TSA Allowed ‘Notorious Felon,’ ‘Domestic Terrorist’ To Fly With PreCheck Clearance

A “notorious felon” the government describes as a former member of a domestic terrorist group was granted expedited screening through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) PreCheck, according to a Department of Homeland Security watchdog.

A recent report from the DHS Inspector General reveals that the TSA granted an individual convicted of numerous felonies access to the expedited screening process.

The program is intended for trusted travelers.

The individual who was allowed to travel with a TSA PreCheck indicator and barcode on his boarding pass, however was described in IG’s report as “a former member of a domestic terrorist group. While a member, the traveler was involved in numerous felonious criminal activities that led to arrest and conviction. After serving a multiple-year sentence, the traveler was released from prison.”

According to the IG, the felon was identified by an “alert” Transportation Security Officer, but his supervisor told the officer to allow the felon proceed through the PreCheck lane. The IG investigated the investigation following allegations from a whistleblower.

“We determined that this traveler had not applied for TSA PreCheck through the TSA PreCheck Application Program, but that TSA granted TSA PreCheck screening to this passenger through the risk assessment rules in the Secure Flight program,” the IG’s office explained Thursday.

The IG made two recommendations based on the report. The TSA disagreed with one of the recommendations dealing with changes to the program but agreed with a recommendation that questionable TSA PreCheck travelers be directed through the regular TSA lines.

“Mitigating and reducing passenger screening vulnerabilities is important to our nation’s aviation security,” Inspector General John Roth said in a statement. “Incidents like this highlight the need for TSA to modify their PreCheck procedures.”


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