FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show A Capitol Rioter Finding Out He’s On The Federal No-Fly List?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook over 49,000 times allegedly shows a man reacting to getting placed on the federal no-fly list for being recognized at the Capitol riot.

Verdict: False

The man in the video was asked to deplane an American Airlines flight for refusing to comply with the airline’s mandatory face mask policy, according to a statement from American Airlines.

Fact Check: 

Rioters supporting President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 as Congress met to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election, according to CNN. Facebook users are now sharing a TikTok video that they claim shows a man who “just found out he’s on the no-fly list after being recognized inside the Capitol Building.”

The federal no-fly list is a “small subset of the U.S. government Terrorist Screening Database (also known as the terrorist watchlist) that contains the identity information of known or suspected terrorists,” according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). FBI Washington Field Office Assistant Director in Charge Steven D’Antuono told reporters Tuesday, “As for the no-fly list, we look at all tools and techniques that we can possibly use within the FBI and that’s something we are actively looking at,” according to CNN.

The video does not show a man reacting to getting put on the no-fly list for participating in the Capitol riot. TikTok user @heartlessbeech, who previously used the handle @heartlessputa, originally posted the video on Jan. 10 with the caption saying, “Homeboy had a full toddler level meltdown bc he was told to wear a mask.” She later posted videos saying that the incident was filmed in Charlotte, North Carolina and clarifying that she didn’t “actually know for sure” the reason for the man’s removal because she was too far away.

Derek Walls, a spokesperson for American Airlines, provided Check Your Fact a statement from the airline about the incident depicted in the video. The emailed statement confirmed the man was asked to deplane for “refusing to comply with our mandatory face covering policy,” not for being placed on the federal no-fly list. (RELATED: Did The FBI Confirm That Antifa Activists Stormed The Capitol?)

“On Friday, Jan. 8, a customer was asked to deplane flight 1754 at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) for refusing to comply with our mandatory face covering policy,” the statement reads. “The customer complied with requests to deplane, and the flight departed at 7:42 p.m. EST for Denver International Airport (DEN).”

The statement said that American Airlines “requires all individuals two years and older to wear face coverings throughout the travel journey—at airports and on board.” The American Airlines website also notes that if a person declines to wear one, they “may be denied boarding and future travel on American.”

There have been calls from lawmakers to put the Capitol rioters on the federal no-fly list. On Jan. 7, Democratic Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, urged TSA and the FBI in a statement 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.” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer also called for the rioters to be added to the list, according to NBC News.

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Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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