FBI Neglected Terror Watch List: Audit

Suspects may have traveled into US while off the list
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 6, 2009 12:44 PM CDT
An international visitor to the US has their fingerprints scanned by a US Customs agent in Boston. The nation's terror watch list is out-of-date and incomplete, an audit has found.   (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

(Newser) – The FBI is slow to update the national terror suspect watch list, and the lapses pose real risks to US security, according to a Justice Department audit. Twelve terror suspects who were either not listed or were slow to be added may have traveled into or out of the US, the report says. The watch list, which is used to screen people entering the US and by local law enforcement, contains more than 1.1 million names.

In 15% of the cases auditors reviewed, subjects were not nominated to the watch list, contrary to FBI policy. In two of every three cases examined, the FBI failed to update information in the watch list. And in 8% of cases, the FBI failed to remove subjects from the list. An FBI official says the bureau has already taken steps to improve the system.