TSA failed to identify 73 employees potentially associated with terrorism
9 June 2015
The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG) yesterday released a report on TSA’s controls over the vetting of aviation workers who apply for credentials allowing unescorted access to secured airport areas. DHS OIG reviewed TSA’s process for vetting workers for terrorist links, criminal history, and lawful status. OIG says that the review also sought to determine the accuracy and reliability of data the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses for vetting.
The TSA repeatedly screens about two million airport workers, but OIG says that the agency failed to identify seventy-three workers potentially associated with terrorism. “TSA acknowledged that these [seventy-three] individuals were cleared for access to secure airport areas despite representing a potential transportation security threat,” the OIG’s 34-page report said.
USA Today reports that the DHS watch-list, against which the TSA checks airline and airport applicants and workers, is not as comprehensive as the government’s terrorist database. The DHS terrorist screening database does not include all information from the National Counterterrorism Center’s more comprehensive Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE). In its formal response to OIG, TSA noted that TIDE list “includes raw data that may not have been corroborated or found to be fulsome enough for inclusion” on the DHS watch list.
TSA said that by the end of the year it would be checking applicants and employees against the broader government watch-list base....