Department of Homeland Security In Crisis: 72 Employees Part Of Terror Watch List, Refugee Screening Process Weak

( [email protected] ) Dec 08, 2015 02:27 PM EST
The Department of Homeland Security have signficant number of employees who are also under the US terrorist watch list. A Democratic lawmaker expressed that this could not be more worrying, coupled with the fact that DHS continues to fail inspections with regard its internal safety mechanisms.
Syrian refugees walk at Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, November 1, 2015. REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed

The Department of Homeland Security has a significant number of employees who are also on the US terrorist watch list. A Democratic lawmaker expressed that this could not be more worrying, coupled with the fact that DHS continues to fail inspections with regard its internal safety mechanisms. 

According to Rep. Stephen Lynch, a recent congressional investigation revealed that at least 72 people employed at the DHS were also part of the terrorist watch list. "Back in August, we did an investigation-the inspector general did-of the Department of Homeland Security, and they had 72 individuals that were on the terrorist watch list that were actually working at the Department of Homeland Security," Lynch shared to Boston Public Radio. He said the revelation was so grave that the former DHS director had to tender his resignation for this oversight. 

Moreover, he added that the DHS continues to fail every inspection aimed at measuring its efficiency in protecting the nation, and the agency's internal safety mechanisms are sub-par. 

"We had staffers go into eight different airports to test the department of homeland security screening process at major airports. They had a 95 percent failure rate," Lynch shared. "We had folks-this was a testing exercise, so we had folks going in there with guns on their ankles, and other weapons on their persons, and there was a 95 percent failure rate."

The high failure rate of the DHS security screening process is why Lynch is vocal against the administration's refugee program. For him, the screening process for any Syrian refugee wanting to enter the United States should be made stronger. He said the vetting process of the DHS cannot be trusted, as it currently stands.

"I have very low confidence based on empirical data that we've got on the Department of Homeland Security. I think we desperately need another set of eyeballs looking at the vetting process," he said. "That's vetting being done at major airports where we have a stationary person coming through a facility, and we're failing 95 percent of the time."

He also expressed concerns about the vetting process in other countries apart from Syria. "I have even lower confidence that they can conduct the vetting process in places like Jordan, or Belize or on the Syrian border, or in Cairo, or Beirut in any better fashion, especially given the enormous volume of applicants we've had seeking refugee status," Lynch explained.

In another news, Rep. Michael McCaul shared that the United States intelligence community has uncovered evidence that the refugee program is going to be ISIS' main way to enter the nation. He said that it has already been attempted, based on their investigation. "The U.S. government has information to indicate that individuals tied to terrorist groups in Syria have already attempted to gain access to our country through the U.S. refugee program," McCaul explained

He added that the White House did not disclose this information for fear of critics would use it as their main ammunition against the refugee plan. 

President Obama has been vocal about accepting Syrian refugees. In his Thanksgiving speech, he reiterated the need for the United States to provide a refuge for the displaced.



Tags : Refugees, DHS, homeland security, Stephen Lynch, Michael McCaul, terrorists