US Terror Watch List Tops 400K

As ledger exceeds 1M records, ACLU calls it 'unfair,' feds call it 'effective'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2008 5:53 PM CDT
TSA workers screen passengers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Thursday, May 31, 2007.    (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Washington's terror suspect list has topped the 1-million milestone, Reuters reports. That adds up to 400,000 people, including duplicates, about 50,000 of whom are tagged with “no-fly” status. The American Civil Liberties Union slammed the list as poorly managed and too long to be effective. The ACLU has a convincing ally, the AP notes: a former Justice official with the same name as a terror suspect.

"If I were convinced that America is a safer place because I get hassled at the airport, I might put up with it," said former assistant attorney general Jim Robinson, who is mistakenly on the list. "But I doubt it." Added an ACLU exec: “It's unfair, out-of-control, a waste of resources (and) treats the rights of the innocent as an afterthought." A federal spokesman disagreed, calling the list "one of the most effective counterterrorism tools that our country has."