Tags: Al-Qaida | Edward Snowden | Emerging Threats | Homeland Security | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | NSA/Surveillance | Syria | War on Terrorism

Matt Olsen: Snowden Leaks Help Terror Groups Avoid Detection

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 09:48 PM

Some foreign terror groups have gone deep underground and "just dropped off altogether" from U.S. surveillance in the wake of spy secrets leaker Edward Snowden's massive document drop, former National Counterterrorism Center director Matt Olsen says.

"We've lost collection against some individuals, people that we were concerned about, we are no longer collecting their communications," Olsen told CNN on Tuesday.

"We lost insight into what they were doing."

Revelations from documents that Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, leaked to British, German and U.S. media outlets in 2013 prompted terrorists to change the way they communicate – and as a result, U.S. intelligence services lost track of them, Olsen said.

"They've changed how they encrypt their communications and adopted more stringent encryption techniques," he said. "They've changed service providers and email addresses and they've, in some cases, just dropped off altogether."

It's not the first time intelligence officials have commented on the extensive damage the Snowden leaks have wrought in tracking down terrorists.

Former NSA official Chris Inglis noted last month that the leaks revealed how the NSA eavesdrops, including details on how the United States tracks al-Qaida.

Snowden, facing espionage charges from the U.S. government, is now living in Russia.

CNN noted that since Snowden's leaks, new terror threats have emerged, including the Islamic State (ISIS) and an al-Qaida offshoot, the Syria-based Khorasan group.

Olsen told CNN that terrorists could have figured out their communications were being intercepted before the Snowden leaks, but Snowden's information confirmed the practice – and made it that much easier for terror groups to get around the U.S. spying.

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Some foreign terror groups have gone deep underground and "just dropped off altogether" from U.S. surveillance in the wake of spy secrets leaker Edward Snowden's massive document drop, former National Counterterrorism Center director Matt Olsen says.
Matt Olsen, surveillance, underground, terror
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2014-48-21
Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 09:48 PM
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