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

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 jbeaupre ( 752124 ) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @09:58AM (#47613623)

    You don't have to affiliate with a terrorist group to be a terrorist. i.e. Unibomber.

    But your question is still reasonable: why are they on the list? It must be some other undisclosed reason(s). Some might be valid, some might not.

  • by tysonedwards ( 969693 ) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @10:35AM (#47613989)
    Not necessarily, it means "links / associations" to terrorists.

    Jeff is a Terrorist.
    Jeff has a brother named Bill.
    Bill has a wife named Jessica, a child named Mary, friends named Sarah, Mitchell, and Parker, a boss named Paul, goes to a bank on 53rd st. who employs 31 people, he goes to a grocery store on 17th ave. who employs 44 people, ...

    This could very well be controlled spin to ensure that the numbers are propped up to make it look like they are mostly accurate based on the undefined term "links / associations", which could be as loose or as specific as you want it to be.

    One would hope that that would mean providing aid in some way rather than "I know him", or "I know someone who knows him", or worse, "I've once spoken to him" or "I've once spoken to someone whose spoken to him" but we frankly don't know.

    Simply a devils advocate answer on my part. May very well be that the remaining parties on the list are there for good reason and the 40% here are purely accidental inclusions. I'd personally suspect that there's an ex-girlfriend or two that made the list somehow, someway to otherwise make life hard following a bad breakup.
  • Re:What a shocker! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Xaedalus ( 1192463 ) <> on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @11:07AM (#47614301)
    One more level down--that politician was elected by a population that is overwhelmingly white, elderly, doesn't travel much, gets their news from television, and has elevated children to the level of sacred cows.

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