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Government Greatly Expands Database Listing Known and Suspected Terrorists

Wed, 06 Aug 2014 10:10:54 +0000

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A government database listing people considered a terrorist threat to the U.S. has grown substantially over the past four years.

Regularly criticized by civil libertarians, the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, contained 550,000 names as of March 2010. Currently, there are 1.1 million names in the database.

What has privacy advocates up in arms is that TIDE not only lists people who are known terrorists but also those suspected of being a threat or being related or associated with known or suspected terrorists.

The government does not have to prove any ties to terrorism to include someone on the list. It's estimated that about 25,000 Americans or legal permanent residents are included.

Furthermore, four in ten on the government's terrorism watch list, an outgrowth of TIDE, supposedly have no link to terrorism, according to the publication, The Intercept.

TIDE came about following the 2001 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania by al Qaeda that killed nearly 3,000 people.

The expansion of the database was the result of the near-downing of a Detroit-bound jet on Christmas Day 2009.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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