And you thought the TSA couldn’t get any worse…
Eight-Year-Old on TSA Terrorist Watchlist Gets Frisked
By Kim Zetter
The Transportation Security Administration, attempting to squelch nefarious
rumors, has asserted on its web site under a “Mythbuster” feature that
“No 8-year-old is on a T.S.A. watch list.”
Unfortunately for the TSA, the New York Times found an 8-year-old on its list.
Mikey Hicks, a Cub Scout in Camden, New Jersey, is a frequent flyer who can’t
seem to get a break because he shares a name with another Michael Hicks who
has drawn suspicion from the Department of Homeland Security.
This coincidence has resulted in numerous airport delays for his family over
Mikey, who was born less than a month before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist
attacks, received his first pat-down by TSA screeners when he was 2 years
old - an experience that left him in tears.
He was recently frisked aggressively when his family flew to the Bahamas
for vacation on Jan 2, just days after the so-called “underwear bomber”
attempted to ignite explosives on a flight from Amsterdam to Michigan.
“Up your arms, down your arms, up your crotch - someone is patting your
8-year-old down like he’s a criminal,” Mikey’s mother told the newspaper.
“A terrorist can blow his underwear up and they don’t catch him. But my
8-year-old can’t walk through security without being frisked.”
Mikey’s mother, Najlah Feanny Hicks, is a photojournalist who was cleared
by the Secret Service to travel aboard Air Force II with Vice President
Al Gore during the Clinton administration.
She said she wanted to take pictures of her son being frisked at the
airport but was told it was prohibited. She said that while her son “may
have terroristic tendencies at home, he does not have those on a plane.”
Despite the scout’s years-long harassment, his father, also named Michael
Hicks, was never stopped by the TSA until this year, during the trip to
Luckily for Mikey and his father, the suspicious Michael Hicks is not on
the government’s “no-fly” list, just a “selectee” watchlist that requires
secondary screening for passengers named on it.
The newspaper reports that there are 1,600 Michael Hicks in a national
phone directory, who may also be getting such treatment each time they fly.
In the last three years, nearly 82,000 travelers have applied for redress
with the DHS due to problems with traveling, the Times reports. More than
25,000 of these cases have yet to be resolved. The Hicks have recently
applied for redress.
See Also: Former DoJ Official Caught on Terror Watchlist