Magazine article Information Management

Financial Aid Records Searched after 9/11

Magazine article Information Management

Financial Aid Records Searched after 9/11

Article excerpt

Apparently, after the September 11, 2001 (9/11), terrorist attacks, the U.S. government searched every database it could get its hands on for clues into the why, how, and who.

In August, it was revealed that the government had created a federal program 10 days after the 9/11 attacks to examine the financial records of college students in an attempt to identify terrorists.

U.S. Department of Education documents revealed that the program, called "Project Strike Back," was a joint project between the department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The documents were released to USA Today through Freedom of Information Act requests and also were obtained by a Medill School of Journalism reporter working with the Associated Press.

According to the USA Today report, an FBI spokesperson said the agency provided the department's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) with "a small, select list of a couple of hundred names associated with ongoing investigations." The OIG investigates fraud and abuse in student loan and other federal education programs.

One memo said that Project Strike Back, one of many post-9/11 programs used by the FBI to identify potential terrorists, was created because the Bush administration believed that terrorists were trying to raise funds "from criminal activity such as identity theft and credit card fraud. …

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