The U.S. government’s terrorism database has doubled in size from 2010 to the end of 2013 and more than 40 percent of the people on the list have “no recognized terrorist group affiliation,” according to classified government documents published by The Intercept.
The Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, reportedly contained the names of 1.1 million people in 2013, up dramatically from 2010 when there were about 550,000, according to several reports.
TIDE is a massive classified database of people the government considers to be terrorists or who could possibly have ties to terrorist activity, including family members or associates of various degrees. The database is also used to determine which names go on the so-called “no fly” list.
More from The Intercept report:
The documents, obtained from a source in the intelligence community, also reveal that the Obama Administration has presided over an unprecedented expansion of the terrorist screening system. Since taking office, Obama has boosted the number of people on the no fly list more than ten-fold, to an all-time high of 47,000—surpassing the number of people barred from flying under George W. Bush.
“If everything is terrorism, then nothing is terrorism,” says David Gomez, a former senior FBI special agent. The watchlisting system, he adds, is “revving out of control.”
The classified documents were prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center, the lead agency for tracking individuals with suspected links to international terrorism. Stamped “SECRET” and “NOFORN” (indicating they are not to be shared with foreign governments), they offer the most complete numerical picture of the watchlisting system to date.
It was later revealed that the federal government reportedly “spoiled the scoop” ahead of The Intercept’s report, allegedly leaking the story to the Associated Press, possibly because it’s considered to be a friendlier outlet to the government. The AP’s story was shorter and arguably less critical of the government’s position. The Intercept published its story just a few minutes after the AP.
The news website then reportedly held a conference call with the National Counterterrorism Center after its scoop was leaked to the AP, during which a government official reportedly admitted to feeding the story to the major news outlet.
“That was our bad,” the official reportedly said, explaining that they didn’t think the AP would publish its story ahead of The Intercept.
US government, pissed we were publishing our story, tried to undermine us by leaking it to other news organization right before we published
— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) August 5, 2014
Following the website’s report, the federal government also concluded there is a new leaker exposing national security documents, CNN reported. Despite the fact that The Intercept is the site launched by Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who published bombshell leaks from ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the government apparently believes Snowden is not behind the latest leaks.