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FBI Terror Watch List
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of ABC News


ABC News, June 13, 2007
Posted: June 15th, 2007
http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/06/fbi_terror_watc....

A terrorist watch list compiled by the FBI has apparently swelled to include more than half a million names. Privacy and civil liberties advocates say the list is growing uncontrollably, threatening its usefulness in the war on terror. The bureau says the number of names on its terrorist watch list is classified. A portion of the FBI's unclassified 2008 budget request posted to the Department of Justice Web site, however, refers to "the entire watch list of 509,000 names."A spokesman for the interagency National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which maintains the government's list of all suspected terrorists with links to international organizations, said they had 465,000 names covering 350,000 individuals. Many names are different versions of the same identity. In addition to the NCTC list, the FBI keeps a list of U.S. persons who are believed to be domestic terrorists - abortion clinic bombers, for example, or firebombing environmental extremists, who have no known tie to an international terrorist group. Combined, the NCTC and FBI compendia comprise the watch list used by federal security screening personnel on the lookout for terrorists. While the NCTC has made no secret of its terrorist tally, the FBI has consistently declined to tell the public how many names are on its list. "It grows seemingly without control or limitation," said ACLU senior legislative counsel Tim Sparapani of the terrorism watch list. Sparapani called the 509,000 figure "stunning. If we have 509,000 names on that list, the watch list is virtually useless," he told ABC News. "You'll be capturing innocent individuals with no connection to crime or terror." U.S. lawmakers and their spouses have been detained because their names were on the watch list.


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