Image: NSA Still Growing in Wake of 9/11

NSA Still Growing in Wake of 9/11

Monday, 22 Jul 2013 10:29 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The National Security Agency workforce has grown by at least one-third, to about 33,000 employees, since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the agency has expanded its headquarters and operations to rival the size of the Pentagon.

The NSA is adding to its massive headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., and has expanded sites in Colorado, Hawaii, Texas, Utah, and Georgia, as well as in Australia and Britain, according to The Washington Post.

Moreover, the NSA has beefed up its private contracts with outside companies to meet the increased demand for surveillance and other counterterrorism activities in the wake of 9/11.

It now uses nearly 500 private companies to help conduct electronic and other intelligence operations. Among them is Booz Allen Hamilton, the company that employed Edward Snowden, who leaked information about the NSA's collection of private phone and Internet communications data.

Snowden's disclosures shook the government and roused outrage on Capitol Hill and with the public to a certain degree, but the agency has been monitoring e-mails, cellphone, social media, and other forms of communication for more than decade in the effort to track down Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist groups.

"There was nothing that gave you more insight into the inner workings of these organizations as the NSA," said Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counter­Terrorism Center. "I can’t think of any terrorist investigation where the NSA was not a pre­eminent or central player."

One of Snowden's documents reveals that as far back as 2000, one year before the Sept. 11 attacks, 60 percent of the president's daily intelligence briefing already was coming from the NSA.

Agency officials told the Post that the foreign signals it collects are "invaluable to national security" and "helps the agency determine where adversaries are located, what they’re planning, when they’re planning to carry it out, with whom they’re working, and the kinds of weapons they’re using."

The NSA's covert surveillance capabilities have made it the spearhead of U.S. intelligence operations, a position that one NSA unit notes with its unofficial motto: "We Track 'Em, You Whack 'Em."

The motto stems from 2001 drone strike that took out an al-Qaida target in Afghanistan whom the NSA tracked by the usage of a cellphone, according to the Post.

The NSA's operation has grown from the early tracking of cellphones to other areas, including the mining of financial and biometric data, the movement of money overseas, and collection of phone and other communications information.

The growth led to more employees and bigger facilities to house new computer systems and other networks to collect, store, and analyze tons of information.

In 2007, for example, the NSA broke ground on a $1 billion facility at Fort Gordon, Ga., where 4,000 workers collect and process signal intelligence from the Middle East.

The agency also added 250,000 square feet to its workspace in Hawaii, where Snowden worked before stealing thousands of top-secret documents.

The growth also has stretched overseas, including a one-third increase in the size of the NSA station at RAF Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, England, where, according to the Post, electronic intelligence information is collected from parts of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Yet another overseas NSA site, Pine Gap in Australia, has added facilities and hundreds of workers in recent years.

An NSA official told the Post the upgrades were done to make the agency's "global enterprise even more seamless as we confronted increasingly networked adversaries."

But, this official added, the efforts "to exploit the foreign communications of adversaries and defend vital U.S. networks" are always conducted "in accordance with national priorities and in full accordance with U.S. law."



© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Report: Emails Show Justice Dept. Involved in IRS Tea Party Probe

Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 19:01 PM

Embattled former IRS official Lois Lerner last year discussed working with the Justice Department to prosecute nonprofit . . .

White House Census Changes Mask Obamacare Impact

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 13:55 PM

The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than 30 years, is revising its annual surv . . .

Tributes Planned to Mark Boston Marathon Bombing

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 06:17 AM

The anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings promises to be a day of tributes to the three people who died, the more  . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved