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. JS

    Wiat until we find out that the government's "No Fly List" servers have crashed because all of the airlines are trying to download these lists every two hours in accordance with the new rules. Then there will be no active list. I would expect that the airlines currently download these lists in the middle of the night when there are a minimum of current flights in any given country. This is just a promise of "we're doing something.. for false security".


    May 5, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Christopher

    The no fly list is worthless, to be blunt. It has NEVER kept ANYONE who shouldn't be flying on a plane from getting on a plane. N E V E R!

    It's time to scrap it and realize that the no-fly list is a serious waste of time, money and energy.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JayS

    How about this guy drive across the border to Montreal, and take a flight from there? Should the "no-fly-list" be extended to "no-cross-border-list"?

    May 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Charles david

    I do love the US, and as one of it's citizens, I don't know why I feel this reeks of American intervention. This is one of the typical disaster capitalism tenants, implimentation of police state tactics. There are alot of gaps in this story, I have an instinct that some how the CIA, Chicago University Dept. of Economics and powerful Freedmanites are somehow involved. Just when things were seemingly getting back to normal, folks traveling, economy showing signs of improving, ...I just get a wierd impression that this more recent terrorist activity is some how driven by some US powers....too fishy... to me. And really I do love my country,hell I've even worn a certain rank and file dark blue uniform right in the middle of NYC..but I thinking this is not jiving right if you start to question the gaps in this story.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. canonscottage

    There can never be a totally fail-safe system, and nobody will ever be completely protected - that's life. I've been through the Israeli system going into and out of Tel Aviv. I'm not sure most Americans can keep their mouths closed and answer only questions asked. When will we have the first child dressed with explosives in a diaper or the grandmother terrorist?

    At this time, paying for a ticket at the last minute in cash for any destination would seem to raise a question.

    It seems to me we Americans have myriad opinions about how much security is enough and when lines are crossed for it to be too much.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anna

    Wow..... ok reading some comments just goes to show how little people reallly know about how our current system is set up. There are 8 major database companies that deal with airline tickets. Almost everyone dumps data in and gets it from these guys. Keeping real time updates would be simple for the airlines, BUT only if the government gave them the data in real time. Yes adding pictures would help. Yes, on 9/11 all of the airline employees cried, including myself and a lawyer and president of a major airline. The airlines do not want a repeat and have done everything they know how to do to help. That being said, the TSA agents at the airport are not as responsive as they should be. And because they are a government agency, they don't have to work with the private airline companies. If these groups would get together they could come up with a solution that would help everyone. Have all airline employees be allowed to give input as well as citizens and see what can be done to improve the situation.

    And yes, a picture would keep my little guy from getting harassed when he gets on a plane, or common sense, the guy on the list with the same name is 24 years older than my son.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ed G

    people people,

    normally I would love to go into sarcasm mode after reading all of these entries, but this is too serious for that. Seriously several of you have made some very persuasive arguments for both sides. The facts as I see them are that we wish to live in a free democratic society, some maybe willing to give up some of that for a feeling of more security, then again some not. But we have a right to choose, and majority (hopefully) rules. The various agencies all have their quirks and selective wants and needs; and of course each one thinks theirs is better. But the bottom line should be that the American people's wishes should be their first priority, not keeping secrets from the powers that be, or the people, and definitely not each other, We know the current system works, Yes it has flaws, but as it is with friendships and relationships- today's failure makes us forget the positive results of the past. We have one of the best think tanks on the planet- as a matter of fact we should gather all the think tanks around the globe to attack this devastating problem en-masse! It is obvious there needs to be several changes and overhauls to make this more secure and flawless. Adding the caveat to make things run smoother, quicker and with less hassle and frustration to the innocent general flying public. So far I think given what little I know of the intricacies of security, Israel seems to have somewhat of a handle on it- but I don't have a clue as to their success ratio or their mistakes on innocent travelers.

    I can see there are very strong opinions on both sides of this equation and blogging although helpful in venting, does little to change anything really. In order for this to be noticed and acted upon we need to figure out a way to get the point across. True, if 911 didn't I am at a loss as to what would. (without killing even one person!)

    I try to stay neutral in the political arena when it comes to voting. I used to be a Liberal, then Conservative, then the other plethora of factions we have in this magnificent country of ours, and finally when the dust settled I am now party-less! Each party has something great and good and yet something bad and ridiculous to it. I find I do much better looking at the individual candidate, crisis or law as they come and decide on the merits as I see them. That doesn't mean I don't make mistakes, I do but then usually at least its my decision therefore My fault.

    But to all of you, keep on trying, this is not something that will solve itself.

    May G-d give us the wisdom to saves us all.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Peter G.

    Instead of tightening it up to 2 hours after the new notice is given, why can't each plane's final manifest be checked against the latest notice that is electronically sent directly from DHS to each departure gate or the plane itself. This seems more efficent rather than waiting for some airline offical to check the updated list after returning from lunch and let an actual or potential terrorist fly through our fingers.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. babita

    The many times that DHS and TSA screwed up, one would think they recruit these folks at the local pre K school.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Charles david

    @ Ed G, in the words of George Carlin, "religion is bull$&!#"

    May 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MJD

    This should be a required real-time, dynamic update. The airlines can instantly update the number of seats left on a plane, the time the plane left, etc. Why can't they instantly update no-fly list changes? Let Apple do it. They can write an app for it that the airlines can download!

    May 5, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SlanderMan

    Eventually the entire airline/transportation system in this country will go bankrupt and it will be homeland security standing in the background shrugging their shoulders.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kingtrick

    Pretty soon they will start charging you to be on the no-fly list.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Michael

    Reading through the comments above, I have a solution that I think many will find appealing.

    How about every person of Middle Eastern origin being required to wear an armband or some other clearly distinguishable symbol to make it easier to prevent terrorism. Add to that list anybody we don't like. And set up a semi-civilian authority board to monito-.. oh, wait. TSA. We're good.

    Now excuse me while I go practice me "Sieg Heil!"s, you uneducated nitwits.

    Long live second bloody Weinmar republic...

    May 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Linda

    2 HOURS REVIEW NOW – MY ASS! The local casino's even give clerks an instant notification of a guest is 86(th). Surely, the same can be done at the airport desk.What's to say he wouldn't have blown up that plane he was allowed to board. Poor, poor, poor protection – Homeland Security should hang their head in shame that he was even allowed to enter the gate. Time that 'heads roll' on this incident all the way to the top..

    May 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19