On the Senate floor on Monday during the debate on gun control proposals in the aftermath of the Orlando terror attack, not many people paid attention, but the Vice Chairman Senate Intelligence Committee revealed fascinating new details about who is on the Federal Terrorist Watch Lists.
While Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein used a chart to support her argument for her proposed gun control measure, the visual aide also provides the public with a detailed glimpse into an area many know little about. For example, the chart shows that there are actually three different Federal Terrorism Watch Lists — a Terrorist Screening Database, along with two smaller subsets of lists, including the No-Fly-List and even smaller subset known as the Selectee List.
Feinstein explained that the Watch Lists are populated with “information derived from intelligence and law enforcement sources…” and are maintained by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center. She further revealed that largest list, the Terrorist Screening Database, contains over one-million records but less than 5,000 Americans included on that list. Or, as Sen. Feinstein repeatedly said, Americans make up less than one-half of one percent of the Terrorist Screening Database.
Feinstein then explained there is a common misconception among many that the Terrorist Screening Database and the No-Fly-List are one and the same. She corrected this misnomer by stating the No-Fly-List is simply a smaller subset of the larger Terrorist Screening Database. And although it is also maintained by the FBI Terrorist Screening Center, the No-Fly-List contains approximately 81,000 records. She added, there are approximately 1,000 Americans on the No-Fly-List.
Finally, Feinstein the second subset — the TSA Selectee List — and confirmed it contains 28,000 records. This list, lie the others, is also maintained by the FBI Terrorist Screening Center and it contains fewer than 1,700 Americans.
While it nearly certain Feinstein did not revealed anything secret and she certainly did not provide the identity of those on the Lists, it is fascinating to see such a detailed breakdown of these controversial maintained government watch lists.