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May 03, 2013

Number Of Names On Terrorism Suspect Database Jumps To 875,000

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According to Shakespeare suspicion always haunts the guilty mind.  Is it any wonder the American imperial government can’t stop itself from adding names to its enemies list? Torturing people at Gitmo, killing children in Afghanistan, drone strikes throughout the world – the suspicion piles up along with the bodies of innocents. And so Reuters reports the terrorism suspect database now stands at 875,000 names.

The number of names on a highly classified U.S. central database used to track suspected terrorists has jumped to 875,000 from 540,000 only five years ago, a U.S. official familiar with the matter said.

Among those was suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose name was added in 2011. The increase in names is due in part to security agencies using the system more in the wake of the failed 2009 attack on a plane by “underpants bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in Detroit.

Intelligence and law enforcement officials acknowledged in Congress that they had missed clues to that attack despite Abdulmutallab’s name appearing in the main database, known as TIDE

Yes, you read that correctly. That is now two names that appeared in this database that were able to go forward with their attacks. Which begs the question – what is the point of this list? And why is it so large?

U.S. officials now acknowledge that Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s name was entered into TIDE by the CIA in the autumn of 2011, after the U.S. spy agency received a request from Russian authorities to investigate him for suspected radical Islamist activities.

The CIA would later claim the FBI dropped the ball. President Obama disclosed that the FBI had interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev apparently concluding he was not a threat. But if there are 875,000 wannabe Boston Bombers out there the U.S. is finished. Boston was shutdown for an entire day millions gone in lost commercial activity, how many times can they afford to do that? How many other cities could?

Of course, there aren’t 875,000 terrorists trying to destroy America, not even close, which means this list is packed with people who are going to be harassed and inconvenienced by the American government along with the real terrorists who will only receive a cursory glance as the bureaucracy simply runs through its checklist. This is exactly the wrong way to right terrorism, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. The security services had Tamerlan and instead of doing the thorough job they should have done, that they were warned to do by other governments, they dropped the ball and moved on to some other person in their 875,000 person database. Fail.

Photo by LmBuga under Creative Commons license.

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