The Washington Post – One tip enough to put name on watch list

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.

The government’s mas­ter watch list is one of roughly a dozen lists, or data­bases, used by coun­tert­er­ror­ism offi­cials. Offi­cials have peri­od­i­cally adjusted the cri­te­ria used to main­tain it.

But civil lib­er­ties groups argue that the government’s new cri­te­ria, which went into effect over the sum­mer, have made it even more likely that indi­vid­u­als who pose no threat will be swept up in the nation’s secu­rity appa­ra­tus, lead­ing to poten­tial vio­la­tions of their pri­vacy and mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for them to travel.

via The Wash­ing­ton Post – One tip enough to put name on watch list. Another in a long list of stu­pid over-reactions that does really noth­ing but close the door after the horse is out.

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