CIA trying to catch terror funding overseas

Source: CIA using Patriot Act to collect money transfer data. (Source: CNN)
Source: CIA using Patriot Act to collect money transfer data. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - International money transfers are under the watchful eye of the CIA.

The agency is collecting bulk records under the Patriot Act, the vast majority of them are said to be non-U.S. transactions.

A person familiar with the program said the agency's efforts are an outgrowth of terror finance tracking programs that were established in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks which revealed that al Qaeda funded the hijackers using methods such as smuggled cash, money transfers, and credit and debit cards.

The Treasury Department and the National Security Agency have other programs that similarly focus on financial transaction data.

The CIA program provides some redundancies intended to catch transactions that may not draw attention in other programs.

The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times first reported the existence of the CIA program Thursday night, saying it has sparked concerns from lawmakers.

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