The department report, titled "Supervision of Aliens Commensurate With
Risk," cited such states as Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan,
Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey on the list of specially-designated
countries. The Palestinian Authority was also placed on the list.
Visitors from these countries, all but five with Muslim majorities, were
meant to undergo a special security screening called "Third Agency Check"
when detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The report by the
Homeland Security Department's inspector-general called for all visitors
rom specially-designated countries to come under intense scrutiny.
"ICE's current TAC policy is ineffective because ICE does not perform a
TAC for 99 percent of the population of aliens from SDCs," the report said.
"According to ICE, TACs have resulted in high-profile prosecutions of
Officials said many of the Middle East states on the list of "specially
designated countries" were cooperating with U.S. authorities in
counter-insurgency. They said the list was drafted in 2004 and was based on
the type of visitors from these countries rather than the nature of their
"The United States maintains close intelligence-sharing relationships
with many of these countries in order to address security issues within
their own borders and in our mutual pursuit of safety and security around
the globe," ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said.
Officials said U.S. authorities could intensify screening under a new
counter-insurgency policy by the Obama administration.
On June 29, Obama's intelligence adviser John Brennan said Washington
continued to regard Al Qaida as the leading insurgency threat.
"Al Qaida seeks to bleed us financially by drawing us into long, costly
wars that also inflame anti-American sentiment," Brennan said.