BOSTON - Two employees working for private companies at Logan International Airport were identified as having potential ties to terrorists, according to documents obtained exclusively by Fox 25's Washington Bureau.
Documents obtained exclusively through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal 73 private employees at nearly 40 airports nationwide were flagged for potential ties to terrorism.
According to a Homeland Security Inspector General’s Office report from last year, the employees were allowed to work because the TSA didn't have access to all terrorism-related databases during the vetting process.
The original OIG report did not reveal where the employees worked.
Charlie Leocha is Chairman of Travelers United, a consumer traveler advocacy group.
He says the employees could be supervisors at airport stores or airline employees with bag access.
While he says it's dismaying all the databases were not linked up, he doesn't think those employees posed a serious safety risk.
“If anyone gets caught at a TSA checkpoint or is working at an airport then we've failed at so many different levels it'll be catastrophic,” says Leocha.
The TSA says since the report came out, they've been given access to all terror-related databases.
In a statement sent to Fox 25, TSA’s national spokesman Michael England wrote:
“There is no evidence to support the suggestion by some that 73 DHS employees are on the U.S. Government’s consolidated terrorist watch list. In fact, DHS utilizes information on the terrorist watch list to screen and vet, including those individuals with access to secure areas of an airport. DHS holds our employees to the highest possible standards and fully vets throughout term of employment.”
“In light of the current security environment and growing concerns about insider threat in the transportation sector, TSA has requested and received approval for automated access to additional information for use in vetting credentialed populations. Having automated access to this data makes it possible for TSA to make more informed security threat assessment decisions for individuals seeking access to critical and sensitive transportation infrastructure. This data is in addition to TSA’s current use of the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), which is the U.S. Government’s consolidated watch list of known and suspected terrorists. TSA’s credentialed populations are already vetted, and continually re-vetted, against the Terrorist Screening Database.”
The TSA did not know how many of the 73 employees are still on the job. We reached out to officials at Logan International Airport but have not yet heard back.
Here is the full list of airports and how many employees were flagged at each one:
IAD – WASHINGTON DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 7
SEA – SEATTLE TACOMA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 6
DTW – DETROIT METROPOLITAN AIRPORT: 4
SFO - SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 4
ATL – HARTSFIELD-JACKSON ATLANTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 4
HNL – HONOLULU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 3
OAK – OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 3
DEN – DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 3
BOS – LOGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (BOSTON) : 2
MSP – MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 2
SNA – JOHN WAYNE AIRPORT (SANTA ANA, CA) : 2
DCA – REAGAN WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT: 2
JFK – JOHN. F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (NEW YORK): 2
LGB – LONG BEACH AIRPORT: 2
SLC – SALT LAKE CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 2
IAH – GEORGE BUSH INTERCONTINENTAL AIRPORT (HOUSTON): 2
ORD – O’HARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (CHICAGO): 2
FAT – FRESNO YOSEMITE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
DAB – DAYTONA BEACH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
ISP – LONG ISLAND MACARTHUR AIRPORT: 1
CMH – PORT COLUMBUS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
DAL – DALLAS LOVE FIELD: 1
BDL – BRADLEY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (HARTFORD-SPRINGFIELD): 1
LAX – LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
MIA – MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
BWI – BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
GSO – PIEDMONT TRIAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
COS – COLORADO SPRINGS AIRPORT: 1
PWM – PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL JETPORT: 1
TPA – TAMPA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
SFB: ORLANDO SANFORD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
PHX – PHOENIX SKY HARBOR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
MCO – ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
MEM – MEMPHIS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
MCI – KANSAS CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
BGM – GREATER BINGHAMTON AIRPORT: 1
LAS – MCCARREN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: 1
BOI – BOISE AIRPORT: 1
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