Snowden’s admitted theft of hundreds of thousands of highly classified files detailing U.S. intelligence collection programs has caused “profound damage,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at a Senate committee hearing dedicated to the gravest threats facing the U.S.

“What Snowden has stolen and exposed has gone way, way beyond his professed concerns with so-called domestic surveillance programs,” Clapper told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in the public hearing. “As a result, we’ve lost critical foreign intelligence collection sources, including some shared with us by valued partners.”

Discussion of Snowden, introduced by Clapper and prolonged by repeated questions from lawmakers, dominated the two-hour hearing and far overshadowed talk of the threats from al Qaeda, Iran, North Korea and other traditional trouble spots. …

CIA Director John Brennan said his spies have determined that al Qaeda terrorists “are going to school” with each classified document provided to journalists by Snowden. Brennan said they are aiding al Qaeda with “their counter-intelligence program” because all al Qaeda members have to do is “pick up the papers sometimes or do some Google searches for what has been disclosed and leaked.”