House lawmakers call for secret terror watch list numbers

Members of the House Homeland Security Committee claimed Friday that they did not know why the number of identified nationals in the U.S. and those on the no-fly list are kept secret. Members also demanded to know why the feds don’t make their numbers available.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, California Democrat Bennie Thompson and three colleagues wrote that they requested in February that her agency provide them with the names of the 109 individuals taken off the terror watch list and the 103 individuals removed from the no-fly list because of credible information. The Democratic members noted that they were responding to a public record request filed by The Daily Beast in November.

“Not only has DHS denied numerous requests to disclose the names and numbers of individuals removed and removed from the Terrorist Screening Database and the no-fly list, but the Department has also ignored an expiring sunset provision in the DATA Act requiring the Department to disclose the information to Congress within 180 days,” they wrote. “As a result, we have no idea how many individuals have been removed, removed, or placed on a watch list from our very own country, nor the danger they pose to our nation’s security.”

The letter also noted that the DHS has not even provided them with a breakdown of the suspected terrorist identities, including those who have been removed from terror watch lists, why the names are kept secret, and when they were taken off the list and removed.

Thompson and company noted that the White House has discussed the department’s most recent report on terror-related deaths with Congress, but that they have “not been provided with anything specific” from Nielsen.

Read the full story at The Hill.

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