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. George

    What about the poor fellow with a name like "Allen Kaider?"
    I can just see his name being announced at the gate as a standby passenger, "Would Al Kaider please come to the gate?
    I can only imagine the troubles he would face when flying in the States.

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

    nocash: "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?"

    Think...when you're renting a car, they require a deposit and a viable source of funding in case you damage it. The airelines have never required a damage deposit (though they might start considering it if they can't think of any more nuisance fees...), hence cash is just fine for them.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Robert Emery

    The "no fly" list was created to prevent terrorist ENTRY into and inside the United States. It appears we will now dictate who may enter a foreign country on their airlines. The system worked, Customs identified him.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Logical81

    I dodnt get it, how this new updated No-Fly thing is even gonna change anything..What if that Bomber had a flight immediately after he set off the explosives through a timer..How would DHS's new system work???

    May 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Realkelly

    Sounds to me like a simple database match would solve the problem. There's no reason a name match, SSN, DL, or passport # couldn't be checked as the ticket is printed which would offer updates REAL TIME. This is basic stuff-any decent computer science student could put this together and would be better than what they have now.

    TSA is reactive, why not start being proactive? Why not hire undercovers to try to break the system and find the loopholes like the FBI? Oh-I know why-because they worry more about protecting their image and not about real security. It's all smoke and mirrors just like most of our government. I've worked for numerous government contractors and all I know is that as soon as government oversight is introduced into the equation, things stop making sense, and somebody somewhere is having their pockets lined with green because of it.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    Janell: 'The problem is not the airlines but U.S. Customs. How did he get through customs to get on flight to Dubai in the first place. When you go to the international flight concourse you have to go through customs. THEY BLEW IT! The airlines would be the 2nd level of protection. Why no outcry about goverment agency blowing it 1st?"

    You've obviously never flown internationally. You go through Customs when you COME IN to the US, not when you leave.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mindest

    all said, glad he is caught – now release him into the GP at a STATE prison. Let him meet the 72 virgins !

    May 5, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AGeek

    DHS & TSA need to be disbanded. Repeated, abject failure is the norm, not the exception. DHS expects a different result by doing the same thing. That's the definition of insanity. I'm sick of my tax dollars being blown by these incompetent morons. Fire everyone in that chain of command from the bottom to the top, hire people who KNOW what they're doing, and start over.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Josh

    when people are talking about "giving up freedoms for liberty" in this bad reality take on 1984 doublethink and doublespeak, it begs to question, what is next? There are countries in the world that have much tighter security than us, and you know what? they have more terror attacks than us, tighter security has never been the answer. By us having changed our laws and by being a people who are so afraid to die that they will giv up living for being alive, it really is a shame, because that means the terrorists have indeed won...

    May 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Argi

    Homeland Security needs to get serious about security. So, now the airports will update info every two hours....... updates should be immediate. Will we ever get it right?

    May 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. zizewitz

    How stupid can people be??

    1) Of course, if the name is John Smith, Juan Perez or Jean Dupont, a lot of people have th same name. But as I must assume, aditional data is displayed, as passport or Driver License Nr, address, physical characteristics etc. etc., during check in immediately it would be clear if the person checking is another one.

    2) Why the hell the airlines are given 24 or 2 hour to actualize their No-Fly list?? It is no rocket scienceis to transfer the modificated list to the Airline computer without any delay!!

    May 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Third


    You will never be fully and truly safe. That is why the trade of liberty for safety you are suggesting is flawed and always will be.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Charlie

    I do not understand why we do not have passport control when we leave the US. Almost every other country I have been to has customs agents who check passports before you get to the gate. If the passport was checked electronically by a customs agent they should have caught him right away. Leaving it up to the airline to check every two hours is ridiculous.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John Q.

    Personally, I find it hard to believe in this day in age of instant electronic transmissions, that "no-fly lists" aren't automatically updated in some data base. That, and paying cash for such an expensive ticket would want me to investigate further if I ran an airline.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave Althaus

    The big question is, "Why have we entrusted our security to a bunch of amature morons like Janet Napolitano?"

    Obama needs to get rid of this idiot and put someone with genuine security credentials in the job....not some political-hack attorney.

    Semper Fi,

    May 5, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
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