Congress: Terrorists Changing Tactics Because of NSA Leaks

By Jordain Carney

January 9, 2014

Terrorists are changing their patterns based on information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, according to a Pentagon report.

"This report confirms my greatest fears – Snowden's real acts of betrayal place America's military men and women at greater risk. Snowden's actions are likely to have lethal consequences for our troops in the field," said Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which received the classified report.

Snowden downloaded 1.7 million intelligence files, according to the report, most of which Rogers said deal not with the National Security Agency, but branches of the military.

(Related: The NSA's Surveillance Programs Aren't Making Us Any Safer)

Committee Ranking Member C.A."Dutch" Ruppersberger, D-Md., added that Snowden's leaks gave terrorists "our country's playbook. … We have begun to see terrorists changing their methods because of the leaks."

The committee members' joint-statement on the report comes as President Obama is expected to meet Thursday with key lawmakers over complaints regarding NSA practices. The National Security Agency has been under scrutiny since June, when media outlets, using documents provided by Snowden, began to publicly disclose government spying programs.

A panel convened by Obama recommended 46 changes to the government's surveillance programs, and earlier reports indicate the president will announce a range of changes before his State of the Union address Jan. 28.

By Jordain Carney // Jordain Carney is a defense reporter at National Journal. She previously worked as a staff writer for the Hotline, covering congressional and gubernatorial elections in the South. Jordain graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor's degree in English, political science, and journalism.

January 9, 2014