May 212010
 May 21, 2010  Posted by  Surveillance, U.S.

Lolita C. Baldor of the Associated Press reports that in the aftermath of recent terrorist incidents involving “homegrown” terrorists, the U.S. is trying to beef up its tracking of those who travel to areas associated with terrorist havens:

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., and a member of the House intelligence committee, said he believes it is appropriate, in light of recent events, to take a close look at people who travel to countries known to have terrorist havens. The key, he said, is to identify people who have connections to al-Qaida or to terror groups that are training recruits to threaten the U.S.

The vast numbers are a stiff challenge. For example, in 2009, 172,000 passengers traveled back and forth between the U.S. and Pakistan, according to U.S. government data.

Any effort to expand monitoring of American travelers also raises privacy concerns and logistical challenges, particularly the prospect that travel patterns might be cross-checked against credit card purchases, phone calls or other personal data.

Read more in the Chicago Tribune. Associated Press writers Eileen Sullivan and Adam Goldman in Washington and Kathy Gannon and Zarar Khan in Islamabad also contributed to the report.

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