The FBI is acknowledging for the first time that it is considering keeping those who attacked the Capitol last week from boarding planes by adding them to the federal no-fly list.
When asked by CNN’s Evan Pérez, FBI Washington Field Office Assistant Director in Charge Steven D’Antuono said that the bureau would consider adding rioters to the no-fly list, which is administered by the Transportation Security Administration.
“As for the no-fly list, we look at all tools and techniques that we possibly can use within the FBI and that’s something we are actively looking at,” said D’Antuono.
On Tuesday, congressional leaders intensified calls to keep rioters off planes after they said they remained mostly in the dark from the agencies that oversee the list. “We cannot allow these same insurrectionists to get on a plane and cause more violence, and more damage,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
The top Democrat and Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee told TSA Administrator David Pekoske in a letter they were concerned “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.”
Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat, and ranking Republican member John Katko wrote they were concerned that many of the same groups that planned and carried out Wednesday’s attack intend to return to Washington, DC, to cause further disruption and violence in the coming days, including at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Some context: The no-fly list is derived out of the Terrorist Screening Database kept by the FBI. Much of how it works, including what qualifies a person for inclusion, is classified.
The FBI and other intelligence services can nominate individuals for the list or the selectee list, which designates an individual as the subject of additional security screening at the airport.
When a person checks in for a flight, his or her reservation information is checked against the TSA’s Secure Flight database, which includes determining whether the traveler is on the no-fly list or selectee list.