The much debated domestic wiretapping program completely missed an apparent al Qaeda plot to attack the New York subways with cyanide gas bomb.
Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Suskind details the plan in a new book -- The One Percent Doctrine. TIME magazine has run excerpts from it. His book says intelligence agencies discovered the plot in 2003 -- only after al-Qaida's number two Ayman al-Zawhiri called off the attack.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) wouldn't go into much detail about the plot in an interview with the New York Daily News. He would say he was briefed on the plot and that the suggestion that al Qaeda canceled the plan "was correct."
But the wiretapping program never detected the plot. It instead discovered through a mole inside al Qaeda. And it appears the US didn't know about it until after the plot was canceled.
Nevertheless, Sen Roberts jumped on the opportunity to use the threat to help sell the domestic wiretapping program.
Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says the plot "underscores the stupidity" of the Homeland Security Department cutting New York City's anti-terror aid by 40%. (NYDN)