They’re all around us — the number of people being tracked as suspected terrorists will soon cross the one million mark, Reuters reports:
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The number of names on a highly classified U.S. central database used to track suspected terrorists has jumped to 875,000 from 540,000 only five years ago, a U.S. official said. Among those was Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose name was added in 2011.
Maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, the highly classified database is not a “watchlist,” but a repository of information on people whom U.S. authorities see as known, suspected or potential terrorists from around the world.
The “Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment” is a master database which agencies use to build other catalogs of possible terrorists, like the “no-fly” list which prevents people on it from boarding airplanes.
Karen Greenberg, an expert in counter-terrorism policy at Fordham University, questioned whether the growth in the database’s size made it easier for officials to spot threats before they materialize.