The number of names on a highly classified U.S. database used to track suspected terrorists has jumped from 540,000 to 875,000 in just five years, a U.S. official said.

The increase is due in part to more use of the system, known as TIDE, by security agencies after the failed 2009 attack on a plane by an “underpants bomber” in Detroit, Reuters reports.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Reuters via The Huffington Post:

Maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, the highly classified database is not a “watchlist” but instead is 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 who feature on it from boarding airplanes.

The official familiar with the latest statistics said that even though the number of TIDE entries has grown substantially, this does not mean that the data is less manageable as intelligence agencies have gotten better at figuring how to extract information from the oceans of data.

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