Monday, December 28, 2009

Terror Watch Lists Come Under Scrutiny

President Barack Obama's order to review the databases used to track terrorism suspects and keep them off airplanes comes amid growing concerns about those systems from lawmakers in both parties.

Lawmakers questioned watch-list policies Sunday after a Nigerian man who had been on such a list tried unsuccessfully to bring down a trans-Atlantic jetliner carrying 278 people Christmas Day.

"We have to have a better process to decide which people to move to the 'no-fly' list and which" should have secondary screening at airports, Rep. Jane Harman (D., Calif.), chairwoman of a House homeland security subcommittee on intelligence, said in an interview. "This is a learning experience. There was a failure."

The databases used for such tracking are managed by numerous intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security. They have been criticized for being overly broad -- barring musicians, lawmakers and toddlers from jetliners -- and for not being broad enough to keep suspected radicals out of the U.S., or off planes.

Officials said Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old suspect, received a visa at a U.S. consular outpost in London in 2008 allowing him to repeatedly enter the U.S. as a tourist.

In November 2009, officials said he was added to an entry-level, or preliminary, terrorism watch list maintained by the government. That came after his father warned officials at the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria that the young man had become radicalized by Islamic extremists. The father also warned that his son might be in contact with terrorist groups.

Mr. Abdulmutallab's entry onto the first list, called the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, essentially meant U.S. intelligence officials had opened a file on him, authorities said. There are more than 550,000 names on that list, which are shared across the government.

But authorities didn't have enough credible or derogatory information to elevate him to a narrower, more serious list of terrorism suspects, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday on NBC. "We did not have the kind of information that under the current rules would elevate him," she said.

Lawmakers want to know why his entry into the first terrorism database didn't automatically prompt a review of his visa status, or why he didn't get more serious scrutiny, which could have led to him being elevated.

With more screening, Mr. Abdulmutallab could have landed in a smaller database of 400,000 names, called the Terrorist Screening Data Base, the main database on international terrorism within the U.S. government, officials said.

That list is maintained by an multiagency group managed by the FBI. It is supposed to contain names of individuals who are "known or reasonably suspected to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of or related to terrorism," according to an FBI Web site.

With additional scrutiny Mr. Abdulmutallab also might have been added to the roughly 14,000-person database maintained by the Transportation Security Administration called the "Selectee" list. Those people are supposed to be automatically selected for intensified, secondary screening at airports.

The next step up is the so-called no-fly list, which contains fewer than 4,000 names of people who are banned from jetliners.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R., Mich.) said Sunday in an interview that serious alarm bells should have sounded after Mr. Abdulmutallab's father went to U.S. authorities. "Within the intelligence community, I would think this would have gone right to the top of the pile, saying, 'We've got to look at this guy,'" Mr. Hoekstra said.


Blog Archive

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed


Copyright Muslims Against Sharia 2008. All rights reserved. E-mail: info AT
Stop Honorcide!

Latest Recipients of
The Dhimmi Award
Dr. Phil
George Casey

The Dhimmi Award

Previous Recipients of
The Dhimmi Award

Latest Recipient of the
World-Class Hypocrite Award
Mainstream Media

World-Class Hypocrite Award

Previous Recipients of the
World-Class Hypocrite Award

Latest Recipient of the
MASH Award
Dr. Arash Hejazi

MASH Award

Previous Recipients of the
MASH Award

Latest Recipient of the
Yellow Rag Award

Yellow Rag Award

Previous Recipients of the
Yellow Rag Award

Latest Recipient of
The Face of Evil Award
Nidal Malik Hasan

The Face of Evil Award

Previous Recipients of
The Face of Evil Award

Latest Recipients of the
Distinguished Islamofascist Award

Distinguished Islamofascist Award

Previous Recipients of the
Distinguished Islamofascist Award

Latest Recipient of the
Goebbels-Warner Award

Goebbels-Warner Award

Previous Recipients of the
Goebbels-Warner Award

Muslm Mafia

Latest Recipient of the
Evil Dumbass Award
Somali Pirates

Evil Dumbass Award

Previous Recipients of the
Evil Dumbass Award

Insane P.I. Bill Warner
Learn about
Defamation Campaign

by Internet Thugs

Latest Recipient of the
Retarded Rabbi Award
Shmuley Boteach

Retarded Rabbi Award

Previous Recipients of the
Retarded Rabbi Award

Latest Recipient of the
Mad Mullah Award
Omar Bakri Muhammed

Mad Mullah Award

Previous Recipients of the
Mad Mullah Award

Stop Sharia Now!
ACT! For America

Latest Recipient of the
Demented Priest Award
Desmond Tutu

Demented Priest Award

Previous Recipients of the
Demented Priest Award

Egyptian Gaza Initiative

Egyptian Gaza

Note: majority of users who have posting privileges on MASH blog are not MASH members. Comments are slightly moderated. MASH does not necessarily endorse every opinion posted on this blog.


Muslims Against Sharia
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Hasan Mahmud

Tewfik Allal
Ali Alyami & Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia
Zeyno Baran
Brigitte Bardet
Dr. Suliman Bashear
British Muslims
for Secular Democracy

Center for Islamic Pluralism
Tarek Fatah
Farid Ghadry &
Reform Party of Syria

Dr. Tawfik Hamid
Jamal Hasan
Tarek Heggy
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser &
American Islamic
Forum for Democracy

Sheikh Muhammed Hisham
Kabbani & Islamic
Supreme Council of America

Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh
Nibras Kazimi
Naser Khader &
The Association
of Democratic Muslims

Mufti Muhammedgali Khuzin
Shiraz Maher
Irshad Manji
Salim Mansur
Maajid Nawaz
Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi
& Cultural Institute of the
Italian Islamic Community and
the Italian Muslim Assembly

Arifur Rahman
Raheel Raza
Imad Sa'ad
Secular Islam Summit
Mohamed Sifaoui
Mahmoud Mohamed Taha
Amir Taheri
Ghows Zalmay
Supna Zaidi &
Islamist Watch /
Muslim World Today /
Council For Democracy And Tolerance
Prominent ex-Muslims
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Magdi Allam
Zachariah Anani
Nonie Darwish
Abul Kasem
Hossain Salahuddin
Kamal Saleem
Walid Shoebat
Ali Sina & Faith Freedom
Dr. Wafa Sultan
Ibn Warraq

Defend Freedom of Speech

Islamists claiming to be Moderates
American Islamic Group
American Muslim Alliance
American Muslim Council
Al Hedayah Islamic Center (TX)
Canadian Islamic Congress
Canadian Muslim Union
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Dar Elsalam Islamic Center (TX)
DFW Islamic Educational Center, Inc. (TX)
Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (Closed)
Ed Husain & Quilliam Foundation
Islamic Association for Palestine (Closed)
Islamic Association of Tarrant County (TX)
Islamic Center of Charlotte (NC) & Jibril Hough
Islamic Center of Irving (TX)
Islamic Circle of North America
Islamic Cultural Workshop
Islamic Society of Arlington (TX)
Islamic Society of North America
Masjid At-Taqwa
Muqtedar Khan
Muslim American Society
Muslim American Society of Dallas (TX)
Muslim Arab Youth Association (Closed)
Muslim Council of Britain
Muslims for Progressive Values
Muslim Public Affairs Council
Muslim Public Affairs Council (UK)
Muslim Students Association
National Association of Muslim Women
Yusuf al Qaradawi
Wikio - Top Blogs