TSA Fails to Identify 73 Employees with Terrorism Ties
Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images
The embattled Transportation Security Administration – already under heavy scrutiny after an undercover investigation revealed that agents were able to sneak fake explosives and other banned items and weapons past TSA screeners on 67 of 70 attempts – is under fire again.
However, the agency might not be completely at fault this time.
NBC News is reporting that a Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report found that the TSA failed to identify 73 aviation employees with links to terrorism who have active clearance badges.
The employees – not named by the TSA – worked for major airlines, airport vendors and other aviation-related employers.
“In addition to initially vetting every application for new credentials, TSA recurrently vetted aviation workers with access to secured areas of commercial airports every time the Consolidated Terrorist Watchlist was updated," the report found.
However, the Inspector General noted one key issue.
“…TSA did not identify 73 individuals with terrorism-related category codes because TSA is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related information under current interagency watchlisting policy,” the report said.
According to NBC, the report recommended that TSA "request additional watchlist data, require that airports improve verification of applicants' right to work, revoke credentials when the right to work expires, and improve the quality of vetting data."
This comes a week after the head of the Transportation Security Administration was replaced by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Johnson made the move to reassign TSA acting administrator Melvin Carraway after an undercover investigation revealed a shocking lapse in security among TSA screeners.
In 67 of 70 attempts – more than 95 percent – undercover agents were able to sneak fake explosives and other banned items and weapons past TSA screeners.
ABC News first reported the findings.
The 67 successful attempts included one instance in which an undercover agent set off the security alarm, according to the Washington D.C.-based publication The Hill, yet was allowed to continue on after a pat-down – even though he had a fake bomb taped to his back.
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