Stories about the "No Fly" Lists

June 6, 2003
Stories about the "No Fly" Lists

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, different government agencies created lists of suspected terrorists that should be prevented from flying.  These "no fly" lists quickly spread to private companies and other organizations.  

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Although it is important to have a watch list of suspected terrorists, no agency has taken responsibility for ensuring that these lists are accurate -- and that those people placed on the list by accident can be allowed to fly again. 

As a result, numerous innocent people have been prevented from flying because their name resembles a terrorist alias or some government error that put their name on the initial list. 

Here is an example of the result of this national origin profiling and government error: 

  • A University of Texas graduate, Asif Iqbal who faced regular searches and interviews by law enforcement because his surname is common in Arab countries.         

These error-prone "No Fly" lists aren't making us any safer.  Instead of watching out for real terrorists, security agents are forced to spend their time dealing with people whose only crime is to have a name that resembles a suspected terrorist's name.

For more information on "No Fly" lists and other issues, please visit the ACLU's Keep America Safe and Free Campaign.  Please become a member of the ACLU and visit the Action Center to get active.  Freedom cannot defend itself.

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