FBI still can’t manage the terror list properly?

posted at 10:55 am on May 7, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

More than seven years after 9/11 and the demonstrated need to track known or suspected terrorists to keep them out of the US, the FBI still hasn’t learned to manage its list properly.  Cleared suspects don’t get removed in a timely manner, resulting in travel headaches for innocent people.  More seriously, they don’t get actual suspects on the list quickly, either, and that has created at least ten entries by potential terrorists into the US:

Nearly eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the FBI’s terrorist watch list is so flawed that at least 10 people who should have been kept out of the United States were allowed to cross its borders, an internal audit released Wednesday shows.

Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn A. Fine concluded that the bureau also was slow to remove names that should not have been on the list, leading to outcries from civil libertarians who have long been critical.

The list also audited more than 65,000 names and concluded that more than one-third were outdated. The whole list includes 1.1 million names, though aliases and variant spellings mean these represent fewer people. …

The results of the audit came from an analysis of 216 terrorism cases from 2006 to the first half of 2008. The report said that the subjects of terrorism investigations, even those in the earliest stages, generally are put on the list.

The inspector general’s investigation found that the terrorism suspect was never added to the list in 15 percent of the cases analyzed, amounting to the FBI’s failure to add a total of 35 names. At least three people with names matching those of terrorism suspects who should have been on the list subsequently entered the U.S., the inspector general said.

Both civil libertarians and border-security advocates have legitimate gripes.  If 35% of the list is outdated — in other words, over a third of the listings are for people already cleared — then that alone should have both groups concerned.  Hassling 350,000 people for no good reason wastes time and resources which could go towards better security, and decreases confidence in the system.

However, not getting suspect names entered in a timely manner could have much more catastrophic consequences.  It only took 19 terrorists inside the US to kill 3,000 people on 9/11.  With the proper resources, nine or even three terrorists could take dozens or hundreds of lives.

Seven years after 9/11, the American people have a legitimate expectation that this process should be a well-oiled machine.  Lives depend on it.  A 35% failure rate is a disgrace.


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All 10 were gust speakers at Columbia U.

faol on May 7, 2009 at 10:59 AM

The government’s doing a great job! Let’s have them take over health care, the mortgage industry, student loans, energy, and auto repair, too.

PattyJ on May 7, 2009 at 11:02 AM

The government’s doing a great job! Let’s have them take over health care, the mortgage industry, student loans, energy, and auto repair, too.

PattyJ on May 7, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Great idea, I need some new ball joints.

kirkill on May 7, 2009 at 11:05 AM

I’m sure the good folks at the U.S. Postal Service can be of help.

Knucklehead on May 7, 2009 at 11:05 AM

This is a report made by Justice Department headed by Eric Holder. Take it with a pinch of salt.

promachus on May 7, 2009 at 11:11 AM

If the USPS folks aren’t available, I’m sure somebody at the Dept. of Education can offer some valuable advice.

rockhead on May 7, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Here is an idea…why not fight the war to win instead of standing around waiting for the Saudis to tell you what do next while walking on egg shells?

BL@KBIRD on May 7, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Put Jamie Gorelick on it. She has experience with such matters.

a capella on May 7, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Of course this is all the fault of the Bush administration.

loudmouth883 on May 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM

I think the sad truth is, with enough money, with oil money, you can buy documents to make you anyone you want to be. If we manage to keep serious well-financed terrorists out, it won’t be on the basis of checking their name on a list. It’ll depend on collecting and analyzing enough data from the world of international terrorism to detect that this person, getting off the plane, is connected to terrorism.

RBMN on May 7, 2009 at 11:21 AM

As long as Michael Savage can’t get into the country, we’ll be fine…oh, wait…

kirkill on May 7, 2009 at 11:21 AM

RBMN on May 7, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Yep, I’m reading Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn, (I know, 10 years late) and it’s a bit chilling in it’s accuracy of politics and terrorism.

kirkill on May 7, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Seven years after 9/11, the American people have a legitimate expectation that this process should be a well-oiled machine. Lives depend on it.

Seven years after 911 we still aren’t able to view the unedited footage from the attacks. Meanwhile a large proportion of the population is reverting to a 9/10 mindset and trying mightily to pretend there is no real terrorist threat any longer with Ogabe in power.

Bishop on May 7, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Great idea, I need some new ball joints.

kirkill on May 7, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Now that’s a straight line!!

MarkTheGreat on May 7, 2009 at 11:30 AM

We don’t need the federal government if they can’t manage this appropriately. Digitize medical records? Why not digitize these records and send them to the appropriate areas.

ThackerAgency on May 7, 2009 at 11:31 AM

For years I thought that ugly bump on his forehead was some sort of mole or something. Now I learn it is a callous from banging his head against the floor 5 times a day.

Blake on May 7, 2009 at 11:42 AM

this lackadaisical ethic will increase sleepovers at billy ayers home!! It’s a slumber party and barry soetoro gets top bunk ’cause he won.

Ris4victory on May 7, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Awww cut them some slack. They’re profoundly busy, watching, and tracking us domestic, radical, rightwingnut, pro life, pro guns, pro freedom, fiscally responsible, lunatics.

They have no time for investigating, or hunting down people that mean no harm by blowing up things, and killing people.

capejasmine on May 7, 2009 at 11:57 AM

No worries people…the adults are in charge.

ladyingray on May 7, 2009 at 12:01 PM

However, not getting suspect names entered in a timely manner could have much more catastrophic consequences

Well there’s the problem right there….Obama obviously needs to hire another 20,000 new FBI employees to get them entered.

AZ_Mike on May 7, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Y’all have to realize that the FBI is busy in the Gulf of Aden negotiating with pirates.

/

Tom

marinetbryant on May 7, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Can you imagine a bureaucracy like this running national health care?

“Sorry, sir. We can’t approve these medical procedures. According to our records, you’re dead.”

GarandFan on May 7, 2009 at 12:29 PM

This is obviously caused by Americans not having access to affordable healthcare!

kayo on May 7, 2009 at 12:33 PM

This is obviously caused by Americans not having access to affordable healthcare!

kayo on May 7, 2009 at 12:33 PM

ROFLMAO!!!

capejasmine on May 7, 2009 at 12:43 PM

FBI still can’t manage the terror list properly?

Of course they can! Aren’t conservatives on the list?

oldleprechaun on May 7, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Heck, I can’t use E-Ticketing. Apparently someone with my same name (born 12 years previous to me) is on the Terrorism List. Every time I’ve tried to use E-ticketing it tells me to go to the ticketing agent. Many of whom get a slightly panicked look on their face when they look at their monitors, before finally giving me my boarding pass. Thanks, TSA! X-(

quikstrike98 on May 7, 2009 at 12:48 PM

All 10 were guest speakers at Columbia U.

faol on May 7, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Close. They were tenured professors.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on May 7, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Let’s see… when the attack comes, Obama will say, Bush’s FBI people couldn’t get their act together. FBI people will insist those harsh interrogating techniques never gave us anything. If we had been kinder to them, we’d have learned something. Meanwhile doctors will be leaving America, teachers will be firmly Communist and there will be federal beaurocrats in charge of every American corporation.
Join the revolution. Tea Party 7/4.

Christian Conservative on May 7, 2009 at 1:32 PM

By RIAZ KHAN, Associated Press Writer Riaz Khan, Associated Press Writer – 3 mins ago

MARDAN, Pakistan – Thousands of terrified Pakistanis dodged Taliban roadblocks to flee fighting Thursday between the army and insurgents in a northwestern valley, streaming into refugee camps and crowding hospitals with their fatigued and hungry children.

According to the U.N., tens of thousands have fled their homes in recent days from the Swat Valley where a militant-government peace pact collapsed this week. The exodus adds to more than 500,000 already displaced by fighting elsewhere in Pakistan’s volatile border region with Afghanistan.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090507/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan

Dr Evil on May 7, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Too late. The guy in the picture is running a mosque in downtown Detroitistan.

Friendly21 on May 7, 2009 at 9:15 PM