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40% Of People On Terror Watch List Have No Terrorist Ties 256

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the friendly-neighborhood-terrorist dept.
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes with the chilling, but not really surprising, news that the U.S. government is aware that many names in its terrorist suspect database are not linked to terrorism in any way. From the article: Nearly half of the people on the U.S. government's widely shared database of terrorist suspects are not connected to any known terrorist group, according to classified government documents obtained by The Intercept. Of the 680,000 people caught up in the government's Terrorist Screening Database — a watchlist of "known or suspected terrorists" that is shared with local law enforcement agencies, private contractors, and foreign governments — more than 40 percent are described by the government as having "no recognized terrorist group affiliation." That category — 280,000 people — dwarfs the number of watchlisted people suspected of ties to al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined.
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40% Of People On Terror Watch List Have No Terrorist Ties

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  • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @09:57AM (#47613613) Homepage

    In which mathematical system is 40>60?

    It doesn't, but you need to go a little deeper into the article:

    So this is the blurb in the summary:

    That category -- 280,000 people -- dwarfs the number of watchlisted people suspected of ties to al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined.

    And this is deeper in the article:

    The groups with the largest number of targeted people on the main terrorism watchlist -- aside from "no recognized terrorist group affiliation" -- are al Qaeda in Iraq (73,189), the Taliban (62,794), and al Qaeda (50,446). Those are followed by Hamas (21,913) and Hezbollah (21,199).

    So, there are 50K more people who are known to NOT have terrorist ties than all of those combined, and several times more than any single category.

    Basically the list is useless, because they have more known non-terror linked subjects than they have people with actual links to terrorism.

    I'm betting that list is anti-war protesters, people who disagree with the government, or who have done any number of innocent things which you have a right to do.

    In other words, pretty much anybody they can find.

  • by Plumpaquatsch (2701653) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @10:09AM (#47613717) Journal
    No terrorist will fly under a name he used before, most certainly not his birth name.
  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @10:25AM (#47613895)

    If there are 280,000 people on the watch list that are there despite having no recognized ties to any terrorist groups.. why are they on the list at all?

    Political disidints.

    And no, I'm not kidding. The government has a long history of describing activism as terrorist activity. Martin Luther King for example.

  • by jeti (105266) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @10:28AM (#47613925) Homepage

    Probably to satisfy some quota. As seems to be the case for the no-fly list [thedenverchannel.com].

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