Does Glenn Greenwald have a new leaker inside U.S. intelligence?
(CNN) — The federal government has concluded there’s a new leaker exposing national security documents in the aftermath of surveillance secrets disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, U.S. officials tell CNN.
Proof comes from national security documents that formed the basis of a story published Tuesday by the Intercept, the news site launched by Glenn Greenwald, who also published the Snowden’s leaks.
In the story the Intercept, citing classified documents,a large number of names on the U.S. government’s database of potential terror suspects are not actually connected to a terror group.
Of the 680,000 people caught up in the government’s Terrorist Screening Database—a watchlist of “known or suspected terrorists” that is shared with local law enforcement agencies, private contractors, and foreign governments—more than 40 percent are described by the government as having “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” That category—280,000 people—dwarfs the number of watchlisted people suspected of ties to al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined.
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.
The article cites documents prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center dated August 2013, which is after Snowden flew to Russia to avoid U.S. criminal charges.
Greenwald has suggested there was another leaker. In July, he said on Twitter “it seems clear at this point” that there was another. Government officials have been investigating to find out who.
The biggest database, called the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, now has 1 million names, a U.S. official confirmed to CNN.
That’s boosted from half that many in the aftermath of the botched attempt by the so-called underwear bomber to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner on Christmas Day in 2009.
The growth of TIDE, and other more specialized terrorist databases and watchlists, was a result of vulnerabilities exposed in the 2009 underwear plot, government officials said.
The underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab, was not on government watchlists that would have prevented him from being allowed to fly to the United States.
In 2012, the National Counterterrorism Center reported that the TIDE database contained 875,000 names. There were about 500,000 in 2009 before the underwear bomb plot.
The Intercept first reported the new TIDE database numbers, along with details of other databases.
One watchlist, the Terrorist Screening Database, which is a subset of the TIDE database, has 680,000 names, only a small number of which are Americans.
The Intercept report said, citing the documents, that 40% of those 680,000 don’t have affiliations to terrorist groups