Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

July 26, 2006

Air marshal quotas leading to wrongful watchlisting?

Filed under: Aviation Security — by Christian Beckner on July 26, 2006

Are air marshals forced to make monthly quotas in terms of reporting suspicious activity, leading them to report on innocent passengers…potentially leading to these individuals being watch-listed? Yes, according to air marshals interviewed by a TV station in Denver:

You could be on a secret government database or watch list for simply taking a picture on an airplane. Some federal air marshals say they’re reporting your actions to meet a quota, even though some top officials deny it.

The air marshals, whose identities are being concealed, told 7NEWS that they’re required to submit at least one report a month. If they don’t, there’s no raise, no bonus, no awards and no special assignments.

“Innocent passengers are being entered into an international intelligence database as suspicious persons, acting in a suspicious manner on an aircraft … and they did nothing wrong,” said one federal air marshal.

These unknowing passengers who are doing nothing wrong are landing in a secret government document called a Surveillance Detection Report, or SDR. Air marshals told 7NEWS that managers in Las Vegas created and continue to maintain this potentially dangerous quota system.

If this is true, it’s deplorable. The leadership of DHS and TSA need to intervene immediately to end these quotas and inform the public that this issue has been resolved.

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1 Comment »

Comment by Screeners Central

July 27, 2006 @ 8:39 am

TSA and DHS leadership take action to right a wrong? Surely you jest. The only time they are motivated to clean house seems to be when the media is all over an issue or Congress demands action by threatening their budgets.

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