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article imageSix-year-old girl in the DHS no-fly list as a 'terror suspect'

By Igor I. Solar     Jun 26, 2010 in Travel
Cleveland - The parents of a six-year-old girl were notified when travelling from Cleveland to Minneapolis that their daughter was included in the no-fly list of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a terror suspect.
A Continental Airlines employee informed the parents that their eldest daughter, Alyssa Thomas, was listed among the Department of Homeland Security's no-fly list because she may have potential or proven links to terrorism.
Alyssa's parents could not believe that the little girl could appear on such a list. Alissa's father, Dr. Santhosh Thomas, an orthopaedic surgeon from Westlake, Ohio, says he's sure that's there cannot be a reason for his 6-year-old Alyssa to be on the no-fly list of suspected terrorists. "She may have threatened her sister, but I don't think that constitutes a Homeland Security risk," he says. After tense moments, the Thomas family was able to board the plane and travel to Minneapolis, but were advised to communicate with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resolve the problem.
Dr Thomas did write to the DHS. The response to the parents was that Alyssa will remain on the list and that no data could be provided on the information they have on the child or another person with the same name.
The girl's father argues that his daughter has been flying with the family since she was two months old and that she never had any problems. "In fact, the last time she traveled was when we visited Mexico in February." said Dr. Thomas.
The Transportation Security Administration says that Alyssa had not problems before because the Secure Flight Program for domestic flights just began in June. "The watch lists are an important layer of security to prevent individuals with known or suspected ties to terrorism from flying," an unnamed spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration told Fox News.
The Thomases say that they plan on appealing Alyssa's status to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
In recent months, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Department of Homeland Security has announced further measures to strengthen security on both international and domestic flights in the USA.
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