Schumer: Check transit workers against terrorism, lists

NEW YORK – the Federal homeland security officials to more quickly to require the rail and transit agencies across the country to their employees with a federal terrorism watch lists, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said.

The New York Democrat told The Associated Press on Saturday that the Department of Homeland Security needs to immediately intervene to force a recommendation that was almost ten years ago that mass transit employees are checked against the federal watch lists.

“With terror threats from ISIS sympathizers and lone wolves ever possible, it’s just not acceptable that every single front line transit employee is not assessed on the federal terror watch list as airline companies do,” Schumer said. “Railing for the track and the safety is a no-brainer.”

A report released by the Sept. 11 Commission in 2007, urged the federal government to verify the immigration status of front-line rail staff and those through the federal government’s consolidated terrorist watch list.

Records show the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, an ongoing action required of the screening, but the policy has not yet been finalized. Schumer said the agency should be quicker to issue.

Schumer, the incoming Senate minority leader, said it was “shocking that this is normal security gap was never closed.”

A Homeland Security spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The government maintains different types of terror, black lists. According to the National counter-Terrorism Center, approximately 1.1 million people, including about 25,000 U.S. citizens, were on the 2013 version of the Terrorist Identities data mart Environment, a repository of information used in the compilation of the consolidated Terrorist Screening Database.

About 420,000 people are on the so-called no-fly list, a subsection of the larger FBI Terrorist Screening Database. Civil libertarians have argued that many of the people on these lists have never been accused of a crime and have no connection with terrorism.

In a report by the Homeland Security Inspector General said the Transportation Security Administration, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security has an urgent priority the need to implement this rail safety requirements.”

TSA attributed to the delay in the implementation of the policy, to the complex federal regulatory process, according to the report to add without the requirement of the TSA could not compel Amtrak to implement new screening protocols.

Amtrak not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday evening.


Follow Michael Balsamo on Twitter @MikeBalsamo1.

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