You may be dead, but the U.S. government won't take you off its terrorist roster.
That's according to newly leaked internal guidelines from last year that reveal intimate details regarding the government's process for determining whether an individual should be designated as a possible terrorist suspect.
So broad are their criteria that an individual is able to be placed onto a watch list—and kept there—even if he or she is acquitted of a terrorism-related crime. Additionally, the guidelines note that a deceased person's name may stay on the list because such an identity could be used as an alias by a suspected terrorist.
The rationale for adding someone to a watch list has gone from broad and opaque under the Bush administration to even more expansive under the Obama administration, according to an analysis by The Intercept, which published the guidelines on Wednesday.
The 166-page report, assembled by the National Counterterrorism Center in March 2013, provides guidance to the government's myriad intelligence agencies on the rules for placing an individual in a terrorist database, including the controversial "no-fly" list that bars certain travelers from boarding flights.
The "no-fly" list was dramatically strengthened shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But the 2013 internal guidance report indicates that a "substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system" has continued under the Obama administration and with the permission of the president, a decision made after the 2009 "underwear bomber" incident that occurred on a passenger flight to Detroit.