Patriot Act Likely Helped Thwart NYC Terror Plot, Security Experts Say

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It's too early to know what surveillance methods were used to arrest four men accused of plotting to bomb two New York synagogues, but national security experts say measures implemented under the Bush administration likely played a critical role.

The FBI launched an elaborate sting operation in June 2008 that culminated Wednesday in the arrest of four men who allegedly conspired to blow up two Bronx, N.Y., synagogues, and to shoot down military planes operating out of Stewart Air Force Base in Newburgh, N.Y.

Legal experts say security measures enacted in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks likely assisted federal agents in foiling the plot.

Intelligence experts say that measure enables law enforcement to monitor conversations among multiple terror suspects more quickly and efficiently, because terrorists are known to discontinue their phones lines or change cell phones frequently.

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