Two “known or suspected terrorists” formerly in the federal Witness Security Program are
The U.S. Marshall Service is “unable to locate” them, according to the public summary of an interim Justice Department Inspector General’s report obtained by CNN and reviewed by TheBlaze.
CNN’s Jake Tapper breaks down the particulars:
The news comes from an audit of the Witness Security Program by the IG’s office, which states that “the Department did not definitively know how many known or suspected terrorists were admitted into the WITSEC program,” among other “significant issues concerning national security.” The report makes 16 recommendations.
You can read the report below:
*UPDATE (3:07 pm ET):
In addition to the initial news, it’s now being pointed out that the report faults the Justice Department for failing to provide the names of some terrorists in the witness protection program to the government’s Terrorist Screening Center. That means some in the witness protection program who were on the government’s no-fly list were allowed to board commercial flights once they received their new identities.
Additionally, the Justice Department has responded to the news and is trying to minimize any alarm.
“The Department has identified, located, and minimized the threat of all former known or suspected terrorists admitted into the WitSec Program,” Justice said in a statement to CNN.
“To date, the FBI has not identified a national security threat tied to the participation of terrorism-linked witnesses in the WitSec program,” it added.
That statement would seem to clarify that the former witnesses’ whereabouts are completely unknown at this time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.