Re: Has spying actually made anyone any safer?
"If they did stop one, wouldn't they be announcing it from the roof-tops?"
Actually, no, not in any detail because that would enable opponents to understand where they were going wrong. The best they can do is make unverifiable statements about how many attacks they claim to have prevented. Because such statements are unverifiable in order to be believed the intelligence services have to be trusted and there they have a problem. Trust and its opposite, mistrust tend to be mutual. They act as if they don't trust us therefore we don't tend to trust or, in consequence, believe them.
"All the recent terror attacks have been lone-wolf affairs"
And yet, after the event, it seems that the perpetrators were previously known. It then raises the question of whether focussing attention on people they previously knew about would be more productive than trying to spy on the populace at large.