MEDFORD, MA -- Today, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, urged the Department of Homeland Security to enforce the terrorist no-fly list everyday in every country, not just red alert days in the U.K.:

"It shouldn't take an imminent terrorist attack and a Code Red alert to ensure that no international flight takes off for a U.S. airport before the terrorist watch list has been checked.  The rule should be:  'No wheels up until the no-fly list has been checked off.'  It was the right policy during the recent Red threat level on flights from Britain to the U.S., and it should be the policy today for all international flights to the U.S. and all domestic flights.  The Department's recent progress in this area, while welcome, is long overdue."

During the recent 'Red' threat level, the names of all passengers taking off from Britain to the United States reportedly were checked against the Department of Homeland Security's terror watch list prior to departure from the U.K.  Currently, international flights are permitted to take off for the United States without this check, as long as the information is submitted to DHS soon after the plane is in flight. Last month, TSA issued a notice of proposed rule-making announcing the beginning of a public process to create a final rule on checking the no-fly list prior to departure of international flights to the U.S. The 9/11 intelligence reform bill enacted in December 2005 included the requirement that this rule-making process begin in early 2005.

August 14, 2006

CONTACT: Israel Klein