Wired: No-Fly List Includes the Dead
By Kim Zetter
You may be dying, figuratively, to get off the government’s no-fly list, but death won’t guarantee removal.
The government’s no-fly list includes the names of dead suspects to help catch people who may try to assume the suspect’s identity, according to government officials who spoke with The Associated Press.
The no-fly list has been shrouded in mystery since it was first developed after the 9/11 attacks. How people get on the list or get off it has been a closely guarded secret, with only bits of information made public during congressional hearings.
The AP has pieced together the broad steps it takes for someone to get on the list, and some of the changes the list has undergone since it was created nine years ago.
The no-fly list has grown from 3,400 people to about 6,000 since last December, but it did not contain the name of airline passenger Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab, the AP said. The Nigerian tried to bomb a Detroit-bound Northwest airlines flight on Christmas Day using explosives packed in his underwear.
Abdulmuttalab’s name appeared in a terrorism database after his father tipped off U.S. embassy officials in Nigeria that his son might be involved in extremist activity. The government determined that the information did not meet the standard for placing him on the list or for revoking his U.S. visa.
The new names added to the list since his bombing attempt include people associated with al-Qaida’s Yemen branch (with whom Abdulmuttalab had ties), as well as other people from Nigeria and Yemen who might be connected to Abdulmuttalab, the AP said.
The current number on the no-fly list represents a pared down version of the list in 2004 when 20,000 people were on it. Those numbers were culled in 2007, and people who were no longer considered a threat were removed. These included, for example, some former members of the Irish Republican Army who were considered no longer active in terrorist activity.
More at the link in the title, including details of how one gets on and off the list.
Cue the comparisons to Chicago politics in five, four, three...