August 23, 201
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller said Thursday that if the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance and data collection programs had been in place earlier, they could have potentially stopped the 9/11 terror attacks.
“I think there’s a good chance that we would have prevented at least part of 9/11,” Mueller said in an interview on CNN. “In other words, there were four planes and almost 20, 19 persons involved, and I think we would have had a much better chance of identifying those individuals who were contemplating that attack … by the various programs that have been put in place since then.”
Many lawmakers, including Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), have defended the NSA programs, saying they have been directly responsible for thwarting terrorist attacks.