Fact check: Video falsely claims Capitol rioter was put on 'no-fly list'

Posted January 13, 2021 4:30 p.m. EST
Updated January 13, 2021 5:18 p.m. EST

A video of a distressed man yelling in an airport has gone viral, and in some cases, it’s wrongly being connected to the U.S. Capitol breach on Jan. 6.

"This is what they do to us. They kicked me off the plane. They called me a f------ terrorist," the man says in a TikTok video.

Another person can be heard asking him to please calm down and saying that she was kicked off a Delta flight earlier.

Some social media users are mischaracterizing why the man is upset.

"People who broke into the Capitol Wednesday are now learning they are on no-fly lists pending the full investigation," one Facebook post said. "They are not happy about this."

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.

But the TikTok user who published the video didn’t say the man was upset because he was on the no-fly list, a Department of Homeland Security database of "known or suspected terrorists."

Rather, the user said that he was upset because he was directed to wear a face covering.

"Homeboy had a full toddler level meltdown bc he was told to wear a mask," the Jan. 10 TikTok post said.

USA Today reported that Delta removed two "unruly" passengers flying from Ronald Reagan Washington International Airport on Jan. 8.

Other airlines have reported difficult customers after the wake of the riot, including "non-mask compliant, rowdy, argumentative" passengers who harassed crew members on an Alaska Airlines flight from Washington Dulles International to Seattle, according to the story.

Separately, Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi and the chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released a statement on Jan. 7 urging the Transportation Security Administration and the FBI to add those involved in the attack on the Capitol to the no-fly list.

We reached out to Delta and the FBI about the claim in this Facebook post — and whether rioters have been added to the no-fly list — but did not immediately hear back.

However, there’s nothing to support the allegation in the post.

First, the TikTok user who posted the video said that the man was upset because he was kicked off his flight for not wearing a mask.

And second, if the man had been added to the no-fly list — a decision that’s made by the FBI and enforced by TSA — it doesn’t make sense that he would have made it to the boarding area, where this video was taken.

If someone is on the no-fly list, they can’t even get a boarding pass, which means he wouldn’t have made it to the gate. We rate this post False.

PolitiFact: False

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