By Lara Seligman - 08/06/13 01:17 PM EDT
The administration recently acknowledged that the agency is collecting phone and Internet data on American citizens to identify terror plots after former government contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of the top-secret programs.
Supporters of those programs, though, said they were instrumental in identifying the most recent threat, after intelligence agencies picked up communications between top al Qaeda leaders about a possible attack on U.S. missions abroad. That prompted the administration to shut down 19 U.S. embassies in the Middle East and North Africa and evacuate personnel from Yemen.
King said there is a serious and credible threat of a new terrorist attack in coming weeks, and argued that it showed al Qaeda had grown stronger since 9/11.
He added that the threat “could be anywhere in the world,” not just overseas.