Employees at Nearly 40 U.S. Airports Flagged for Potential Ties to Terrorism, Report Says
The employees were allowed to work because TSA did not have access to all terrorism-related databases during its vetting process.
Airport employees at 38 airports nationwide were flagged as having potential ties to terrorism, according to a FOX 25 report. The total number of flagged employees is 73, as documents obtained by Fox 25 show.
The employees were allowed to work because TSA did not have access to all terrorism-related databases during the vetting process, according to a report by the Homeland Security Inspector General’s Office last year.
The employees could range from supervisors at airport stores or airline employees, according to Charlie Leocha of Travelers United, a consumer traveler advocacy group.
“If anyone gets caught at a TSA checkpoint or is working at an airport then we’ve failed at so many different levels it’ll be catastrophic,” says Leocha.
Here are the number of cases at each of the 38 airports:
7 — Washington Dulles International Airport.
6 — Seattle Tacoma International Airport.
4 — Detroit Metropolitan Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
3 — Honolulu International Airport, Oakland International Airport, Denver International Airport.
2 — Logan International Airport (Boston), Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, John Wayne Airport (Santa Ana, Calif.), Reagan Washington National Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York), Long Beach Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston), O’Hare International Airport (Chicago).
1 — Fresno Yosemite International Airport, Daytona Beach International Airport, Long Island Macarthur Airport, Port Columbus International Airport, Dallas Love Field, Bradley International Aiport (Hartford-Springfield), Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport, Baltimore-Washingotn International Airport, Piedmont Triad International Airport, Colorado Springs Airport, Portland International Jetport, Tampa International Airport, Orlando Sanford International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Memphis International Airport, Kansas City International Airport, Greater Binghamton Airport, McCarren International Airport, Boise Airport.
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TSA national spokesman Michael England issued the following statement in response to the report:
“There is no evidence to support the suggestion by some that 73 DHS employees are on the U.S. Government’s consolidated terrorist watch list. In fact, DHS utilizes information on the terrorist watch list to screen and vet, including those individuals with access to secure areas of an airport. DHS holds our employees to the highest possible standards and fully vets throughout term of employment.
“In light of the current security environment and growing concerns about insider threat in the transportation sector, TSA has requested and received approval for automated access to additional information for use in vetting credentialed populations. Having automated access to this data makes it possible for TSA to make more informed security threat assessment decisions for individuals seeking access to critical and sensitive transportation infrastructure. This data is in addition to TSA’s current use of the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), which is the U.S. Government’s consolidated watch list of known and suspected terrorists. TSA’s credentialed populations are already vetted, and continually re-vetted, against the Terrorist Screening Database.”
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