Data mining works

The hot story of the day is this little gem about a military intelligence program using data-mining:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 – More than a year before the Sept. 11 attacks, a small, highly classified military intelligence unit identified Mohammed Atta and three other future hijackers as likely members of a cell of Al Qaeda operating in the United States, according to a former defense intelligence official and a Republican member of Congress.

In the summer of 2000, the military team, known as Able Danger, prepared a chart that included visa photographs of the four men and recommended to the military’s Special Operations Command that the information be shared with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the congressman, Representative Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, and the former intelligence official said Monday.

Privacy freaks say it’s a no-no, but they’re wrong. See Kaus and McGuire for more.

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