Up to 10 encounters a day with possible terror suspects go unreported by state and local authorities, a senior FBI official said.
Leonard Boyle, director of the bureau's Terrorist Screening Center, told USA Today that failure to report brushes with people on the government's terrorist watch list represents missed opportunities to verify whether they are a match to the name on the list.
The FBI asks local police to contact the TSC when routine computerized background checks signal a possible match to the government's watch list, which contains an estimated 400,000 people, USA Today reported on Thursday.
Police notifications to the FBI result in the identification of 40 to 50 verified suspects a day, the paper says. A handful of those, Boyle said, result in arrests.
Failure to notify the FBI about brushes with suspects on the list forces the agency to reconstruct the encounters through interviews and police reports, Boyle told USA Today.
The paper stressed there is no evidence that this local reporting failure has resulted in any terrorist acts in the U.S.