Acxiom Had Data on 11 of 19 Hijackers in 9/11 Attack

A leader at Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock said Wednesday that Acxiom databases contained information on 11 of the 19 hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Jerry Jones, legal and business development leader at Acxiom, revealed the information in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's conference, "Immigration Policy After September 11: Enhancing Security and Facilitating Commerce."

Jones told conventioneers that information is the most powerful weapon in America's fight against terrorism, but its potential is not yet being used.

"Technology used every day by the finance and business industries can be applied to enhance airline safety," Jones said. "When you apply for an insurance policy today, your application and identity are subjected to a computerized background check or risk assessment. But if you purchase a ticket to fly across the United States, no such data verification of your identity occurs."

Jones said airport security is too focused on finding weapons instead of terrorists. He said that just as the manufacturing industry played a role in the U.S. victory in World War II, the information technology industry can help against terrorism.

"I urge those of you within the government to aggressively reach out to the private sector for help," Jones said.

In September, Acxiom said it was developing an information verification system, using its AbiliTec systems, to help airlines quickly validate passengers' personal information. Jones said the same tools and processes that allow Acxiom clients to recognize their customers can be used to connect or integrate government databases.

"Acxiom had information on 11 of the 19 publicly identified hijackers," Jones said. "Had a system been in place on Sept. 11 that integrated commercial data with that from the FBI, Immigration and Naturalization, Customs and other agencies, several of the airplanes certainly would have had extra security directed at them."