For people lacking your intimate knowledge of governmental affairs, a more detailed explanation might be necessary. Insight is not your average Leftie rag, so I don't have an ingrained bias against its stories. I want the facts, then I'll make judgements.
I spent 20 years in the DOD, with high levels of security clearance almost the entire time. In all of my background checks, I was never asked about religion or relatives in other countries. (I have some) If in fact this is happening, it is a radical departure from past procedure.