Boehner Credits NSA Wiretap for Capturing Cincinnati ‘Jihadist’

Says Without NSA Govt Would've Never Known About 'Plot'

Trying to boost support for NSA surveillance, House Speaker John Boehner (R – OH) claimed that an NSA wiretap was the key to capturing a 20-year-old Cincinnati man the FBI has labeled a “jihadist.”

The FBI claimed the man, Christopher Cornell, plotted to bomb the Capitol building, and had cited “tipsters” who told them about Cornell’s Twitter posts, crediting their own informants for the arrest. They never mentioned the NSA.

Boehner insisted the FBI affidavit wasn’t the whole story, and says the US would’ve never known about Cornell’s putative plot if the NSA wasn’t wiretap him.

It will be interesting to see if any more information comes out on this, as Cornell has never even been alleged to have had any foreign contacts, so it’s unclear how the NSA would’ve conceivably gotten involved, apart from the sort of wholesale surveillance of random Americans they continue to insist they’d never do.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.