It’s the agency tasked with protecting the United States from terror and domestic attacks, gathering and parsing intelligence, and in general not an agency one would expect to have large amounts of equipment and credentials go missing. However, according to a Fox News and Complete Colorado report, that’s exactly what’s happened.
From Fox News:
Inventory reports, obtained by the news site Complete Colorado and shared with FoxNews.com, show that over 1,300 badges, 165 firearms and 589 cell phones were lost or stolen over the span of 31 months between 2012 and 2015.
The majority of the credentials belonged to employees of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), while others belonged to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees.
“It’s scary that you’d have that number of credentials out there that someone could manipulate,” Tim Miller, a retired Secret Service special agent, told FoxNews.com…
“The thing that’s particularly concerning is that if you get real credentials, it’s very easy to manipulate them, and you’ve got someone else’s picture on what law enforcement would see as valid,” Miller said. “Then you factor in terrorism, it’s a significant concern that people would run around with authentic credentials and be able to access areas they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.”
Obviously, the major concern is that these credentials could be used for a terror attack on US soil. However, they could also be used by organized crime elements, including the violent Mexican drug cartels.