The Department of Homeland Security is bracing for waves of terror suspects numbering in the tens of thousands boarding planes bound for the U.S. from foreign airports like Heathrow over at least the next 10 years, according to internal agency documents reviewed by WorldNetDaily.
And more shockingly, DHS admits it won’t be able to intercept them all. Thousands each year will get past no-fly-list screening checks – even under proposed new rules to improve procedures to vet high-risk passengers.
“Even under the best circumstances, not every individual will be intercepted prior to boarding,” says the April 2006 DHS report titled, “Passenger Manifests for Commercial Aircraft Arriving in and Departing from the United States.”
A table in the report shows the number of annual antiterror-watchlist “hits” rising 12 percent from an actual 22,000 in 2004 to an estimated 24,545 in 2015. DHS predicts its customs agents will be able to block only 90 percent of the high-risk passengers from boarding U.S.-bound flights, leaving more than 2,000 entering the U.S. each year.
The number who slip through the security net could be even higher if airlines don’t agree to a proposed new regulation requiring them to transmit passenger data before in-bound flights take off from overseas airports. Under current rules, manifests are sent to customs officials after the international flights have already departed. Officials don’t have enough time to vet and “intercept high-risk individuals prior to boarding an aircraft,” the report says, and their only recourse is to try to divert flights in midair.
By then it might be too late. Al-Qaida planned to board suicide bombers of mostly Pakistani descent on 10 jetliners bound for the U.S. from London. The plot, disrupted by British authorities, was set to go into operation this month.
Even under the proposed new passenger reporting rules, however, the DHS report says “it is nearly impossible to implement a regulation that captures 100 percent of the high-risk individuals that fly.”
Customs officials at the national targeting center in Washington complain they still are not able to vet foreign passengers from a uniform watchlist. They have to check several scattered over different agencies. The 9/11 Commission recommended that DHS consolidate databases into one master list. It is one of several recommendations that have not been implemented.
Predicted watchlist hits for air carriers over next 10 years
In the following Department of Homeland Security document, “Hits” means number of terror suspects the U.S. government expects to attempt boarding airplanes flying to the U.S. during that year. “Stopped” means number of terror suspects prevented from boarding aircraft. And “Not stopped” means number of terror suspects who will enter the U.S., despite airport security screening.
Year Hits Stopped Not stopped
2005 - 22,220 - 19,998 - 2,222
2006 - 22,442 - 20,198 - 2,244
2007 - 22,667 - 20,400 - 2,267
2008 - 22,893 - 20,604 - 2,289
2009 - 23,122 - 20,810 - 2,312
2010 - 23,353 - 21,018 - 2,335
2011 - 23,587 - 21,228 - 2,359
2012 - 23,823 - 21,441 - 2,382
2013 - 24,061 - 21,655 - 2,406
2014 - 24,302 - 21,872 - 2,430
2015 - 24,545 - 22,090 - 2,454
Note: Actual watchlist hits in 2004, the latest data, totaled 22,000.
Source: Department of Homeland Security