Boehner: Surveillance helped foil alleged plot on Capitol

Politico – by Jake Sherman

HERSHEY, Pa. — House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that secret government surveillance had helped stop an alleged plot to bomb and shoot up the United States Capitol.

Christopher Lee Cornell of Ohio was arrested Wednesday after federal authorities said the 20-year-old had bought guns and 600 rounds of ammunition as part of a plan to attack the Capitol, while expressing allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Boehner said the case could help Congress renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act later this year.  

“The first thing that strikes me is that we would’ve never known about this had it not been for the FISA program and our ability to collect information for people who pose an imminent threat,” Boehner said Thursday during a GOP retreat here.

“I’m going to say this one more time because you’re going to hear about it for months and months to come as we attempt to reauthorize the FISA program,” he added. “Our government does not spy on Americans — unless they are Americans who are doing things that frankly tip off our law enforcement officials to an imminent threat. It was our law enforcement officials and those programs that helped us stop this person before he committed a heinous crime in our nation’s capital.”

The FBI said in federal court papers that Cornell had posted videos and comments on Twitter supporting ISIL and violent jihad. The affidavit did not discuss any use of National Security Agency surveillance or FISA in the case, but it did not rule it out either.

Informed that media outlets had reported that Cornell was caught because of comments on social media, Boehner said, “We’ll let the whole story roll out there, but it was far more than just that.”

Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.

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2 thoughts on “Boehner: Surveillance helped foil alleged plot on Capitol

  1. SSDD, another BS story to keep the masses scared. Trouble is, they’ve played this song so often nobody ( who pays attention) is listening.

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