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The nonprofit New America Foundation, based in Washington, analyzed cases involving 225 people recruited by al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups and charged in the U.S. since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The majority of cases started with traditional techniques, such as use of “informants, tips from local communities, and targeted intelligence operations,” according to a report today from the group, which has been critical of the NSA spy programs.
I think one line of faulty reasoning that is never properly addressed when it comes to the various NSA fiascos, is that such mass data collection is partly a result of political correctness. Just like the whole over-the-top airport security situation. Because it's deemed politically incorrect to focus primarily on the group who shall not be named when it comes to these things, the NSA instead tries to focus on everybody -- and fails spectacularly because the whole prospect is completely ridiculous and a result of willfully denying reality.