U.S. airport security agency cleared 73 workers with terror ties

In this photo taken Tuesday, March 24, 2015, a passenger shows a boarding pass to a TSA agent at a security check-point at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Wash. (File photo: AP)

The US agency in charge of transportation security failed to detect at least 73 people with links to terrorism who were hired by U.S. airports, a new report made public Tuesday has revealed.

The report by the Transportation Security Administration's inspector general said the agency relied on airports to do the background checks.

By law, the TSA "had limited oversight" over the process and thus "lacked assurance that it properly vetted all credential applicants," the report said.

As a result, the agency "did not identify 73 individuals with terrorism-related category codes," it said.

John Roth, the TSA inspector general, told a congressional hearing the law needed to be changed to give the agency access to all relevant information, including FBI watch terror lists.

During the same hearing, a TSA official criticized a program to pre-check passengers either randomly or because they have been given "known" or "trusted traveler" status.

"TSA is handing out Precheck status like Halloween candy in an effort to expedite passengers as quickly as possible," said Becky Roering, an assistant TSA security director.

More than a million people have signed up for the Precheck program, and another seven million have been randomly chosen for expedited boarding checks.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46