FBI submitted inaccurate data to terrorist watch list: DOJ report

[JURIST] The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has submitted incomplete and inaccurate information to be added to the US government's consolidated terrorist watchlist [FBI FAQ] over the last three years, according to a report [PDF text] released Monday by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) [official website]. The audit, conducted between June and October 2007, found that:

the FBI was not always providing updated nominations when new information became known about a nominated individual. We also found that the FBI was not always removing records from the watchlist when it was appropriate to do so. Moreover, FBI headquarters officials reported that watchlist nomination submissions from field offices were often incomplete or contained inaccuracies, headquarters officials reported that watchlist nomination submissions from field offices were often incomplete or contained inaccuracies, which caused delays in the processing of nominations. We concluded that the FBI should require its Supervisory Special Agents (SSA) to review all nominations submitted by their case agents for accuracy and completeness. These individuals should also be responsible for helping to ensure that case agents create nominations for all individuals who meet the FBI's threshold for nomination.
The audit also found that FBI field offices have previously bypassed FBI headquarters and directly submitted nominations to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) [official website] for inclusion to the list, potentially bypassing quality review and affecting the completeness of the FBI's records. In response to the audit, FBI Assistant Director John Miller said that the agency is working with the DOJ and other partner agencies [press release] to "ensure the proper balance between national security protection and the need for accurate, efficient, and streamlined watchlist processes."

Last October, the US Government Accountability Office [official website] said that the US terror watchlist has increased to over 755,000 names [JURIST report], growing by about 200,000 names per year since 2004. Critics have warned that the rapidly increasing size of the list undermines its authority and throws its accuracy into question. AP has more.

 

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