A new report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General revealed that 73 airline industry employees had possible links to terrorism that the airport security agency failed to find.
USA Today reports that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) missed the employees because they are running an incomplete background check list, rather than the more comprehensive government terrorist watch list compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCC).
The 73 employees were airline industry employees, who includes airline employees, airport employees, and contractors.
The report comes weeks after revelations about that undercover Homeland Security officials were able to sneak 95% of prohibited items, including fake explosives and weapons past, TSA security.
One of the reasons for the lapse reported on Monday is that the comprehensive list occasionally has information that has not have been fully corroborated. Nonetheless, according to USA Today, TSA officials have requested that the agency switch over to the comprehensive NCC watch list to prevent suspicious employees from slipping through the cracks.
The Department of Homeland Security is scrambling to fix problems that led to the embarrassing lapses. The TSA has agreed to comply with all of the corrections suggested in a new Inspector General report, and is implementing mandatory random screenings for airport employees.
Last week, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson decided to replace the head of the TSA and asked the agency to revise screening procedures that allowed undercover DHS agents to sneak prohibited items past screeners.
According to DHS Inspector General John Roth, the TSA’s errors are the result of both human and technological errors.
“Despite spending billions on aviation security technology, our testing of certain systems has revealed no resulting improvement,” Roth said in a hearing last month, according to the Washington Post.
Johnson said his agency is committed to making improvements based off of the OIG’s most recent report.
“The numbers in these reports never look good out of context but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security,” Johnson said. “We take these findings very seriously in our continued effort to test, measure and enhance our capabilities and techniques as threats evolve.”
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