Dem Congressman says director had to resign after 72 DHS employees were found on terror watch list


Last week a Democratic Congressman appeared on Boston Public Radio’s WGBH and made a startling statement — that there were recently 72 employees of the Department of Homeland Security that are on a terror watch list.

The question posed to Rep. Stephen Lynch was why he joined 46 other Democrats in approving a Republican measure to beef up security screening for Syrian refugees, a measure that President Obama promised to veto if it landed on his desk.

Lynch, who represents parts of Boston, indicated that the four-page measure requires that the Director of National Security review the vetting procedure, and he voted in favor of it because of the “disastrous results we’ve had so far with the screening process.”

Then he got to specifics — the first one most alarming.

“Back in August, we did an investigation—the inspector General did—of the Department of Homeland Security, and they had 72 individuals that were on the terrorist watch list that were actually working at the Department of Homeland Security,” he said. “The director had to resign because of that.”

The first core mission of the Department of Homeland Security are to prevent terrorism and enhance security, according to its website, which states:

Protecting the American people from terrorist threats is our founding principle and our highest priority. The Department of Homeland Security’s counterterrorism responsibilities focus on three goals:

1. Prevent terrorist attacks;

2. Prevent the unauthorized acquisition, importation, movement, or use of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials and capabilities within the United States; and

3. Reduce the vulnerability of critical infrastructure and key resources, essential leadership, and major events to terrorist attacks and other hazards.


DHS was founded in response to the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Lynch noted additional security concerns.

“We had staffers go into eight different airports to test the department of homeland security screening process at major airports,” he said. “They had a 95 percent failure rate. We had folks—this was a testing exercise, so we had folks going in there with guns on their ankles, and other weapons on their persons, and there was a 95 percent failure rate.”

Listen to the full interview here.


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