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House Homeland Security Committee Republicans are questioning why the Department of Homeland Security does not disclose more information on the number of known or suspected terrorist suspects from outside the U.S. living in the U.S. and if they are on any of the government’s watchlists.
Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., the measure passed without any Democratic support.
According to a letter from Hunter and Republican lawmakers, at a Jan. 14 hearing the DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke was sent documents that included a database of suspected terrorists from outside the U.S.
But that database is not publicly available, and even if it were, it would not answer questions about whether any of those listed in the database were still in the U.S.
The document Duke and the Republican lawmakers sent, obtained by Fox News, is a list of suspected terrorists from outside the U.S. who were living in the U.S. and had been captured. In it, some of the people are adults, some children and some are less than 10 years old.
Because the list is not public, it leaves Republicans with another question: how many of those on the list were transferred to the Department of Homeland Security?
DHS does not provide numbers on the number of people listed in the log.
The organization uses threat information and other intelligence to create an annual list of potential terrorists. There are different categories listed on the DHS official list including foreign travelers, refugees and permanent residents.
Several of the terror suspects on the DHS terror list went on to commit acts of terror, and in some cases, were also on the no-fly list.
The figure in the list — that officials admitted to seeing — is 58 people.
That figure is nowhere near a list of those the DHS believes are threat.
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Black men killed in separate incidents were black, police say And it could be all being based on public sources, such as news reports, the letter states.
DHS has a review board to vet reports that might contain personal information. That board does include lawmakers, White House and other national security officials, as well as DHS attorneys and a DHS field official.
DHS declined to provide information on whether the review board includes a legal counsel, DOJ attorney, White House official, DHS director of counterintelligence, a DHS deputy legal counsel, or a representative from the National Counterterrorism Center.
“The committee’s concerns are heightened by recent events, and it appears DHS is failing to provide full transparency regarding the threat stream collected in connection with non-citizens and their foreign ties,” the letter states.
It is “troubling” that DHS has done “little” to share information about the threat of people in the U.S. with FBI, DOJ and Homeland Security, the letter states.
The committee wants to know how many individuals in DHS terror list who were confirmed to be foreign nationals live in the U.S. The committee also wants DHS to divulge the number of individuals listed in that terror list who have been on the no-fly list.
“Further, if DHS has determined that someone has committed a terrorist attack in this country with assistance from a non-citizen or a non-citizen network,” the letter says, “is DHS or other national security officials aware of whether the individual is still a threat?”