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TSA missed Boston bomber because his name was misspelled in a database

schwit1 (797399) writes | about 4 months ago

3

schwit1 (797399) writes "Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the primary conspirator in the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people, slipped through airport security because his name was misspelled in a database, according to a new Congressional report.

The Russian intelligence agency warned US authorities twice that Tsarnaev was a radical Islamist and potentially dangerous. As a result, Tsarnaev was entered into two US government databases: the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment and the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS), an interagency border inspection database.

A special note was added to TECS in October of 2011 requiring a mandatory search and detention of Tsarnaev if he left the country. "Detain isolated and immediately call the lookout duty officer," the note reportedly said. "Call is mandatory whether or not the officer believes there is an exact match."

"Detain isolated and immediately call the lookout duty officer."

Unfortunately, Tsarnaev's name was not an exact match: it was misspelled by one letter. Whoever entered it in the database spelled it as "Tsarnayev." When Tsarnaev flew to Russia in January of 2012 on his way to terrorist training, the system was alerted but the mandatory detention was not triggered. Because officers did not realize Tsarnaev was a high-priority target, he was allowed to travel without questioning."

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3 comments

Fuzzy match (1)

LeadSongDog (1120683) | about 4 months ago | (#46584925)

So when Johann Cmythe is wanted, the various combinations of Jan, Jon, John, Joanne, Jane, Joan, Smythe, Schmidt, Shmitt, and Smith will all be queued up at the gate, waiting their turn for a cavity search. That'll work!

Re:Fuzzy match (1)

azav (469988) | about 4 months ago | (#46585385)

So, Cmythe is Smith? That's sorta insane.

If NSA couldn't catch this guy, what's the point? (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about 4 months ago | (#46585613)

All of their petabytes of data about US citizens, our supposed allies (and probably, a handful of real terrorists too), a virtually unlimited budget, a license to shit all over the Constitution, and an explicit heads-up from Russia, and they STILL couldn't get this guy before he and his brother made their attack. It should be obvious to everyone at this point that the reason for NSA's mass surveillance isn't to prevent terrorism -- it never was.
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