A veteran official with the Department of Homeland Security claims he and other staff were ordered to destroy records on a federal database that showed links between possible jihadists and Islamic terrorist groups.
"After leaving my 15-year career at DHS, I can no longer be silent about the dangerous state of America’s counter-terror strategy, our leaders’ willingness to compromise the security of citizens for the ideological rigidity of political correctness—and, consequently, our vulnerability to devastating, mass-casualty attack," the former employee, Patrick Haney, wrote in an explosive column that was published late Friday on The Hill website.
Haney alleges that the Obama administration has been "engaged in a bureaucratic effort" to destroy the raw material and intelligence the Department of Homeland Security has been collecting for years, leaving the United States open to mass-casualty attacks.
His story starts in 2009, when during the holiday travel season, a 23-year-old Nigerian Muslim, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253, with explosives packed in his underwear and the hopes of slaughtering 290 travelers flying on Christmas Day from the Netherlands to Detroit, Michigan. Passengers subdued the jihadist and he was arrested, thwarting the plot.
Just one month before the attempted attack, Haney said, his DHS supervisors ordered him to either delete or modify the records for several hundred people tied to Islamist terror organizations, including Hamas, from the Treasury Enforcement Communications System, the federal database.
Those records give DHS the ability to "connect dots," explained Haney, and every day, the agency's Custom and Border Protection officials use the database while watching people who are associated with known terrorist affiliations to watch for patterns that could indicate a pending attack.
"Enforcing a political scrubbing of records of Muslims greatly affected our ability to do that," said Haney.
"Even worse, going forward, my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database," he wrote.