Edward Snowden told the European Union's Parliament that the U.S. was too busy monitoring online video games when it let the accused Boston marathon bombers and the so-called "underwear bomber" slip through its fingers.
“Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the ‘Underwear Bomber,’ was allowed to board an airplane traveling from Europe to the United States in 2009," Snowden said in his teleconfernce testimony to the European Union’s Parliament last Friday, notes USNews.com.
"The 290 persons on board were not saved by mass surveillance, but by his own incompetence, when he failed to detonate the device,” added Snowden. “While even Mutallab's own father warned the U.S. government he was dangerous in November 2009, our resources were tied up monitoring online games and tapping German ministers. That extraordinary tip-off didn't get Mutallab a dedicated U.S. investigator. All we gave him was a U.S. visa.”
Snowden them slammed the U.S. for ignoring the accused Boston marathon bombers.
“Despite the Russians specifically warning us about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the FBI couldn't do more than a cursory investigation, although they did plenty of worthless computer-based searching, and failed to discover the plot [in which] 264 people were injured, and 3 died," Snowden said. "The resources that could have paid for a real investigation had been spent on monitoring the call records of everyone in America.”
Snowden also said the NSA works hard to find loopholes in U.S. law as well as foreign laws to allow bulk data-gathering.
Snowden said the NSA works, “very hard to search for loopholes in laws and constitutional protections that they can use to justify indiscriminate, dragnet surveillance operations that were at best unwittingly authorized by lawmakers.”
Snowden, who currently lives in Russia, asked for asylum from the European Union countries during his testimony, but a motion to grant him asylum was voted down, likely because of pressure from the United States, notes The Guardian.
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Ind.) is trying to get Snowden removed from speaking via Skype at the upcoming South by Southwest event in Austin, texas, reports Politico.com.
Sources: The Guardian, USNews.com, Politico.com