Four of the plaintiffs are US citizens, the other a permanent resident, and they say that their rights have been routinely violated by a secret, unaccountable terrorist watchlist system that impairs their ability to travel and subjects them to "the unimaginable indignity and real-life danger of having your own government communicate to hundreds of thousands of federal agents, private contractors, state and local police, the captains of sea-faring vessels, and foreign governments all across the world that you are a violent menace."
Last month, a set of newly published documents showed that under half of the people on the United States Terrorist Screening Database have “no recognized terrorist group affiliation” and that nearly 1,000 new names are added daily.
An August 2013 chart, published this month for the first time by The Intercept, shows that there are one million names on the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE). Of those, 680,000 were on the aforementioned watch list, and of those, 280,000 had “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.”
The Intercept did not reveal how it got the documents, only saying that they were obtained “from a source in the intelligence community.” In the past, The Intercept has published documents obtained as part of the Edward Snowden cache, but it has specifically mentioned his name when it does so.
New report on terrorism "blacklists" suggests it won't be easier the next time. The chart shows that “900 to 1,000” records are added or “enhanced” per day, with just 60 records removed in a 24-hour period. The same document highlights five American cities as being the primary providers of “known or suspected terrorists,” including New York City; Houston; Chicago; San Diego; and Dearborn, Michigan, a Detroit suburb of 96,000 people that is home to a large Muslim and Arab community.
Five American Muslims sue FBI, attorney general over travel watch list [Cyrus Farivar/Ars Technica]
See also: the disgraceful story of Rahinah Ibrahim, a student from Malaysia who was no-flyed when an FBI agent ticked the wrong box on a form, who became the first person to ever be removed from that list -- but not before a dirty-tricks campaign by the government to cover up its embarrassing errors.
(Image: Delta check in at ATL, Atlantacitizen, public domain)