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Report: Thousands wrongly on terror list

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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By LESLIE MILLER, Associated Press Writer

Thousands of people have been mistakenly linked to names on terror watch lists when they crossed the border, boarded commercial airliners or were stopped for traffic violations, a government report said Friday.

More than 30,000 airline passengers have asked just one agency — the Transportation Security Administration — to have their names cleared from the lists, according to the Government Accountability Office report.

Hundreds of millions of people each year are screened against the lists by Customs and Border Protection, the State Department and state and local law enforcement agencies. The lists include names of people suspected of terrorism or of possibly having links to terrorist activity.

"Misidentifications can lead to delays, intensive questioning and searches, missed flights or denied entry at the border," the report said. "Whether appropriate relief is being afforded these individuals is still an open question."

When questions arose about tens of thousands of names between December 2003 and January 2006, the names were sent back to the agencies that put them on the lists, the GAO said. Half of those were found to be misidentified, the report found.

In December 2003, disparate agencies with counterterrorism responsibilities consolidated dozens of watch lists of known or suspected terrorists into the new Terrorist Screening Center run by the FBI.

People are considered "misidentified" if they are matched to the database and then, upon further examination, are found not to match. They are usually misidentified because they have the same name as someone in the database.

People are considered "mistakenly listed" if they were put on the list in error or if they should no longer be included on the list because of subsequent events, the report said.

Problems developed with terrorist watch lists after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Maher Arar, a Canadian software engineer, was detained at New York's Kennedy Airport in 2002 because Canadian officials had asked that he be placed on a watch list. The U.S. transferred him without court approval to Syria where he was tortured and imprisoned for a year. A Canadian inquiry found that Arar should not have been on the list because he didn't do anything wrong.

The no-fly list given to airlines to make sure terrorists don't board airplanes grew exponentially after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The no-fly list is part of the Terrorist Screening Center database.

Young children and well-known Americans like Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass., were stopped at airports because their names were the same as those on the no-fly list.

The list has contained the names of Bolivia's President Evo Morales and Nabih Berri, Lebanon's parliamentary speaker, according to a report by CBS' "60 Minutes," to be broadcast Sunday.

Richard Kopel, acting director of the screening center, said in a statement that Morales and Berri are not on the current no-fly list. He did not address whether they were in the past, noting only that the list changes daily.

Two international flights — in December 2004 and May 2005 — were diverted because passenger were misidentified as on the no-fly list.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that watch lists aren't perfect.

"The watch list was the first stage of building a security net for the aviation system," Chertoff said.

He said an agreement reached Friday between the U.S. and the European Union would help prevent people from being misidentified.

The agreement calls for airlines to submit 34 pieces of data — including names, addresses and credit card details — about passengers flying from Europe to the United States.

The report said agencies are working to minimize the effect on people who are frequently misidentified.

TSA puts people on a special list of names that have been checked and cleared after they've complained to a call center and provided the agency more identification.

Customs annotates its database with a note that certain people shouldn't be stopped. As of September 2006, Customs annotated more than 10,300 names. Customs also gives preapproved low-risk travelers ID cards that provide expedited processing.

Customs acknowledged to the GAO that it needs to do a better job of providing guidance for their redress procedures for people who believe they've been misidentified.

The Justice Department is leading an effort to make sure that all agencies formally document opportunities for redress and that agency responsibilities are clear, the report said.

___

On the Net:

To see the GAO report: http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-1031

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Yeah, no s****. My best friend's six-month-old son is on the terrorist watch list, as is Sen. Ted Kennedy.


Bethany (NJ, USA) & Gareth (Scotland, UK)

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01 Nov 2007: N-400 FedEx'd to TSC

05 Nov 2007: NOA-1 Date

28 Dec 2007: Check cashed

05 Jan 2008: NOA-1 Received

02 Feb 2008: Biometrics notice received

23 Feb 2008: Biometrics at Albuquerque ASC

12 Jun 2008: Interview letter received

12 Aug 2008: Interview at Albuquerque DO--PASSED!

15 Aug 2008: Oath Ceremony

-----------------------------------------------

Any information, opinions, etc., given by me are based entirely on personal experience, observations, research common sense, and an insanely accurate memory; and are not in any way meant to constitute (1) legal advice nor (2) the official policies/advice of my employer.

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Filed: Country: Belarus
Timeline
Yeah, no s****. My best friend's six-month-old son is on the terrorist watch list, as is Sen. Ted Kennedy.

I don't know about your friend's 6 month old son, but I can understand Teddy's name being on the list. He killed Mary Jo Kopekne didn't he? He is a danger to others.


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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had a co-worker that has a problem with that...


Peace to All creatures great and small............................................

But when we turn to the Hebrew literature, we do not find such jokes about the donkey. Rather the animal is known for its strength and its loyalty to its master (Genesis 49:14; Numbers 22:30).

Peppi_drinking_beer.jpg

my burro, bosco ..enjoying a beer in almaty

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.ph...st&id=10835

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My son is one of those people who can't fly without a special call to the department of homeland security because his name matches a name on the terrorist list. It's a hassle and takes about an extra 20 minutes to clear security. And for anyone who knows my son, you respond to hearing this by laughing or shaking your head.

But the scary part to me is not false hits with common names. These lists contains names of people who have been placed on this list without any evidence of wrongdoing or following due process proceedures. Can anyone say "injustice"?


erfoud44.jpg

24 March 2009 I-751 received by USCIS

27 March 2009 Check Cashed

30 March 2009 NOA received

8 April 2009 Biometric notice arrived by mail

24 April 2009 Biometrics scheduled

26 April 2009 Touched

...once again waiting

1 September 2009 (just over 5 months) Approved and card production ordered.

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Filed: Other Country: United Kingdom
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My son is one of those people who can't fly without a special call to the department of homeland security because his name matches a name on the terrorist list. It's a hassle and takes about an extra 20 minutes to clear security. And for anyone who knows my son, you respond to hearing this by laughing or shaking your head.

But the scary part to me is not false hits with common names. These lists contains names of people who have been placed on this list without any evidence of wrongdoing or following due process proceedures. Can anyone say "injustice"?

Yep. All for our "own good" - apparently that never gets old.

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erfoud44.jpg

24 March 2009 I-751 received by USCIS

27 March 2009 Check Cashed

30 March 2009 NOA received

8 April 2009 Biometric notice arrived by mail

24 April 2009 Biometrics scheduled

26 April 2009 Touched

...once again waiting

1 September 2009 (just over 5 months) Approved and card production ordered.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
Timeline
Yeah, no s****. My best friend's six-month-old son is on the terrorist watch list, as is Sen. Ted Kennedy.

The only thing I hate worse than a terrorist Senator is a terrorist baby.

Edited by kirk and Jenny

Date I-129F Sent : 03/17/2006

Date I-129F NOA1: 04/03/2006

I-129F RFE(s) : 08/10/2006

I-129F RFE Reply(s) : 08/17/2006

Date I-129F NOA2 (Approved) : 08/18/2006

Date Package Received By NVC : 09/05/2006

Date Sent to Embassy: 09/18/2006 assigned number MNL2006743xxx

Date Embassy received 09/26/2006

letter-touched 10/17/2006

information on medical and interview 11/17/2006

Packet with Information 11/29/2006

Medical 1/12/2007

Interview 1/19/2007

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