400,000 still on terror watchlist, including author of book on Rove

The US government’s consolidated terrorist watch list has exceeded an estimated 400,000 “unique” records of “known or suspected terrorist identities,” according to a Justice Department report released today.

The controversial list, according to the report issued by the Office of the Inspector General Audit Division, is a combined database of various federal law enforcement agencies, administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) via its Terrorist Screening Center (TSC).

As of 31 December 31 2008, 1.1 million records exist on the government’s combined watch list, according to the Inspector General’s report. That number, however, includes duplicate files and aliases and does not reflect the actual number of people on the terrorist watch list.

The TSC estimated, as of 9 September 2008, that the total number of “unique” individuals on the watch list was approximately 400,000.

The report is the result of an investigation by the Audit Division and discusses findings related to three objectives:

(1) [D]etermine whether subjects of FBI terrorism investigations are appropriately and timely watchlisted and if these records are updated with new identifying information as required; (2) determine whether subjects of closed FBI terrorism investigations are removed from the consolidated terrorist watchlist in a timely manner when appropriate; and (3) examine the FBI’s watchlist nomination practices for individuals that were not associated with current terrorism case designations.

The current report does not, however, address issues where individuals have been flagged as a result of mistaken identity or due to various other reasons not related to terrorism or any form of illegal activity.

James Moore, a Texas journalist who wrote two searing books on former Bush White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, found himself included on a no-fly list, a component of the combined terrorist watch list, and has not been able to get his name removed. It is unclear why Moore was listed and why he remains on the list — but Moore told RAW STORY that the list hasn’t made anyone safer.

/snip/

400,000. And I wonder if I made the list. Probably not. I’m not a Big Chief. I’m just a little indian.

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