facebooktwitterRSS
- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -
 

« News Home

Terrorists in program allowed on flights



Published: Fri, May 17, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON

The government has allowed terrorists into America’s witness-protection program and has failed to provide the names of some of them for the watch list that’s used to keep dangerous people off airline flights, the Justice Department’s inspector general says.

As a result of the department’s failure to share information with the Terrorist Screening Center, some in the witness protection program who were on a “no-fly” list were allowed to travel on commercial flights, the department’s watchdog said.

The FBI-managed screening center is the clearinghouse for information about known or suspected terrorists.

In a briefing for reporters Thursday, the Justice Department said it has remedied the problem with a restrictive travel policy that prohibits program participants with no-fly status from traveling on commercial flights. The department declined to say how many people in the program actually flew.

Though people involved in terrorism cases have long been eligible for federal witness protection, the Justice Department wouldn’t say how many have been in the program. The inspector general’s report said it was “a small but significant number.”

The Witness Security Program, or WitSec as it is known, protects witnesses from the people and organizations against whom they have testified. The U.S. Marshals Service provides cooperating witnesses with new identities.

Over the past two decades, the program has been significant in the government’s efforts to prosecute terrorists responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City and the 2009 New York City subway suicide-bomb plot.

Since the witness-protection program began in 1971, it has taken in more than 8,400 witnesses and 9,900 family members and other associates of witnesses. The department said the vast majority of what it referred to as former terrorists in the program were admitted before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The department said that to date, the FBI has not identified a national-security threat tied to the participation of any terrorism-linked witness in the program.


Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.


News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Marketplace
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2014 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes | Pittsburgh International Airport