May 5th, 2010
10:12 AM ET

DHS changing no-fly list policy after Times Square plot

The Department of Homeland Security is changing its no-fly list update policies to prevent a repeat of what happened Monday, when the suspect in the Times Square attempted bombing was allowed to board a plane despite his name being on the no-fly list, a DHS official told CNN Wednesday.

The official said the Transportation Security Administration will require airlines to check the no-fly list within two hours of being electronically notified of additions or changes. Previously, airlines were required to re-check the list within 24 hours.

Faisal Shahzad, who has been charged in connection with the attempted bombing in Times Square, was able to board Emirates Flight 202 late Monday despite being put on a no-fly list earlier in the day. He made his reservation by phone as he drove to the airport just hours before the flight, investigators said. When he paid for his ticket in cash at the ticket counter, the airline had not refreshed its information so his name did not raise any red flags, a senior counterterrorism official told CNN.

soundoff (281 Responses)
  1. Rahman

    Even if he had departed and arrived at his destination,he would be returned to US by Pakistani Government. There is a level of co-operation that cannot be disclosed. Blaming the TSA or DHS is irrelevant.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. openout

    no one gets to board a plane with out a no fly list check. i dont care if you name is George Washington Jefferson Lincoln Smith.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CWalter

    His name was on the list. Why don't they write a computer program to check that no-fly list that puts up red flags and alarms to alert the seller before the ticket can be sold? It doesn't do any good to have the no-fly list if the airlines aren't going to check it before they sell tickets.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bob

    To all the people complaining about the No Fly List: Would you rather have a no-fly list or not? It's a GOOD THING we have one. We obviously need to have SOME kind of system in place to protect the people of this country. Yes, there have been mistakes, but ya know what? I'd rather at least HAVE ONE than NOT. And, furthermore, instead of complaining about the existing system, how bout offering some brilliant, practical, alternatives, and maybe writing your senator with those ideas? Oh wait I forgot, that's probably too much work for all the complainers on here.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chirag

    1. Airline should refresh the list and review the list with DHS or customs for any international inbound or outgoing flight.
    2. Put security like isarael on usa airports it is better to have security layers instead of blowing up in the air.
    3. Citizen interview time, interview them in all aspectes. Do random psycological analysis for the flagged ppl..

    May 5, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dick

    The fact that the reservation was made by phone only shortly before takeoff with payment in cash should raise red flags, and add in the final destination of Pakistan should raise more flags.
    Even though occassionaly grandmothers and kids end up being detained due to their name similarily is a small price to pay for keeping a terrorist off my plane, even if I personally get delayed.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kevin

    I don't understand what needs to be changed. No fly means no fly. His name should have set off alarms when he was buying a ticket on his way to the airport. Cops should have been waiting for him. I don't think it needs changing, I think the people administrating the no fly policy need changing. A lot of ppl should loose their jobs. Obama handed out a lot of jobs to ppl who helped him get elected. With these political friends come all their flunkies.Regardless of their qualifications. A lot of real security personnel are going to start jumping ship & going to the private security sector.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pedro Torres

    So now the terrorist just need to board a plane in less than 2 hours?

    May 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. A no-fly lister

    The government is being reactive, not proactive. The 24 hour rule wasn't good enough, so they changed it to 2 hours. The next time it happens a terrorist will escape the no-fly list because 2 hours wasn't short enough. They need to be proactive and implement the no-fly list check in real time.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mediamogul

    apparently you've never met my 2 yr-old...I would't let him on a plane either!

    May 5, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jeannie

    Well since you just announced they have to check within two hours, how many terrorists will now wait until the last minute to board! How stupid is the DHS??????????????????????????????????

    May 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ann

    TSA is not the problem. The airline allowed a last minute reservation, a one way
    ticket purchased with cash to board a flight to the Middle East just after an
    attempted bombing in Times Square without checking against an UPDATED
    no fly list.

    Even without a list, that should send up a number of flags!

    May 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Steve

    The grandmothers and kids who get detained are not "on the No-Fly List". In actuality, they are called "False Positives". The system singles them out because they have a name that is the same or similar to the name of a person who is on the No-Fly List.

    In other words, if the name John Smith gets added to the list then anyone with that name, as well as someone with the name Jon Smith, John Smythe, Joan Smith, can end up having to be cleared each and every time they fly.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim

    The airlines want to sell tickets, board planes, fly and make money. They do not want to be cops on the beat for the Department of Homeland Security. The TSA should be checking for names on the no fly list, not the airlines.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. James

    DHS is just an illusion of competence. You have to have something in place so others looking in think you have it covered. Truth is they're no more or less competent than any other agency in existence. If we're going to put our entire safety in the hands of others we have to understand they're not perfect. They can't be.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
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