The TSA failed to identify at least 73 airport employees who were “linked to terrorism.” According to the Inspector General’s report:
“[O]ur testing showed that TSA did not identify 73 individuals with terrorism-related category codes. According to TSA data, these individuals were employed by major airlines, airport vendors, and other employers.”
The report’s findings claim that the TSA “acknowledged” specific individuals who fall under the terrorism-related category codes “represented a potential transportation security threat.”
In addition, the report alluded to why the TSA failed to identify the potential terrorists:
“This occurred because TSA is not authorized under current interagency watchlisting policy to receive certain terrorism-related category codes as part of the watchlist extract they used for vetting.”
The TSA also attempted to address the lapses in vetting and security. In 2014, the TSA Administrator signed a memo to “partially address” the weakness in security and vetting protocols.
Current airport policies rely on individuals to “self-report disqualifying crimes.” But if the individuals do self-report, they pose a risk of being terminated from their job.
The TSA has had a string of bad press lately. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that Melvin Carraway, the Acting Administrator for the TSA, had been reassigned after it was discovered that undercover agents successfully carried fake weapons through security checkpoints.