Terrorist Entered Witness Protection, Then Fled the United States

By on May 17, 2013

Should you ever be accused of terrorism, here’s what you should do: Snitch on your friends, demand to be placed under witness protection, then fly out of the country. According to a stunning report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, this is remarkably easy to do — and it’s actually happened.

Not one, but two suspected terrorists placed in the federal witness security (WITSEC) program have managed to elude the U.S. Marshals Service, even though their status as suspected terrorists meant the should have appeared on federal no-fly lists.

“In July 2012, the USMS stated that it was unable to locate two former WITSEC participants identified as known or suspected terrorists,” according to the Justice Department’s inspector general (.pdf), “and that through its investigative efforts it has concluded that one individual was and the other individual was believed to be residing outside of the United States.”

Neither individual is identified, and it is not clear when they gave the feds the slip. Apparently, only two former terrorists entered witness protection in the last six years. Jake Tapper first reported this for CNN.

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