Monday, March 8, 2010

Acting TSA Head: Agency to Continue Using only Small Portion of Terror Watch List to Screen Passengers

Shortly after the failed Christmas Day bombing, President Obama ordered his homeland security adviser, John Brennan, to lead a review of the terrorist watch-listing system. Obama also directed Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to review aviation screening procedures. But apparently, political correctness still rules the day in the Obama White House:

From CNS News:
Acting Transportation Security Administration (TSA) administrator Gale Rossides said last week that her agency will continue its policy of screening airline passengers against only a fraction of the 400,000 name Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) and will continue to allow some terrorists on that list to board planes...

“TSA uses the No-Fly List and the Selectee List, two important subsets within the Terrorist Screening Database managed by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center...," Rossides [told the House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee].

Rossides explained that terrorists on the No-Fly list are not allowed to board while terrorists on the Selectee list are subjected to “additional security measures” before being allowed to board their flights and continue their travels.

“Individuals on the No-Fly list should not receive a boarding pass for a flight to, from, or within the United States. Individuals (terrorists) on the Selectee list must go through additional security measures, including a full-body pat-down and a full physical examination of personal effects (before being allowed to board.)”

As previously reported by, the TSDB is, according to the presidential directive that created it, was intended “to detect and interdict individuals known or reasonably suspected to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism (‘terrorism suspects’) and terrorist activities.”

As subsets of the TSDB, the No-Fly and Selectee lists contain the names of “known or reasonably suspected” terrorists. However – as Acting Administrator Rossides revealed – the government does not use the entire TSDB to screen airline passengers, only the “subsets” that make up the No-Fly and Selectee lists, meaning that – as a matter of official policy -- the government allows some “known or reasonably suspected” terrorists to board airplanes full of American citizens...

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