U.S. Blocks 350 Suspected Terrorists
USA is a strongest nation in the globe to take measures against terrorism since it had much trouble by them. We cannot forget Sept ’11 attack, bomb threat of an airline on Christmas 2009.Today it is a big challenge to all the nations to fight against terrorism. But then also terrorist do happen all the times. Many people wonder that how it could happen? Reason is so simple a terrorist is also a common man, there is no special identification, and he can be mixed with the people.So, how could we stop them? Ans: Suspect everybody! We have to stop them in each and every part of the world.
Recently U.S. government has prevented more than 350 people suspected of ties to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups from boarding U.S.-bound commercial flights since the end of 2009.Until 2001, hundreds of foreigners with known or suspected ties to terrorism passed through security and successfully flew to the United States each year, U.S. officials told the AP. The government said these foreigners typically told Customs officers they were flying to the U.S. for legitimate reasons such as vacations or business. Security practices changed after an admitted Al Qaeda operative from Nigeria was accused of trying to blow himself up on a flight to Detroit on Christmas 2009. Until then, airlines only kept passengers off U.S.-bound planes if they were on the no-fly list, a list of people considered a threat to aviation.
Now before an international flight leaves for the U.S., the government checks passengers against a larger watch list that includes Al Qaeda financiers and people who attended training camps but aren't considered threats to planes. The government was checking this list before, but only after the flight was en route. If someone on the flight was on the watch list, the person would be questioned and likely refused entry to the country after the plane landed
Hundreds of people linked to Al Qaeda, Hamas, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terror groups have been kept off airplanes under the new rules. They include what U.S. officials described as a member of a terrorist organization who received weapons training, recruited others, fought against American troops and had a ticket to fly to the U.S.
A third case, in January, involved a Jordanian man booked from Amman, Jordan, to Chicago, who was considered a threat to national security, according to a law enforcement official. The State Department had already revoked his visa. He was on the terrorist watch list but not the no-fly list. He was not considered a threat to aviation.
After U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers performed the now-routine check, the man was kept off the flight. Before the change, he would have arrived in Chicago, where he would have likely been stopped at customs, questioned and sent home.
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the terror watch list and its derivative, the no-fly list, became some of the government's best-known counterterrorism tools. They also became some of the most criticized, as innocent travelers were inconvenienced when they were mistaken for terrorism suspects. Outrage forced the government to pare the lists, which airlines checked before allowing people to fly.
After the attempted Christmas attack, the intelligence community took a closer look at the names on terror watch lists and set new standards for adding names to them. The watch lists, including the most restrictive no-fly list, are constantly reviewed. Names are added and removed each day. There are between 11,000 and 12,000 people on the no-fly list, about 1,000 of which are U.S. citizens, a U.S. official told Fox News.
The most expansive terror watch list is comprised of about 450,000 names of people the U.S. intelligence community believes has or could have ties to terrorists. Many of the people on this list are still being investigated.
Simply being on the most expansive watch list does not mean a person won't be allowed to enter the U.S. When Customs and Border Protection reviews passenger lists and matches someone on the terror watch lists, CBP will check information available on the person before it recommends to the airline whether the person can board the plane, McAleenan said. In most cases, if CBP recommends against allowing the passenger to board, it's because the person would be turned away upon arrival inside the United States due to security concerns.
American citizens who are not considered threats to aviation but are on the terror watch list cannot automatically be prevented from flying to the U.S.
Customs officers will likely question a U.S. citizen who is on the terror watch list when he or she comes into the country. But without grounds for arrest, the officers must let them arrive. This also applies to a U.S. citizen who is on the no-fly list but who walks or drives back into the U.S. through land-border crossings.