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| Security
October 28 2013

Military 's Background Check System Failed to Block Gunman with a History of Arrests

The military 's beleaguered background-check system failed to block Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis from an all-access pass to a half-dozen military installations, despite a history of arrests for shooting episodes and disorderly conduct. Alexis, a military contractor, used his secret-level clearance to gain entry to the Washington Navy Yard, where officials said he gunned down a dozen people before being killed by police. The revelations about Alexis 's troubled past � and his ability to pass the government 's security-check system � prompted multiple examinations into how background checks are conducted and how long a security clearance can last without review. President Obama directed his budget office to conduct a government-wide review of security standards for contractors and employees across federal agencies. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also ordered a broad review into security and access to military installations worldwide. The private contractor that most recently employed him pointed the finger at the Defense Department, which defended its handling of the case. The Defense Department said the latest background check and security clearance confirmation were in late June of 2013 and revealed no issues other than one minor traffic violation.