American Citizen Spy | One Tip is All it Takes to Land You on DHS Watch List

Terrorist watch list: One tip now enough to put name in database, officials say

Ellen Nakashima|Washington Post

Officials insist they have been vigilant about keeping law-abiding people off the master list. The new criteria have led to only modest growth in the list, which stands at 440,000 people, about 5 percent larger than last year. The vast majority are non-U.S. citizens. So they say.

A year after a Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner, officials say they have made it easier to add individuals’ names to a terrorist watch list and improved the government’s ability to thwart an attack in the United States.

The failure to put Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on the watch list last year renewed concerns that the government’s system to screen out potential terrorists was flawed. Even though Abdulmutallab’s father had told U.S. officials of his son’s radicalization in Yemen, government rules dictated that a single-source tip was insufficient to include a person’s name on the watch list.

Since then, senior counterterrorism officials say they have altered their criteria so that a single-source tip, as long as it is deemed credible, can lead to a name being placed on the watch list.

Editors Note, MWFH’s: According to the USA Patriot Act, we at Men With Foil Hats may be classified as terrorists. Here’s an excerpt from the law:

(Sec. 802) Amends the Federal criminal code to: (1) revise the definition of “international terrorism” to include activities that appear to be intended to affect the conduct of government by mass destruction; and (2) define “domestic terrorism” as activities that occur primarily within U.S. jurisdiction, that involve criminal acts dangerous to human life, and that appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence government policy by intimidation or coercion, or to affect government conduct by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.

Intimidate or coerce. Does this mean that if a person dissatisfied with certain aspects of government and then voices opinons to one or more in a group setting, be accused of coercion because they are in an sense influencing that group, thereby falling into the designation of a terrorist. It’s quite possible under this broad definition.

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