TSA Investigation Finds 73 Workers on U.S.’s Terrorist Watchlist

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A recent U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) report found that 73 aviation workers, employed by airlines and vendors, had alleged links to terrorism. Kevork Djansezian/Reuters

A recent U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) report found that 73 aviation workers, employed by airlines and vendors, had alleged links to terrorism.

The report, published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General on June 4, blamed bureaucratic mistakes. Though the TSA says it frequently cross-checks applications and employee lists with the DHS’s “Consolidated Terrorist Watchlist,” both are incomplete.

The TSA’s employee lists, which consist of thousands of records, “contained potentially incomplete or inaccurate data, such as an initial for a first name and missing social security numbers,” the report found. The DHS Consolidated Terrorist Watchlist was also incomplete because “[TSA] is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related categories under current interagency watchlisting policy.”

It is unclear what, if anything, will happen as a result of this discovery. But last week, the top TSA official was reassigned after an internal investigation showed undercover agents were able to smuggle fake explosives and weapons through security checkpoints in 95 percent of trials at dozens of America’s busiest airports. 

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