FBI Confirms Capitol Rioters Being Considered For No-Fly List
The FBI has confirmed that it is considering adding some of the Capitol rioters to the no-fly list, after lawmakers raised concerns that not enough was being done to prevent those involved in the attacks from returning to commit more violence.
At a press conference on Tuesday, January 12, Steven D’Antuono, assistant director of the FBI’s Washington DC Field Office, confirmed that the no-fly list was among a number of tools that the Bureau was ‘actively looking at’ in response to Wednesday’s riots.
The news comes after a bipartisan letter was sent by lawmakers urging the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to take stronger action to limit the travel of pro-Trump supporters who participated in the violent attack on the Capitol.
Democrat Bennie Thompson and Republican John Katko, the two leading members of the House Homeland Security Committee, wrote:
[Growing] online chatter indicates that members of many of the same groups that planned and carried out Wednesday’s attack intend to return to Washington, D.C., to cause further disruption and violence in the coming days, including at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Despite this imminent threat, it appears little is being done to disrupt the travel of terrorists who just attacked the seat of the U.S. Government and wish to do so again.
Members of Congress have reportedly received briefings of several threats from violent pro-Trump supporters, including a plot to surround the White House, the Capitol and the Supreme Court. There are currently several thousand national guardsmen stationed in Washington D.C. ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
The no-fly list, which was created in the wake of 9/11 and is primarily used to block members of terrorist organisations from boarding flights in and to the United States, is compiled of mostly foreign individuals nominated from the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database. The FBI also maintains a separate ‘selectee list’, which requires extra airport security screening rather than an outright ban. It is not clear how many people currently sit on the highly classified no-fly list, but the figure is believed to be in the thousands.
In the days following the riots, videos have circulated on Twitter of passengers being turned away from flight gates, with some speculating that Capitol riot attendees had been added to the list. Fact-checkers have since said that these incidents are mostly the result of airlines refusing to board passengers without face masks, although it’s possible some of those affected had also been at the Capitol. Individual airlines are thought to maintain their own lists banning disorderly passengers from flying in the future, but these are separate to the federal no-fly list.
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