Firm that ran background check on Snowden also vetted Navy Yard shooter

The government contractor that ran the background check on National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden also vetted the alleged Navy Yard Shooter, The Hill has confirmed.

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The Wall Street Journal and McClatchy originally reported on Thursday that Falls Church, Va.-based USIS, which cleared Snowden, also vetted and granted a 10-year security clearance for the Navy Yards to Aaron Alexis in 2008.

Alexis died in a shootout with police after killing 12 and wounding many others in a rampage near Capitol Hill Monday.

Subsequent media reports have uncovered numerous red flags about Alexis. The 34-year-old Fort Worth, Texas, resident reportedly suffered from mental illness and had at least two gun-related incidents in his background, although neither resulted in a criminal record.

 Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) responded to the news by calling for a “top-to-bottom” overhaul of the security clearance process.

“From Edward Snowden to Aaron Alexis, what's emerging is a pattern of failure on the part of this company, and a failure of this entire system, that risks nothing less than our national security and the lives of Americans,” she said in a statement. 

“What's most frightening is that USIS performs a majority of background checks for our government. We clearly need a top-to-bottom overhaul of how we vet those who have access to our country's secrets and to our secure facilities. I plan to pursue such an overhaul, and won't rest until it's achieved.”

In June, McCaskill announced at a Senate hearing that USIS was under criminal investigation by the Office of Personnel Management for a “systematic failure to properly conduct its investigations.”

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