73 Airport Workers Passed TSA Background Checks with Possible Terror Ties

In a recent news article, Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth read a troublesome report on recent security blunders and lapses at the long-troubled agency.

The recent blunders include inadequate baggage screening, hiring of convicted criminals, questionable spending, narcotics smuggling and human trafficking by TSA employees. During the hearing last week after Jer Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security reassigned the acting administrator of the TSA in the wake of reports that auditors from Roth’s office had successfully slipped mock explosives and weapons past TSA checkpoints 67 out of 70 times.

The latest case, Inspector General Roth said, is investigators had found the names of 73 airport workers “with possible terrorism-related information” in a classified federal database that the TSA could not normally access. Roth testified “TSA acknowledged that these individuals were cleared for access to secure airport areas despite representing a potential security threat.”

The discovery of this information was after Roth requested over 900,000 active aviation workers be checked again the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE. This database contains confirmed and unconfirmed information about people with potential terrorist links.

Following the search 73 matches of people cleared for access to secure areas with possible relations to terrorist ties.  Typically those people who are hired by the airlines and airport vendors are checked against a more narrow and unclassified database that is maintained by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center.

General Roth also repeatedly criticized the TSA’s use of PreCheck, which allows for expedited screening of vetted passengers, He said the TSA allows expedited screening of nearly half the flying population, often by randomly pulling people out of line. In one case, he said “a former member of a domestic terrorist group” was granted expedited screening even though the traveler was “sufficiently notorious” that a TSA screening recognized him. The screener “notified his supervisor, who directed him to take no further action and allow the traveler to proceed through the PreCheck lane”.

For more information on this topic or questions regarding background checks, contact CredentialCheck at 888-689-2000 or sales@credentialcheck.com

State Criminal Background Checks “Only as Good as the Records They Keep”

The phrase “you are only as good as the records you keep”, no longer only pertains to your taxes. This is what some organizations are discovering when reviewing their current screening practices. A recent review done by the state of Ohio has proved that their statewide criminal database is nothing more than “cobbled data” that is “running on borrowed time”.

From local law enforcement to day-care centers looking to avoid hiring individuals with criminal histories the challenge is real. This system doesn’t always reveal the truth about the people they are dealing with. A study of thousands of intertwined criminal-conviction and fingerprint records with processing errors have backed up the system, thus keeping the real pertinent data from being discoverable by those who need it most.

In 2014 alone the state of OH had to inform employers of 195 instances in which they provided a clear record for an individual for employment purposes, to then later return to the employer with the unfortunate news that a mistake had been made and the individual did have a criminal history.

Here at Credential Check Corporation, we get asked regularly which source our clients routinely use as a best practice in regards to criminal records.  Obviously there are benefits to utilizing the state repositories to cast a wider net and some states have better data than others; however, they shouldn’t be your only source. Over the 30 years we have been in business, we have seen a best practice evolve among our clients of utilizing county level searches along with statewide database searches to ensure that you retrieve the most accurate information possible.

For more information on the different levels of criminal searches and what model best fits your organization, please contact Credential Check Corporation at 888-689-2000 or sales@credentialcheck.com