November 30, 2021

U.S. removes names from no fly list for the first time

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securityBy Jessica Plautz From Mashable

The U.S. government has removed seven people from the No Fly List following a decision by a U.S. district court that the procedures in place for challenging placement on the list was unconstitutional.

The Department of Justice sent a letter to the ACLU Friday with the names of those removed from the list. The ACLU has been challenging the inclusion of 13 people — the government has until January to respond about the other six people.

Traditionally, all actions surrounding the No Fly List has been extremely opaque — you may not know you’re on the list until you attempt to board a plane.

In June, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown said the procedures to challenge being on the list “fall short of the ‘elementary and fundamental requirement of due process’ to be afforded ‘notice reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present objections.”

Under the Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, travelers who have been denied boarding or had other problems flying. Many people do not even find out they are potentially on the watch list until they have trouble traveling. The response to a redress would be a letter that wouldn’t even explain why the person was on the watch list — or if they had been removed after inquiring about if they were on it or not.

Federal officials have said that making the list public is a threat to national security. Federal officials have said that making the list public is a threat to national security.

Ibraheim Mashal, a Marine veteran, is one of the people who was removed from the list.

“More than four years ago, I was denied boarding at an airport, surrounded by TSA agents, and questioned by the FBI,” Mashal said. “That day, many freedoms that I took for granted were robbed from me. I was never told why this happened, whether I was officially on the list, or what I could do to get my freedoms back. Now, I can resume working for clients who are beyond driving distance. I can attend weddings, graduations, and funerals that were too far away to reach by car or train. I can travel with my family to Hawaii, Jamaica, or anywhere else on vacation.”

The notice of removal from the list was almost as mysterious as the explanation for including the individuals in the first place.

“At this time, apart from the information above, we make no other representations with respect to past or future travel [of the seven individuals],” wrote DOJ attorney Amy Powell. “We have no further information to provide at this time.”

IMAGE: Passengers wait to go through a screening area at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Monday, Jan. 4, 2010, in SeaTac, Washington. IMAGE: ELAINE THOMPSON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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