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. bob

    You idiots that commented on the potential threats to liberty from changing the "No Fly' list need to have your stupid, liberal heads examined. Its idiots like you–bet the vast majority are in their twenties,never paid a dime for anything they have of value,including their education, themselves-that are "dumbing down" and creating true security threats to this country to continue–just like our esteemed President–to quote a very wise sage–"the system worked"...again! Gimmie a damn break!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Al

    Since its inception, TSA has repeatedly earned its reputation as "Taking Scissors Away". The system is flawed. Airlines do not update, check and enforce the no-fly lists. The TSA is uninformed (the point where interceptions should be made, and who missed the four S designation on this flyer?). Gate checkers are uninformed. What is needed is a complete overhaul of the entire operation as it relates to air travel and security and insurance that those in command are competent (a major problem that has always plagued TSA and most other government security ) and know what to do and know when to do it.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. John

    TSA is a joke. They take too many coffee breaks and are not a full-time watchdog in the true sense of the word. They protect their jobs first. I am retired as an airline crew member and I can tell you what they "catch" in security lines one day is ignored the next, or even with the next person in line. Don't try to kid me on this one. I wish I had a dollar for every time I walked through with an object at one airport that was then disallowed at my next layover.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    I do not understand why the no-fly list cannot be automatically linked to the airlines' computer that prints boarding passes. If the passport number of the person buying a ticket equals the passport number of someone on the no-fly list, the ticket is not printed and the TSA is called to the desk. If they do not have a passport number of a person on the no-fly list, then put a mark on their ticket for TSA to give them a once-over at security.

    How hard can this be?

    May 5, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. Beasley

    Yeah, shift the blame to the airlines. Remember, this guy had to pass through TSA security. Why didn't they catch him? Don't they update their no-fly lists. They should be required to update their list after every donut they eat, no exceptions. And the same goes for crullers and Danish.

    Now we're seeing the fruits of putting so much emphasis on airport security and TSA. We've spent millions for these foolish scanners, and all we've caught is a few characters carrying personal-sized packets of recreataional drugs and a couple of old women who were seriously into lotion. Meanwhile, the terrorists have switched their focus to car bombs.

    Homeland Security is useless. Craigslist did more to catch this guy than they did.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ron

    Is it TSA that checks the names or the airlines? I have never had my name reviewed by a TSA staff person during security unless I was randomly selected for a check. I would bet the no fly list is only as good as the airlines doing the checking. The only way to put more teeth into it is to have a hefty fine to airlines that repeatedly violate the chekciong standards. I would bet no fine would really make them do something they do not want to do.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. Drew

    How about just automatically checking names as they are booked.
    and double check before they boards the plane..that way if the status changes they can't get through..

    so check status at booking then check again at check in..

    That might be more effective.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. SamRam

    RE: Highly Trained Terrorist

    Thankfully, he was not a "highly trained" terrorist; the people who encouraged him might be. The sons and daughters of families that received a $25,000 "grant" from the Saddam Hussein regime were not "highly trained" (some were actually teenage pregnant females); but they were effective and blew to bits hundreds of people on busses, at weddings or funerals, or at any place where unguarded innocents gather. Now, they have advanced the bizarre drive in their fanatic pursuit of "glory." They are attacking other groups of the Muslim Religion while they pray and prostrate themselves toward Allah; they are blasting to bits the dreams of their fellow citizenry while they gather in the marketplace or for a soccer game. Where is the "glory" and joy when you invade the lives - and end or ruin the lives - of those who have done you no harm? What kind of a bizarre fantasy does it take to think a soul, spirit - whatever one believes is the residue of our life on Planet Earth - will be welcomed with open arms after blowing to bits and maiming others of your own species?! And if there is a Here-After - wouldn't one have to Believe that there would be some other residual beings there that were somehow attached to the bodies that were blown apart on Planet Earth - and they would be a bit miffed?!

    May 5, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Teddy's Mom

    Geez, maybe the fact that he bought a ticket to the Middle East at the last minute and paid with cash might have sent up a red flag, whether or not he was on the no-fly list?? when will these idiots wake up and realize that they should screen people not stuff....

    May 5, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. nocash tickets

    i think someone paying cash for a ticket should be a HUGE red flag. if you can't pay cash for a rental car, why can you for a plane ticket?

    May 5, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. REK

    Current profiling methods are wrong. How can someone like this guy pass the scrutiny and becomes a US citizen a year ago? Many highly educated people are being refused visa entries into the US, even Christians with no criminal records whatsoever.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. Beasley

    Why don't we have anything other than names on the no-fly list? Shouldn't the whole list be computerized, with recent photos? If you've got some 50-year-old guy from the IRA named Thomas O'Malley on the list, the entry should include a recent photo, or at least something like his age so even a TSA agent won't mistake a 2-year-old in diapers for a dangerous terrorist.

    How can TSA be this stupid? Is Homeland Security that much of a refuge for fools and political hacks? (No answer required.)

    May 5, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. Fred

    I just figured they added everybody in America. Seems like that's the safest bet right?

    May 5, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. behind the scenes

    Buying a one way ticket with cash on the day of the flight should have caused bells and whistles to go off at the airline! There are more failures than simply not updating the no fly list.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. Arthur Paliden

    You mean to tell us that there is not a central server that the airlines access. Isn't that Rule #1 in database theory. Only one location for the data, that way when it is updated everyone has access to the update at the same time. After all, it is not like they cannot create a server to handle the load. IF the need help contact Google.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
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