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. Henry

    TSA a liberal creation ? .....Are your really that ignorant. TSA was created during the Bush administration.Check your facts again and stop listening to Rush and Beck.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. miken

    This is why racial profiling is really the best method.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. AL

    @cokids: While your concern is valid, it is not valid for this conversation. Homeland security sends the updates when they have it, and then the airlines need to refresh their computer systems. Presently they have 24 hours to comply (why it's not a live update is beyond me), but now they will have 2 hours to comply. Since it's a computer update on the side of the airliens (at least it would make total sense since that list is shared globally, and physically entering it at each computer terminal is very impractical) there is no manual key entry issues.

    While it sucks for people who get put on there by mistake, it would suck even more if a criminal (terrorist, or otherwise) managed to flee the country.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. kitty

    I agree with will...I would rather be SAFE than DEAD

    May 5, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Anna

    My 4 yr old was on the no fly list and the guards had him strip down to nothing but shorts and socks by time a manager came by and made them stop it. It was INSANE. I know they aren't supposed to profile, but the typical 4 yr old threat is noise and spilled drinks. We have forgotten common sense in this country!

    May 5, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. AmericanD

    You're blaming the DHS because the Airline hadn't refreshed it's list as required? The law previously allowed 24 hours, they had his name much longer than that.
    Oh, and Vance, yes, you will die. And your murderer will get away. Or maybe he'll just kill your children. Does that thought make it more pleasant for you? Why don't we just excuse any criminal activity that isn't caught red-handed? That's some god awful reasoning right there.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. Steve

    There are no grandmothers or babies or 5 year olds on the No Fly List. The list consists of names. Once a name gets a hit, like Ted Kennedy, they dig deeper and get identifying information to check against the person stopped to determine if that person is identical to the name on the list. The No Fly List is just one tool used by the security agencies, it's not the bell end all. All you commenters with generalized whines need to get some facts and stop relying on urban myth..

    May 5, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. will

    Better safe than sorry people. And is it really profiling when the suspects all seem to end up having a few characteristics in commen? Give the system all the crap you want, but without it, how many attacks would there have been? The fact of the matter? They caugt him. Instead of complaining about everything you hate in government, why dont you make a change? Or leave?

    May 5, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. Grumpy

    We're turning into Communist Russia. We will have labor prisons and Gulags soon.

    Authoritarian Police State

    May 5, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. CarolineC

    OK, so the new policy "require airlines to check the no-fly list within two hours of being electronically notified of additions or changes." Once again, TSA is getting it wrong. The "no-fly" list, updated, should be combined with the reservation and ticketing info so that the MINUTE a reservation is made or ticket issued, the person's name shows up. IMMEDIATELY! How hard is this?

    Any 13 year old computer whiz can do this.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. John

    My 48-year old sister is on the no-fly list. She is about as far-removed from being a terrorist as is possible, she is a mother and works as an auto service writer in Atlanta. But they do manage to detain and question her at length before a flight, she has to get to the airport 3 hours early. She has been unable to convince TSA that she is not a terrorist. But if someone comes from Nigeria or Pakistan that is OK they are able to move about freely and do as they please when they please, to whom they please wherever they wish.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. AL

    For those that say "they are looking at kids, grand parents, etc" – Do you think a 5 year old can't be strapped with a bomb? You think grandma can't be strapped with a bomb? It doesn't take much to carry a 10 lb device, strapped to your chest, and pull the string (or let a timer take care of it).

    For those that are quoting Ben Franklin – FAIL. It's your only answer, without any support for todays events. Terrorism today did not exist in the times of Ben Franklin. Then wars were fought on the battlefield, and with exceptions of criminals in uniform civilians were not targetted. In fact during the civil war, at the end of the battle, civilians would come out and help both northern and southern soldiers. Todays suicide bombers target innocents and are not dressed in uniforms, carrying flags, or respecting the rules of battle. Back during the civil war- when you put your weapons down you were taken as prisoner and treated humanely (with some exception, as there is when dealing with large amounts of people) a days, when a terrorist group catches you – well pray for a quick death...but you will be tortured, and then beheaded on TV.

    For those that are saying "TSA FAIL" "DHS FAIL" – first this guy was caught, not because of the no-fly, but because he was being tracked by the feds. So you are wrong that DHS failed. The no-fly list didn't work, so they are adjusting it...that is how things improve...if that doesn't work then they will find something else. If you have a better idea then you may want to call the feds and tell them...they pay good money for smart consultants. Second – the feds don't always announce when they stop a terrorist cell...a lot of times it is kept secret for a larger operation (e.g. if Cell A doesn't know that Cell B was caught, then Cell A may still try and contact Cell B to complete previous plans...but since Cell B was caught, it may tip off the feds). BTW if you think we would be safer without the FBI, DHS, CIA, NSC, and other such groups you are sadly mistaken. Remove our police forces for a day and watch how riots break out because bad people exist and given the opportunity they will do bad things.

    I enjoy my freedoms, but I also enjoy not having to worry if the restaurant I am sitting at is going to blow up.

    Thank you gov't for protecting me.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. Scott

    I get Facebook updates, email and twitter in real time. It just seems like the no-fly list could do the same.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. navy veteran

    Airport security is possible. Isrealies do a stellar job of it. Every European airport I have been in does a better job than the US. I remember the powerful impact I felt in Rome when there were multiple officers with machine guns on their shoulder watching as someone went through everything in my luggage. And that was just routine screening. I didn't feel a loss of liberty. In fact I was grateful that they were increasing my chances of living another day.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • abdul rehman

      Thats a good alternative.

      June 4, 2010 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dan

    You can thank Bush for letting him become an American.

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