U.S. Financial Firms, Law Enforcement Seek Ways to Track Terrorists

November 28, 2001

The leading U.S. financial firms and law enforcement agencies are mulling over an agreement that would give authorities sweeping power to track terrorists using the financial system, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The agreement would cover banks initially, but would probably be expanded to brokerage houses, mortgage lenders, insurance firms and wire-transfer companies, according to the newspaper’s online edition.

Although the pact’s specifics still have to be ironed out, under the plan being discussed, law enforcement agencies would check daily on groups and individuals with suspected or known links to terror networks against financial firms’ databases.

The New York Clearing House, set up to facilitate payments between banks, is heading the talks, which include officials from a number of large banks like J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., as well as the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation and Treasury Department.

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