Tick, Tick, Tick.....
AP/Yahoo slop below.
Failed to say that sooner or later some
Report: Terror System Flags David
LOS ANGELES - David Nelson is not an easy name to have these days. Across the country men with this name say they have been pulled off airplanes, questioned by FBI agents and harassed when traveling by air.
The nationwide dragnet for terrorists has caused the name to raise red flags on airline screening software, but some federal officials say the problem is essentially a computer glitch, the Los Angeles Daily News reported Sunday.
David Nelsons in at least four states, including California, Oregon, Alaska and South Dakota, have reported getting stopped.
Even the former child star of ABC-TV's "The adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," was stopped by a ticket agent at John Wayne Airport in December while en route to visit his daughter in Salt Lake City.
Now a Newport Beach film producer, David Nelson, 66, told the Daily News that after airline ticket agents stopped him, two police officers quickly recognized him, and he was allowed to board his flight.
"I don't think (terrorists) have the middle name 'Ozzie,'" he recalled telling an agent.
For other David Nelsons, the experience was more difficult.
Actor David Nelson, 35, of Hollywood said that on a recent trip to Hawaii, a ticket agent at Los Angeles International Airport took one look at his driver's license and said, "Oh boy. Here's another David Nelson."
Nelson said the ticket agent told him the name brings up a "red flag" for terrorists.
A few months before on a New York-bound airplane, he had been told to exit the plane and was searched by FBI agents before reboarding.
"When you get back on the plane, people look at you funny," he said.
After agents requested to search him several times before the Hawaii flight, Nelson said he turned around and went home.
A so-called "no-fly" list was introduced after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and is meant to prevent potential terrorists from boarding planes. The TSA gets names from law enforcement officials and hands the list over to airlines to screen passengers.
In April, Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez said those on the no-fly list pose, or are suspected of posing, a threat to civil aviation and national security.
"We do not confirm the presence of a particular name of an individual on a list," he said. "It's security information that we just won't do."
Melendez told the Daily News that the "David Nelson" problem is due to a name-matching technology used by many airlines. He said it's not the name but letters in the name that are randomly flagged by the software.
But David Kennedy, director of research services for TruSecure Corp., a Virginia-based firm that specializes in intelligence security, said he thinks it's more likely the name is on the no-fly list.
"I'm more inclined to believe there is a bad David Nelson out there they're looking for," he said.
Either way, since there is little to identify those on the list other than their names, it is difficult for many to get their names removed.
In response, TSA has established a hot line for those who feel they were wrongly selected.
On the Web: http://www.tsa.gov/public/