WASHINGTON, May 5 (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Wednesday ordered airlines to step up their efforts to prevent people on the “no-fly” list from boarding flights after the suspected Times Square bomber got on an Emirates plane.
Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American accused in the failed car bombing in New York, boarded a flight to Dubai late on Monday after buying a ticket despite having been added to the no-fly list earlier in the day.
Airlines must re-check the list every 24 hours for matches, but under the new requirement they will have to check their passenger manifests within two hours of receiving notice of a special circumstance about an individual, an administration official said.
“As we saw with Faisal Shahzad, in an expedited no-fly nomination, the airline is responsible for manually checking the name against the no-fly list within 24 hours,” the official said, declining further identification.
“In his case, the airline seemingly didn’t check the name, and the suspect was allowed to purchase a ticket and obtain a boarding pass,” the official said.
Shahzad boarded the Emirates flight and the plane cabin door was closed as U.S. authorities were in pursuit.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials discovered he had boarded the flight but before it could pull away from the gate, they had the door re-opened and Shahzad was taken into custody, a U.S. official has previously said.
Shahzad, 30, was arrested and charged with driving the car bomb into Times Square late on Saturday and trying to detonate it. (Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Doina Chiacu)
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