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DHS employs “terrorists” and fails airport security screenings 95 percent of the time, investigation finds

An August investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general found that the agency was employing 72 individuals named on the US government’s terror watch list, said Rep. Stephen Lynch (D., Mass.) in an interview with WGBH News.(1)

As a result, the former DHS director was forced to resign, says Lynch. But the status of the 72 workers named on the terror watch list remains unknown.

The Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, is managed by the National Counterterrorism Center and contains more than one million names, reported The Intercept in October, including 13,000 suspected terrorists who are “reportedly dead” and 3,500 who are “confirmed dead.”(2)

The investigation conducted by DHS over the summer included testing its “screening process at major airports.” Officials entered eight different airports across the US and discovered a 95 percent failure rate by the Transportation Security Administration.

“We had folks—this was a testing exercise, so we had folks going in there with guns on their ankles, and other weapons on their persons, and there was a 95 percent failure rate,” said Lynch.

Regarding the agency’s ability to effectively vet refugees from war torn regions, Lynch said he’s not confident in DHS’s screening processes. In the interview, he stated:

I have very low confidence based on empirical data that we’ve got on the Department of Homeland Security. I think we desperately need another set of eyeballs looking at the vetting process. That’s vetting that’s being done at major airports where we have a stationary person coming through a facility, and we’re failing 95 percent of the time. I have even lower confidence that they can conduct the vetting process in places like Jordan, or Belize or on the Syrian border, or in Cairo, or Beirut in any better fashion, especially given the huge volume of applicants we’ve had seeking refugee status.

Meanwhile, DHS is working on developing a new alert system warning Americans about terrorist attacks. “We need to get… to a new system with an intermediate level,” said DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson at a security forum Monday. “We need a system that adequately informs the public about what we are seeing,” he added.





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