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The global terror database World Check was leaked on the web

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June 29, 2016

World-Check, the international terrorist database used by large banks all over the world and several intelligence agencies was reportedly leaked online in the last 24 to 48 hours.

The mid-2014 version of the database contains about 2.2 million records and is used by 49 of the world's 50 largest banks, along with 300 government and intelligence agencies all over the world.

The Thomson Reuters database is accused of falsely designating citizens and various organizations as terrorists.

Large banks have used this data in whole or in part to close accounts, effectively locking people out of vast swathes of the global banking system.

Established security researcher Chris Vickery found the database and told us it is still exposed online after he disclosed its location to Thomson Reuters.

"As far as I know, the original location of the leak is still exposed to the public internet," Vickery asserted. "Thomson Reuters is working feverishly to get it secured."

Thomson Reuters says it will provide citizens and organizations information about their designation on individual requests. Alerts are not issued to known contacts of those affected when terrorist designations are assigned, however.

A high profile public disclosure of the database beyond the original leak could be reckless, however.

World-Check contains sensitive information on citizens regarding their alleged criminal histories and terrorist links.

Thomson Reuters requests that banks and other customers use multiple sources alongside World-Check and requests that the secretive database not be cited in any public decision-making materials.

The organization rejects accusations that World-Check is a controversial service. Inaccurate terror designations were first revealed by the BBC which gained 30 minutes of access to the database in August 2015 from a disgruntled customer.

That event revealed multiple British citizens who had their HSBC bank accounts closed in 2014 without the possibility of appeal, because what they claimed were incorrect records in World-Check identifying them as having terrorist links.

One of those was the account for Britain's Finsbury Park Mosque which was described in a HSBC letter as having "fallen outside of HSBC's risk appetite".

The Mosque was in years past visited by Al Qaeda operatives, Beslan Siege members, and had convicted terrorist Abu Hamza al-Masrim as its imam in 1997.

Since that time the Mosque has been run by a group supported by the Metropolitan Police. Sources say HSBC closed on the mosque because it donated money to the Palestine during the 2015 Israel-Gaza conflict.

At the same time HSBC closed the account of the Cordoba Foundation, a U.K. think tank which was designated by the United Arab Emirates as a terrorist organization for its alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Source: Thomson Reuters.

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