24,000 People Said Wrongly On Terror Watch List


The FBI has incorrectly kept nearly 24,000 people on a terrorist watch list on the basis of outdated or irrelevant information, while missing people with genuine ties to terrorism who should have been on the list, says a Justice Department report quoted by the New York Times. The report from the department’s inspector general said the mistakes posed a risk to national security, because of the failure to flag terrorism suspects, and a nuisance for nonsuspects who may be questioned at traffic stops or kept from boarding airplanes.

A consolidated government watch list comprises about 400,000 people, recorded as 1.1 million names and aliases, an exponential growth from the days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Among the list's uses is the screening of people entering the U.S.; intelligence officials say it has allowed agencies to work together to prevent the type of breakdown that allowed two of the Sept. 11 hijackers to get into the country even though they were known to the Central Intelligence Agency for terrorist ties.

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