ignore the fact that that same surveillance program may have prevented a terrible terrorist attack on Americans and civilians abroad or even on American soil again.
Privacy is a right every American has and it should not be invaded, but safety is more important. Knowing that there are people protecting our country by any means possible will easily allow me to give up a portion of my privacy to allow the ability to prevent future terrorist attacks.
“Do Something” was what Al Qaeda’s current leader told his second in command, and he may have tried to. U.S. Intelligence did do something and that was monitor terrorist activities and potentially prevent another terrorist attack.
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