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“The single biggest challenge I have is that I have more data than I know what to do with,” he said, noting that every day his center receives 8,000 to 10,000 individual intelligence reports containing more than 10,000 names and places 300 to 400 people on the terrorism watch list.

Mr. Leiter said that, rather than looking for a needle in a haystack, it is “like looking for one needle in a pile of needles, covered with a haystack.”