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. Tom M.

    I was on the Terrorist Watch list for a few months because my surname had a space where it shouldn't, which at a quick glance you would not see, and that space made me an IRA suspect. But as stated by Will (#6 way above), better to be safe than sorry, Yeah, I'd get a bit frustrated the first and second time, but it was only a 5-10 minute delay at the check-in desk. Big deal – I built-in that delay into my travel plans. AND I was able to get it cleared up with the TSA because I gave the information they needed to clear it up and didn't make a stink about it. If we stop stinking and start working with the process then the process will get cleaned up and those that shouldn't fly won't fly and EVERYONE will be safe.

    May 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. AmCit


    May 5, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dg-mon

    It has been almost 9 years since the attacks on America. Today, the Department of Homeland Security announced it is changing its no-fly list update policies to prevent a repeat of what happened Monday. Twenty years ago, I tried to check out a book from the public library and a red flag came up next to my name, announcing that I still owed $1.55 in fines for an overdue book. And just a few days ago, a would-be terrorists waltzed right through our multi-million dollar screening system, unnoticed. Maybe Janet Napolitano can take a lesson from how libraries do business.-dg

    May 5, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. J H

    How do we know if DHS did NOT let him on board intentionally.
    Think about this: You can still make phone calls as long as the plane in not airborne. They (FBI) may have taped his cell phone in order to get last min. information. I would have done that. So I think all Agencies involved did a grate job!


    May 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. arnie

    Andrew, give them more ideas like your

    "One of these days terrorist will have names such as David Jones, Larry Smith or Mary Rodriguez "

    The idiot terrorists love suggestions like yours.

    May 5, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AmCit

    We are overboard with being politically correct and p_ssy foot around trying not to "offend" anyone....we need to swing back to protecting our country.

    May 5, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |

    How about this TSA and Homeland Security, How about we check every body who wishes to fly in and out of ever airport and then require them to be verified at the time of boarding that they where pre checked by home land security and The TSA. This is fair to all and equal treatment.

    May 5, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jim J

    I recommend another amendment:

    beard + unibrow = no fly

    May 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Frank

    Why a no-fly list has to be updated? Can they have a central computer that operated and updated by the Feds and every airlines check against it? In this way every change will be shown immidately.

    May 5, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TWE

    I think you guys are missing the point of this no-fly list. The list is extensive and lots of people are the list with very generic names. Like a previous poster mentioned, it only takes a few minutes to clear a name from the list (typically) so that's not a problem.

    You guys say it should raise red flags because someone pays in cash for a last minute flight. Do you have any idea how many do this? Family members get sick all the time and people travel last minute with cash to places all over the planet ALL. THE. TIME. I'm not saying we shouldn't take precautions, but how would you feel if you were told you couldn't board a plane to see your dying mother because she lived in a Muslim country and you had a name that was GIVEN to you by no fault of your own all because there was an emergency and you don't have a credit card (as many people in this country do not have). I worked at a ticket counter in San Diego, and we had a lot of Mexicans come up to purchase tickets (on a daily, almost hourly basis) with cash. They deserve the privilege to fly as well, don't they?

    Does the name Timothy McVeigh sound like a terrorist? He is one of many names that do not "sound" like terrorists. And how hard is it to have you rname changed? You guys are being unreasonable in thinking that this problem can be solved by looking at your local library's policy....seriously???

    May 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rob10

    Someone can still get a ticket at the airport and get on a flight an hour before.
    There needs too be a sytems procedure in ticketing that cross checks the no fly list automatically.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. AmCit

    If it were left up to this tax paying, US born grandmother citizen, I would show them the same courtesy as they are showing us. They'd better have fear of me....perhaps not of our government, but certainly a grandmother. I'm sick and tired of these people sponging off us, going to our schools, and wanting to kill us. Cowards....cowards.....cowards.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. scott

    I for one am very impressed that the investigation teams, operating from barest of clues grabbed this guy within a few dozen hours. Say what you will - that's not a trivial accomplishment.

    There should perhaps be a mechanism when some security issue is particularly in the air to redlight all of the airlines to refresh and review their No Fly list on a moment's notice, and not allow even a taxiing airplane to depart once an alert has sounded.

    These guys did a brilliant job and we should feel good about that. I am kind of sick of the screaming I have been hearing on Rush this morning, and on Glen Beck. I think these guys are nothing but seditious clods concerned mostly about padding their bank accounts: even I could scream for three hours a day if I was being paid $3 million a week like Rush.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. GORDON

    A goverment agency And the airlines are not the people who should be handeling our security. This should be handeled by the US military.
    Preferbly the Marines.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. can't cha

    Another false flag!!

    May 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
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