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. cokids

    But what about people who end up on No Fly by mistake cause their name sounds like someone else's? Ted Kennedy was on the No Fly list!! Hey! What gives?

    Security is one thing....liberty is another!

    May 5, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • abdul rehman

      I am a doctor working in the US and I have been travelling all over the US. Recently NW airline refused to issue me the boarding pass when I was going to California with my wife for our honey moon. They told me that my name matches closely with someone on the no fly list. No one talks to us from TSA, the process is pending for many weeks. I feel the most helpless and the most vulnerable person in this country because of my name. I think the just is being replaced with authority and force.

      June 4, 2010 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tom MacIntosh

    DHS has missed the mark how many times now?! ...

    May 5, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. cokids

    I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't have a No Fly list, but we need to be sure it is used appropriately and while we're changing rules, let's fix the ones that make it possible for a US Senator to end up on the list!

    May 5, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bri Guy

    They said this after the shoe bomber.. they said this after the underwear bomber... now they are saying it again. We will spend billions and be no safer. The defense contractors, lobbyists and politicians whose campaigns are financed by the latter will be quite happy though!

    May 5, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. boo

    Ted Kennedy was probably on it from his drunken airplane exploits screaming eskimo power lol

    May 5, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. will

    I wouldn't care if I got flagged and it was a mistake. Better than having a crazy mofo like this guy getting through. Why does it matter if it takes an extra 5 minutes to realize I'm not a threat? Could save thousands of lives in the long-run.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • abdul rehman

      Many innocent people are black listed by this list. I am an example of this. It did not bother me till I became the culprit. Tomorrow is some one els's turn.

      June 4, 2010 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bri Guy

    Lately we have been reading about how these no fly lists fail to prevent terrorists from boarding, but we also hear all of the stories about how a 2 year olds with unfortunate coincidental names can never board planes. Brilliant.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. cookie357

    He did not succeed in leaving the country. This was not a system failure.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. km

    Only because the government was actively hunting for this guy did the no-fly list come even remotely close to working. Terrorists are allowed to board a plane, while grandmothers and children who have a name similar to what is on the list, get detained and grilled by airport security. Keep up the great work TSA.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. NoWay

    DHS – what a waste of valuable dollars and human effort.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brad

    Or what about 5-year-old 'suspected terrorists' who end up on the no-fly list?

    May 5, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  12. will

    Just wait til that 5 year old from the Middle East shows up as a suicide bomb. Nobody saw it coming.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • abdul rehman

      There might be a lot of terrorist from that area, but having a common name should not make you lose your rights to fly.

      June 4, 2010 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. Brad

    @will (#6): "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." These mix-ups rarely take 5 minutes to sort out. Every story I've read about innocents (from children to the elderly) getting tagged by the no-fly list has resulted in the person in question missing their flight because they were detained for hours and denied the chance to board their plane.

    While I am in theory favorable to a 'no-fly' list, it needs to be handled with professionalism and common sense.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Pericles

    Secretary Napolitano needs to step down. She is out of her league and cannot be trusted with such a profoundly important job.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mary

    There is no such thing as absolute security. Just because someone hasn't ever committed a crime in the past, doesn't mean they won't in the future and just because someone committed a crime in the past doesn't in mean they will do it again.

    Money spent on trying to keep people safe could be better spent somewhere else. Life is dangerous. Get over it already.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
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