Both Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis faced background checks in recent years—and both checks were conducted by the same company. USIS ran a background check on Alexis in 2007 for the Office of Personnel Management, the year he joined the Navy; the company said it wasn't at liberty to explain why or what it learned, but Alexis did end up with clearance that ultimately enabled him to get into the Navy Yard. Snowden's clearance, meanwhile, faced a "periodic reinvestigation" in 2011, the New York Times reports.
USIS, which NBC News calls "the dominant company in its field," has been under investigation by the Office of Personnel Management for roughly two years. NBC News adds that six USIS workers have been convicted over fabricated reports, and the company has been accused of pushing employees to perform checks hastily to keep output high. Meanwhile, the Times offers more details of the Navy Yard shooting, via FBI director James Comey. Comey yesterday said Alexis was apparently "wandering the halls and hunting people to shoot," with "no discernible pattern." That suggests that Alexis may not have had a specific set of targets in mind, Comey said—though the Washington Post today suggests otherwise. (Read more Edward Snowden stories.)