Congressman Asks TSA, FBI to Place Capitol Rioters on No-fly List
Pro-Trump rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol should be added to the federal no-fly list, the chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security said on Thursday.
The call to ban those who breached the Capitol building from flying came as airlines began to step up security for flights in and out of the nation's capital, and American Airlines ceased serving alcohol on area flights. It also followed reports of passengers demonstrating "politically motivated aggression" on flights to Washington D.C. prior to the riot.
"Given the heinous domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol yesterday, I am urging the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use their authorities to add the names of all identified individuals involved in the attack to the federal No-Fly List and keep them off planes," Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, a democrat from Mississippi and the chair of the Committee on Homeland Security, said in a statement. "This should include all individuals identified as having entered the Capitol building—an intrusion which threatened the safety of Members of Congress and staff and served as an attack on our Nation."
He added: "Alleged perpetrators of a domestic terrorist attack who have been identified by the FBI should be held accountable."
The FBI did put out a request for help identifying people "related to violent activity" in the Capitol building.
Thompson's call echoed that of Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.
"The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person on board," Nelson told Reuters on Wednesday. "Acts against our democracy, our government and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight."
While it was not immediately clear if these rioters would be placed on the no-fly list, at least one airline was debating banning them: Alaska Airlines said more than a dozen passengers could be barred from flying with the carrier in the future after they refused to wear masks, were rowdy and argumentative, and harassed the crew on a flight from Dulles International Airport to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Thursday night, KIRO 7 reported.
Chuck Schumer, the soon-to-be Senate majority leader from New York, reiterated the call for rioters to be placed on a no-fly list a few days later at a press conference in New York City on Tuesday.
"Amidst the continued threat of future violence online, the federal government's own concerns... we cannot allow these same insurrectionists to get on a plane and cause more violence and more damage. These individuals are a threat to the homeland, as defined by the law," Schumer said. "Once you're considered a threat to the homeland, you should and must be placed on the no-fly list, plain and simple."
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.