Biden Administration Considering Adding More U.S. Citizens To No Fly List

The Biden administration is considering adding ‘domestic extremists’ (U.S. citizens) to the No Fly List.

The discussions are part of the Biden administration’s strategy of treating domestic terror as a national security threat, and not just a law enforcement problem. They’re also part of broader conversations in government about how to use tools developed for the Global War on Terror to combat domestic extremism.

…There have also been discussions about putting suspected domestic violent extremists — a category that includes white supremacists — on the FBI’s No Fly List, the official said. ..conversations about monitoring domestic extremists’ travel have involved multiple federal agencies at the interagency level, including the FBI.

The ‘No Fly List’ is the government’s pre-crime profiling that keeps people off of U.S. airlines and airlines flying to the U.S. without having been convicted or even charged with a crime.

It’s a secret list that people haven’t been entitled to know how they got on or to confront the evidence relied upon to put them on it. Legally there is very little recourse, and when challenged the government claims ‘state secrets.’

People get on the list by mistake (FBI agent checking the wrong box on the form or having a name similar to someone else) and even maliciously (such as retaliation for refusing to cooperate in an investigation). Denying the freedom of travel, without trial, is precisely the mob rule outside of the rule of law that we’re supposed to be pushing back on after the events of January 6th. Having the government ban travel on all airlines without judicial review is frightening in a democracy.

The ‘War on Terror’ tools that Democrats criticized when they were introduced by President Bush are now being deployed on American citizens, which we learned from Edward Snowden (well, I told you about it pre-Snowden). So it’s no surprise that to see a new Democratic administration look at taking this even further.

(HT: @crucker)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. The following classes of people should be banned from the skies.

    D bags, A holes, criminals, Republicans, and any individual who has tweeted #BLM but not tweeted #StopAsianHate.

  2. Well P Ness if you ban Republicans all you will be left with are a holes, d bags, criminals and #BLM extremists so guess we need to just shut down the airlines!!

  3. Crickets for the last 20 years but as soon as Biden does it it’s an outrage. Ask Muslims and minorities how many times they have been “mistakenly” put on that list. White people are ok with it until it might in the slightest chance impact their ability to eat mask less
    In Disneyland.

  4. Shocker that democrats support fascist tactics against Americans, as long as those Americans are guilty of wrongthink.

    Actually not very surprising at all.

  5. The No-Fly list shouldn’t exist. I am legit amazed, that it hasn’t been challenged and declared unconstitutional yet.

    My feelings haven’t changed from when it was enacted, to now.

  6. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic Republicans and Democrats voted on a largely symbolic bill intended to denounce Asian hate.

    Every Democrat supported this

    Almost every Republican opposed it

    These imbecile GOPs can’t even vote yes on a bill that requires absolutely nothing other than a symbolic gesture


  7. @P Ness You ever heard the saying “Don’t let your mouth write checks that your ass can’t cash” ?

  8. Mission creep. Carter starts drug testing for nuclear reactor operators on submarines and a generation later the Supreme Court says this horror can be used against anyone on a high school team, even if it’s for chess. But so long as Americans let such things occur they will, because all governments naturally gravitate to taking more power. That’s just their nature and it takes a serious effort, plus eternal vigilance, to stop them. The people doing this aren’t by and large bad guys, they just get so focused on what their goals are that they forget not all means are justified.

  9. Gary, I understand travel is your raison d’etre, but there is no constitutional right to fly on an airplane.
    If you want to fly perhaps don’t advocate for the overthrow of government.

  10. @Mangar – As it has been stated before. There is no constitutional right to travel on airplanes. You confuse the difference between civil rights and civil liberties. The airspace of the US is the government’s domain, that jurisprudence is pretty much set in stone.

    It’s a pretty easy equation to keep of the list – Don’t be part of a group that commits violence and civil disorder, left or right. Not hard stuff.

  11. US citizens are on the no-fly list. Domestic terrorists are no different than foreign terrorists. If a domestic terrorist is deranged enough to be convinced that breaking into the Capitol and threatening the life of the vice president is being patriotic, they are capable of being brainwashed into other terroristic acts like trying to crash an airplane into the White House to take out someone they think stole a presidential election.

    If people are added to the no-fly list improperly, fix the process don’t tear up the whole list. That would be a perfect example of throwing out the baby with the bath water. Or maybe the no-fly list should be solely for terrorists who have actually tried to crash a plane into the Write House, failed, and been convicted of it.

    Since the no-fly list has been challenged in court, the claim that it is outside the rule of law is incorrect. Constitutional rights should be protected. Flying is not a constitutional right, but even if it was, such rights are subject to reasonable restrictions.

  12. They should also take way their driver license and create a type of sexual-predator style list.
    Then we will also encourage citizens to report other citizens anonymously to capture more bad guys. We can have agents of a secret police that spy on residents of East America (West is liberal so they’re fine) to monitor for any such “terrorism.”

    Just don’t do bad stuff and you have nothing to worry about. Easy.

  13. P Ness is getting really turned on by Jeff’s suggestion, but unfortunately for P Ness he doesn’t understand sarcasm because colleges outlawed free speech.

  14. Liberals demanding Trump supporters and Republicans all be put on the No-Fly list should remember that a future GOP president might retaliate and put Biden supporters and Democrats on the No-Fly list.

    What if the next GOP president puts everyone arrested at a BLM or antifa riot on the No-Fly list?

    Eventually, this will be used by both parties to retaliate against their political enemies.

    You might say there is no right to travel by air. Will you say that when a government you disagree takes away your ability to travel? Its easy to support No-Fly lists when you don’t believe you will be on it.

  15. To the sheep saying just be a good little child and nothing bad will happen, you are the most contemptible form of smog middle class Americans. Everyone that matters thinks like you do so what is the problem? I truly wish no person of any gender, self-defined ethnicity or passport is on the wrong side of an accusation without access to due process, but if I cannot nominate one special class it would be these generally unimpressive, smog middle class turds. 30 years ago you were overwhelmingly Republican country club morons. Now you are group think corporate democrats. Please find a land far far away and just disappear. Government charge/restriction without due process is wrong. Don’t need to hide behind claims of constitutionality. Just need a shred of empathy.

  16. Why are people still flying on planes if they are worried there may be a republican or Trump supporter on the plane? Why don’t they just drive or take the bus? Flying is a privilege, not a right.

  17. Gary’s quote at the end of the post, “Having the government ban travel on all airlines without judicial review is frightening in a democracy”, is spot on. We’re dealing with American citizens who are afforded rights that didn’t have to be considered when the war on terror tactics were conceived.

    The fact is American citizens are being surveilled and facing restrictions on travel for their involvement in an event without due process. All the liberals rolling over under the “I have nothing to hide and the right to fly isn’t in the constitution so to hell with the traitors” mindset will have only themselves to blame when the Republicans take power again and start adding anyone they deem a domestic terror threat to the list. Unfounded or not, be it being identified at a BLM event or simply someone who’s spoken out against the government, you’ll have little recourse (Call it out as racist or unconstitutional all you want, but look at how receptive the last admin was to that).

    I’m all for holding people who were involved in acts of violence at the Capitol accountable and trying to curb domestic terror. If that means restrictions on travel that’s not unreasonable, but with limited exception it should be done only after that person is afforded their constitutional right to due process.

  18. @Pete – there’s actually quite a strong argument for a constitutional right to travel and by the way surveillance and 9/11-era restrictions have been expanded to other modes of transportation

  19. @Laurie “Crickets for the last 20 years” I guess you haven’t read this blog over the past 19 years since it first began then?

  20. @gary – why make this a partisan issue? Numerous white added to the NFL under the previous administration.
    What constructive advice do you have for combatting domestic terrorism? This is a classic GOP, complain when the left tries to solve a problem, but never offer and alternative solution.

  21. If you want to overthrow the democracy, expect repercussions from the democracy. Now you have to travel slower to the next overthrow attempt. Good.

  22. @efs183 – You write “It’s a pretty easy equation to keep of the list – Don’t be part of a group that commits violence and civil disorder, left or right. Not hard stuff.”
    The Atlanta killer was part of a Baptist church. Are all Baptists now “part of a group that commits violence”? The Boulder shooter was a Muslim. Are all Muslums now “part of a group that commits violence”? It isn’t an easy equation and as it stands now rests completely on the subjective judgements of unaccountable government agents in DC. That isn’t due process and it isn’t how things should work in a free society.

  23. The Bush, Obama and Trump Admins put some domestic extremists on the US aviation-related blacklists, including the no-fly-list. Biden as a Senator and Biden as a VP didn’t make a fuss about this kind of thing, and so a Biden Admin carrying on with the use of the aviation-related blacklists and adding more people to them shouldn’t be anything but expected. That the administratively-determined blacklisting by the US adds in a bunch more European-Americans who happen to be non-Muslim but get associated online or otherwise with extremist ideology is just business as usual for administrative action to put the extremists on notice when the government doesn’t think it has a great chance of locking them up behind bars in the US otherwise.

    If the whole “ID is security” nonsense that goes on with the TSA-mandated checking of passenger ID at airports were to end, these government no-fly listings would be neutered when it comes to domestic US travel.

    “Just say no” to the passenger ID checking policy at US airports, and this No Fly List blacklisting would start to have its teeth fall out.

    People that are legally free to drive should be legally free to fly on regular paid tickets just like all the paid ticket passengers who don’t get administratively punished by blacklisting.

  24. Doug,

    From CNN about The Boulder shooter, he
    “ may have been suffering from mental illness, according to his 34-year-old brother…

    The brother told CNN on Tuesday that in high school bullies made fun of Alissa’s name and for being Muslim and that may have contributed to him becoming “anti-social.”

    “People chose not to mess with him because of his temper, people chose not to really talk to him because of all — how he acted and things like that. So yeah, he was very alone,” said Damien Cruz, who said he has known Alissa since the fifth grade.

    Alissa had become increasingly “paranoid” around 2014, believing he was being followed and chased, according to his brother. At one point, the young man covered the camera on his computer with duct tape so he could not be seen, said the brother, who lives with Alissa.

    “He always suspected someone was behind him, someone was chasing him,” Ali Alissa said.


    Shouldn’t we have a no-gun blacklisting of people who can’t pass recurring mental health check? It would save more lives than a no-fly list applicable for domestic US travel.

  25. To anybody who thinks you don’t get on this list without being a bad guy, do some research. Literally thousands of people have been mistakenly put on the list. Even Sen. Ted Kennedy was put on the list, but unlike you and I he was able to ask the Secretary of Homeland Security in person to have him removed (and it still took several weeks).

  26. I have never really been a big supporter of the nofly list or any list that people aren’t allowed to see WHY they are put on it. Transparency should be key to this. There is no security risk in telling a person why they were put on a list that deems them a terrorist and there should be a form of reconsideration for those who wish to deny/prove why they shouldn’t be on it. Due Process should be afforded ALL American citizens.
    @Jeff, you think that would make them turn them in? LOL….I live in a small town in Alabama where one of those guys was recently arrested bc he was involved with Roger Stone and stormed the Capitol. Of course it was all over the local FB groups and news, and people were talking about his poor family and his wife and how was she going to provide for their child without him, yada yada….so someone set up a thing like a gofundme account but it was through one of those Christian money funding sites….within a couple of days, Sparky had over $100,000 in his account to assist with legal fees, living expenses, etc…..basically 100k tax free money given to him…mainly in support of his cause. This is a very poor community and is heavily Republican and yet they dug deep to help him., I wouldn’t be counting on them turning in one another. It was just mind boggling to watch.

  27. The very people who supported MAGA/QAnon extremist ideology are up in a puff about the US No Fly List being expanded now that they expect a bunch of “us” to end up hit by this administrative restriction. These are usually the very same people who were (and still are) cheerleading for racist profiling and Islamophobia at US airports for years and years now and would have been still doing so if Trump had managed to win the election in November or successfully pulled off a coup against the constitutional order of the US.

    Lord Trump worshippers hostile to the US aviation blacklists should perhaps find an ally of convenience in the ACLU. 😉

  28. Why is it no surprise that a Democratic administration would want to expand the system created by Republicans? Had Al Gore been POTUS (yes, we know for a fact (yes, FACT) that he won Florida in 2000), the system would not have been instituted in the first place.

    Walk me through your logic for blaming the other side for the effective use of a program created by Republicans.

  29. Al Gore was a big advocate for passenger blacklisting. Remember CAPPS? It was a response to the perceived threat that domestic and international extremists posed to the country. But that basically meant to subject the checked-in baggage (of the de facto blacklisted for that trip) to some additional “security” measure.

  30. I know I’m always late on my comments. Nevertheless, I would like to add that this country is becoming more and more like a police state.

    Where are we going, and where are we going to end with this democratic leadership?

  31. The beauty of this whole shebang is that the proles will keep arguing over 5is on party lines while the elites will keep them in line through partisan media.

  32. Only domestic terrorists I see belong to blm and antifa

    P Ness

    The Asian hate is coming from the blm crowd

  33. The anti-Asian hatred and attacks in the US are coming from a varied crowd, but most of it is not from anti-fascism Americans and BLM (for all lives to matter) supporters. Rather it is coming from MAGA types more than anyone else, but it’s also coming from some anti-MAGA types who have been rubbed the wrong way the “Asians as a model minority” narrative used to divide and conquer and avoid an acknowledgement of how the country’s long-standing history of systemic racism still has an impact on America today and isn’t gone.

  34. If the government thinks a person is so dangerous that he shouldn’t be allowed to fly on a commercial airline, then the government should arrest that person and charge him with a crime.

    The No-Fly list should not exist. It was an abomination when the Bush administration created it in the aftermath of 9/11, and it is an abomination now. It should NEVER have been created, and the Biden administration ought to abolish it, not expand it.

  35. I consider the No Fly List to be repugnant to the concept of a free country. I think the No Fly List combined with requirement to show ID to fly is the functional equivalent of a Soviet-style Internal Passport. There should be relentless legal challenges against the No Fly List until the Supreme Court declares it to be unconstitutional.

  36. AC,Joe,Wesley..You are all on the right track..Hope the LIbs that voted for Demented Joe are very happy now!!

Comments are closed.