21,000 names now on DHS terrorist watch list
February 2, 2012
The secret government “no fly list” of suspected “terrorists” who are banned from flying to or within the United States more than doubled in 2011, according to figures obtained by the Associated Press.
The figures show that the list now contains around 21,000 names, close to 11,000 more than it did just one year ago.
The government contends that there are less than 500 American citizens named on the list.
The exponential growth in names added to the list is said to have been sparked by the failed underpants bombing incident on Christmas Eve 2009.
An anonymous U.S. counterterrorism official told the AP that after the 2009 incident, a new standard was set meaning someone no longer has to be considered a threat only to aviation to be placed on the no-fly list. People who are considered a broader threat to domestic or international security can also be added, the official stated.