Friday, December 23, 2011

TSA Week In Review: Holy Flare Guns, Batman!

Batman Knife
Holy Prohibited Items List Batman, why didn’t you put this in your checked baggage with your grappling gun? This knife was found  at San Antonio (SAT).
Flares & Flaregun
A FLARE GUN with SEVEN FLARES was found in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Norfolk (ORF). Haven’t they listened to the lyrics of Smoke On The Water? Strangely enough, another flare gun was found in a passenger’s carry-on bag later in the week at Knoxville (TYS).
2 MK-19 inert grenades were found in a carry-on bag at Manchester (MHT). The passenger stated they were “stocking stuffers.” More inert grenades were found at Kansas City (MCI), Montgomery (MGM), and Savannah (SAV). Read here and here why even inert grenades at the airport are a problem even though they can’t explode.
A passenger at Phoenix (PHX) noticed their laptop was missing and reported it to TSA supervisor. The supervisor reviewed the CCTV video footage and identified the passenger who took it. After reporting it to airport police, the passenger was arrested and the laptop was returned to its rightful owner.
In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our officers also found stun guns, throwing stars, realistic replica firearms, firearm components, butterfly knives, switchblades, an asp, an expandable baton, brass knuckles, ammunition a 6 ½” combat knife, a 7” butcher knife, cat eyes, and various other knives of different lengths larger than 3”.
Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home.

Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items in their bag. That’s why it’s important to double check your luggage before you get to the airport. 
On the other hand, there are artfully concealed items...  Artfully concealed means that the prohibited item was intentionally concealed with the intention of sneaking it through security:
A 4” knife was found concealed in a walking cane at San Diego (SAN). The passenger was extremely shocked it was there!
A box cutter was found hidden in the lining of a passenger’s bag at Miami (MIA)
A .380 magazine with six rounds was found concealed in the lining of a passenger’s carry-on bag at Gulfport (GPT). If they read my blog posts, they would know that the lining of the bag is not X-ray proof.
A 15” sword cane was discovered at Northwest Florida Beaches (VPS) again… The passenger was shocked.
We posted on this one earlier in the week, but two 6 1/2” throwing knives were found in a hollowed out book at Washington National (DCA).
A knife was found taped to the bottom of the handle of a passenger’s carry-on bag at Indianapolis (IND).
A small knife was found concealed an empty CD Rom drive at Peoria (PIA).
Our officers found 21 loaded firearms and 5 unloaded firearms in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. Here’s a rundown of the 26 firearms our officers kept off of airplanes this week: 
  • 12/16: SDF – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – RSW – Unloaded .380 – MCO – Unloaded .25
  • 12/17: DTW – Loaded .40
  • 12/18: CMH – Loaded .357 – JAX – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – COS – Unloaded .40 – DFW – Loaded .380 – ATL – Loaded .38
  • 12/19: MCO – Loaded pistol w/ Round Chambered
  • 12/20: TUL – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – SEA – Unloaded .22 – PDX – Loaded .32 – RSW – Loaded .380 – DFW – Loaded .380 w/Round Chambered
  • 12/21: PHL – Loaded .25 w/ Round Chambered – TYS – Loaded 9mm – ATL – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – AUS – Loaded 9mm – SAT – Unloaded .380
  • 12/22: ELP – Loaded .32 – AUS – Loaded .357 – RSW – Loaded .380 – FLL – Loaded 9mm w/ Round Chambered – LIT – Loaded .380 – IAH – Loaded .40 w/ Round Chambered
You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. 

We also look for explosives and bomb components as well, but thankfully those are extremely rare and we're happy to keep it that way.

 Including checkpoint and checked baggage screening, TSA has 20 layers of security both visible and invisible to the public. Each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping a terrorist attack. In combination their security value is multiplied, creating a much stronger, formidable system. A terrorist who has to overcome multiple security layers in order to carry out an attack is more likely to be pre-empted, deterred, or to fail during the attempt. 
 
If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.
Grenade 



Knife
Knife
Grenade
Cane Sword
Knives concealed in book. KnifeKnife

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

And a cupcake. Not so proud of that one are you.

Anonymous said...

Keep repeating the lie that the TSA is keeping us safe, otherwise people may wuit being afraid of the boogyman and start making decisions based on logic and reason.

The statement that the TSA keeps us safe is a lie, until they answer one simple question: How many lives did the TSA save this year?

Gayle Martin said...

So Bob, I just read on Drudge this morning that the TSA is now confiscating CUPCAKES because cupcakes are now a security threat. This is yet another reason why I've stopped flying. And Bob, you may want want to tell your agents to lay off all the cupcakes that you, the TSA, are confiscating--because they are a threat--to your waistlines! In the meantime, Bob, I'll travel by my own car, thank you.

Anonymous said...

And, as always, none of these people intended harm to any flight, none have been charged with terrorism, most made their flights, and you found nothing that metal detectors wouldn't have found more cheaply, more effectively, and less invasively. Right, Curtis?

TropicalSpeed said...

Find any non-metallic prohibited items yet with that there x-ray machine TSA uses yet? We are waiting......

Anonymous said...

Once again all of this could have been found with a metal detector. Thanks for continuing to prove how wasteful the expenditure of the TSA is and how useless the invasive body scanners are.

Stan said...

How is it that not one, but two extremely dangerous cupcakes were allowed on-board a plane departing from Logan airport? Given that the one remaining cupcake is obviously dangerous enough to be confiscated on the return flight, I can only assume the TSO in Logan who failed to do his job and but hundreds of lives in danger will be appropriately terminated, correct?

Adrian said...

How many of these finds are from undercover agents testing TSA?

Best Juicer Reviews said...

Could it be that TSA might know something about cupcakes that we don't know. I wonder! So why don't we just let them do what they do best. Maybe it's in your best interest.

However, if you don't trust the agency, then you have the right to use other means of transportation. But let the rest of us be comforted in the agency's effort in keeping our flying safe.

Yes, we live in a free country and we have the right to do as we please, but maybe if you allow TSA to do their job, they might be doing you more good than you can imagine.

Anonymous said...

How would any one of these items brought down an aircraft? The cockpit doors are locked and reinforced and passengers will attack and subdue anyone who threatens them. A knife? That is so 2001. This is almost 2012. No one has tried to use a knife to bring down a plane since 2001. Why are we looking for knives?

Anonymous said...

Best Juicer Reviews said...
"Could it be that TSA might know something about cupcakes that we don't know."

No, it could not.

Anonymous said...

Best Juicer Reviews said...
"Yes, we live in a free country and we have the right to do as we please,"

Not according to the TSA.

" but maybe if you allow TSA to do their job, they might be doing you more good than you can imagine."

Or they might not - my money's on not.

Julio said...

It saddens me that american children will grow up not knowing that it used to be okay to eat a cupcake on an airplane, as a result of so many people willing to mindlessly accept whatever ridiculous nonsense tsa decides to implement.
Read your history, mindless acceptance of government policy is good for nobody.

TSM said...

Granted, this is a little overzealous on the part of the TSOs in question (after all, I'm sure it was less than 3.4 oz of frosting!)...
But seriously, to say this:
"It saddens me that american children will grow up not knowing that it used to be okay to eat a cupcake on an airplane,"
--------------
Really? Is that what you are concerned about when it comes to the future of american children? That really saddens you? Wow, How do you cope with real life if this is such a tragedy?

Anonymous said...

"Could it be that TSA might know something about cupcakes that we don't know."

Could be but, no. There was no nationwide prohibition about taking cupcakes on airplanes. Or are you suggesting that the particular passenger in question was the object of suspicion? If that's the case, why wasn't the passenger detained? No, sorry, just another TSO who doesn't know his/her job.

"I wonder! So why don't we justlet them do what they do best.:"

Sorry, again. Security professionals know that what the TSA does is pointless. Do you really think the TSA uncovered a plot concerning explosive-laden cupcakes?

"Maybe it's in your best interest."

Not mine, not yours and not the country's.


"However, if you don't trust the agency, then you have the right to use other means of transportation."

Actually, I have the right to air transportation. I also have the right to equal protection under the law. Both are civil rights afforded to Americans. Why do you oppose this?

"But let the rest of us be comforted in the agency's effort in keeping our flying safe."

Unfortunately, you're being comforted by security theater. Leave security to professionals and don't give in to needless hysteria and fear; it's the road to ruin and not worth the paycheck you get.

Anonymous said...

"How many of these finds are from undercover agents testing TSA?"

The TSA's own "undercover agents" find that screeing misses approximately 70% of contraband. Are these the agents you're referring to?

Anonymous said...

TSM said...
"Really? Is that what you are concerned about when it comes to the future of american children? That really saddens you? Wow, How do you cope with real life if this is such a tragedy?"

I think you pretty much completely missed the original post's point. It isn't just the loss of a cupcake that made them sad it was "people willing to mindlessly accept whatever ridiculous nonsense tsa decides to implement".

That is a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that killer cupcake!!! You keep us protected!!! (/sarcasm)

Mr. Gel-pack said...

The dangerous cupcake story: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/30062442/detail.html

Anonymous said...

Great Job, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

what about the cupcake one of your agents (probably at the direction of a supervisor) took away from a passenger??? How does a cake pose a threat to aviation security?

unliked most the comments on here, im not going to call for TSA to be disbanded... but im going to say, your efforts are misguided, and as they stand now, an inefficient and ineffective use of taxpayers money. Your agents and even more importantly their supervisors lack good judgement all around...

Stop wasting our time and taxpayer money taking away old lady's denture paste, cupcakes and cheese. Start looking for knives, guns, IED's, fugitives, fake ID's, drugs, etc... Things that actually have an impact on homeland security.

90% of the people who are getting pulled for screening at checkpoints are totally and utterly harmless, meanwhile with the current capabilities and training, TSA is probably completely unable to stop a determined smuggler or terrorist.

Retrain your people. Redesign your procedures. Stop wasting time hasseling people who pose no threat and taking away items that pose no threat. Start worrying more about WHO is passing through checkpoints instead of what.

Anonymous said...

Thought I'd pass this along. My wife and I flew to Korea in October. Going through the TSA checkpoint, the TSA officer asked my wife "What's this?", pointing to a large bag of red powder. She said that's ground pepper. The TSA official asked her what she was going to do with it and she said "Make kimchi." The TSA asked if she could take the package and my wife said, "OK". A few minutes later the TSA official returned the pepper to my wife, and we had a pleasant uneventful flight. I had no idea my wife had that pepper with her --of course, I'm not surprised at anything she takes with her.

Anonymous said...

No one has tried to use a knife to bring down a plane since 2001. Why are we looking for knives?

December 24, 2011 8:19 AM

Probably because theyre not allowed... duh

Anonymous said...

"The TSA released a statement saying, "The biggest threat to aviation today, explosives and explosives components. While edge weapons such as swords remain a prohibited item it will not cause catastrophic damage."
http://www.nbc33tv.com/news/national-news/sword-on-a-plane


WHOA!!!!!! That statement just made my head spin like a top!!!!!!! After all these blog articles bragging how great the TSA is for finding sharp objects from ninja knives to batman blades, when a sword gets through the screening, the TSA brushes it off as no big deal?????????

SERIOUSLY?????????

We all know the 911 hijackers took the plane with box cutters. We also know that once the cockpit doors were hardened and flight deck officers were armed, that threat of that has been reduced to almost nil. But the Bob and friends won't ever admit to it unless they screw up their own protocols????

And I'm supposed to trust everything the TSA tells me?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"The TSA released a statement saying, "The biggest threat to aviation today, explosives and explosives components. While edge weapons such as swords remain a prohibited item it will not cause catastrophic damage."
http://www.nbc33tv.com/news/national-news/sword-on-a-plane


WHOA!!!!!! That statement just made my head spin like a top!!!!!!! After all these blog articles bragging how great the TSA is for finding sharp objects from ninja knives to batman blades, when a sword gets through the screening, the TSA brushes it off as no big deal?????????

SERIOUSLY?????????


They say that whenever someone points out a news story about them missing a knife in someone's carry-on. You see, when they find a knife, it's a 'win' for them. When they miss a knife, it's no big deal. Heads they win, tails they don't lose.

NUF said...

Simply can't win with all these negative bloggers. They will always miss the point. Now, lets see how long they'll talk about the "cupcake" LOL.. I'm sorry, I love cupcakes, but since when are cupcakes in a jar? And, it looked like it was just frosting in a JAR. Now, that is weird!!
NUF said.

Anonymous said...

Today's TSA: Doing the wrong thing extremely well to cover up doing the right thing extremely poorly.

-Train your people.
-Train your people.
-Train your people.
-Fire those who don't listen.

RB said...

NUF said...
Simply can't win with all these negative bloggers. They will always miss the point. Now, lets see how long they'll talk about the "cupcake" LOL.. I'm sorry, I love cupcakes, but since when are cupcakes in a jar? And, it looked like it was just frosting in a JAR. Now, that is weird!!
NUF said.

December 29, 2011 11:47 AM


.....................

You should really try learning about the topic you're speaking about before chiming in.

Cupcakes In a Jar! The Latest Cupcake Craze


Cupcakes in jars are a trendy thing now. Even if they were not what was the security threat presented by the cupcake?

I think any reasonably intelligent person will agree that TSA was out of line on this matter.

TSM said...

Sorry all you "Cupcake Conspiracy theorists" but i just looked up the cupcake in question on the company's website... While I thought at first glance this was overzealousness on the part of a fellow TSO Officer, I must admit that i have to agree that prohibiting it was EXACTLY in line w/TSA's guidance. If there is fault, it is not with the TSO or STSO who made the call, it is fault with TSA guidance.
Here is the exact description directly from the maker:
"Jars come in two sizes - 16oz and 8oz. Each 16oz jar contains approximately 2 1/2 cupcakes, and each 8oz jar contains 1 1/2 cupcakes! Simply grab a spoon and start enjoying the most delicious cupcakes on earth."
and
"Each Wicked Good to Go jar contains our moist and decadent cake layered with a variety of fillings, topped with our world famous frosting. And because each one is sealed in an air tight mason jar, they last up to 7 days without refrigeration."

Please note the "...grab a spoon..."
and "...is sealed in an air tight mason jar..." which means they can't be tested.

Sorry, TSO/STSO was correct in prohibiting it.

TSM said...

Quoted:
"RB - You should really try learning about the topic you're speaking about before chiming in.

Cupcakes In a Jar! The Latest Cupcake Craze


Cupcakes in jars are a trendy thing now. Even if they were not what was the security threat presented by the cupcake?

I think any reasonably intelligent person will agree that TSA was out of line on this matter.

December 30, 2011 9:42 AM"
-----------------------
Actually RB, you ned to read the link you attached. I did. Those cupcakes, by the way they were packaged and the contents description (they were not just a cupcaked dropped in a jar for shipping - they were mostly filling and frosting that needed "to be eaten with a spoon" and they were "in a sealed mason jar" so do fall under TSAs rules for prohibited items. I'm not saying the rules don't need to be changed (many of us feel they do) but that the TSOs in question properly applied the rules under TSAs current standards. These would fall under the same guidelines as Peanut Butter, etc.

TSM said...

Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
Anonymous said...
"The TSA released a statement saying, "The biggest threat to aviation today, explosives and explosives components. While edge weapons such as swords remain a prohibited item it will not cause catastrophic damage."
http://www.nbc33tv.com/news/national-news/sword-on-a-plane


WHOA!!!!!! That statement just made my head spin like a top!!!!!!! After all these blog articles bragging how great the TSA is for finding sharp objects from ninja knives to batman blades, when a sword gets through the screening, the TSA brushes it off as no big deal?????????

---------------
So many things to say here:
1. TSA did not "brush it off". What they did was inform the public that a sword is not as dangerous as explosives and explosives components. I think that even the bloggers on this site can agree to that. After all, that's what they keep saying; that knives should no longer be prohibited.

2. Yes, TSA brags about finding sharp objects from ninja knives to batman blades. Why not, They are dangerous and they are keeping them off planes. They are NOT saying that they are as dangerous as explosives. When they find those (such as the recent hand grenades)they brag about those as well.

TSA has to get appropriations just like any other gov't agency, of course they want to look good. Why shouldn't they mention the successes?

When you are at work and do a good job, do you mention it to your boss? (how about when you ask for that pay raise... hmmm?)

3. I for one, am glad they keep these items off planes. How many people get into arguments on the streets, in automobiles, etc and either thru road rage or just anger end up stabbing or shooting someone and then the neighbors say, "Oh, he was such a nice young man, I guess he just snapped".

Guess what, no knives on the plane, less chance of soemthing volatile happening when that guy in front of you freaks out because you keep kicking his seat, or the baby keeps crying or the food sucks. Farfetched, but it's happened. You constantly read about passengers having to be restrained by flight crew after freaking out, attempting to open a door in flight, hitting a crew member or another passenger (or locking themselves in a restroom and refusing to turn off "Words with friends!".

Anonymous said...

TSM said...
"Guess what, no knives on the plane, less chance of soemthing volatile happening when that guy in front of you freaks out because you keep kicking his seat, or the baby keeps crying or the food sucks. Farfetched, but it's happened. You constantly read about passengers having to be restrained by flight crew after freaking out, attempting to open a door in flight, hitting a crew member or another passenger (or locking themselves in a restroom and refusing to turn off "Words with friends!"."

It also means that the passengers are helpless if some nut-case does manage to sneak something dangerous on the airplane. Weapons can be good or bad depending on who is holding them. Since your screening is not 100% effective you may be actually be increasing the danger to the passengers by disarming them.

Anonymous said...

TSM said...
Please note the "...grab a spoon..."
and "...is sealed in an air tight mason jar..." which means they can't be tested.

This just isn't true. How hard would it have been to ask them to open the jar? It's sealed when you buy it, but it is possible to open it or you couldn't eat it. It could have easily been tested for explosives.

Anonymous said...

". Yes, TSA brags about finding sharp objects from ninja knives to batman blades. Why not, They are dangerous and they are keeping them off planes. They are NOT saying that they are as dangerous as explosives. When they find those (such as the recent hand grenades)they brag about those as well."

Yet any number of sharp objects will be allowed through screening such as knitting needles.

The TSA found actual grenades via screening? That is HUGE NEWS. Please point out when/where/etc that happened. I'm sure you don't mean the inert grenade-shaped items so I can't wait to see where a passenger attempted to get an actual explosive device through security. I'd like to see enough information so that I can follow the arraignment and trial of the perpetrator. Thanks.

RB said...

TSM said...
-----------------------
Actually RB, you ned to read the link you attached. I did. Those cupcakes, by the way they were packaged and the contents description (they were not just a cupcaked dropped in a jar for shipping - they were mostly filling and frosting that needed "to be eaten with a spoon" and they were "in a sealed mason jar" so do fall under TSAs rules for prohibited items. I'm not saying the rules don't need to be changed (many of us feel they do) but that the TSOs in question properly applied the rules under TSAs current standards. These would fall under the same guidelines as Peanut Butter, etc.

December 30, 2011 1:33 PM
....................
TSM, just how did you invent that the cupcakes were mostly frosting and filling? That is not what the description you posted says. You are trying to justify what these TSA employees did or you would be condeming what the TSA employees at Boston did not do. It can't be both ways.




"Jars come in two sizes - 16oz and 8oz. Each 16oz jar contains approximately 2 1/2 cupcakes, and each 8oz jar contains 1 1/2 cupcakes! Simply grab a spoon and start enjoying the most delicious cupcakes on earth."
and
"Each Wicked Good to Go jar contains our moist and decadent cake layered with a variety of fillings, topped with our world famous frosting. And because each one is sealed in an air tight mason jar, they last up to 7 days without refrigeration."

TSM said...

Quoted
"I can't wait to see where a passenger attempted to get an actual explosive device through security. I'd like to see enough information so that I can follow the arraignment and trial of the perpetrator. Thanks."
------------------------------
Read today's news..... (hint -try explosives found at Texas airport)

Anonymous said...

"Read today's news..... (hint -try explosives found at Texas airport)"

Hint - C4 without a detonator is silly putty. Do you have any training at all in what constitutes a threat?

RB said...

TSM said...
Quoted
"I can't wait to see where a passenger attempted to get an actual explosive device through security. I'd like to see enough information so that I can follow the arraignment and trial of the perpetrator. Thanks."
------------------------------
Read today's news..... (hint -try explosives found at Texas airport)

January 1, 2012 11:40 PM
..................
Would this be the same 2+ pounds of C4 that TSA apparently did not find when this person first cleared TSA Security in North Carolina TSM?

Also, seems TSA missed a tactical knife at Fayetteville.

Want to discuss either of these incidents?

Anonymous said...

"Read today's news..... (hint -try explosives found at Texas airport)"

I've heard that everyday dozens of aircraft take off with thousands of pounds of explosives, including a key component of the bomb used in Oklahoma City. Is this true? If so, how is it that the TSA can allow this to occur? Does the TSA not realize that jet fuel is a very potent bomb component?

Jet fuel is at least as dangerous as a cupcake, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

TSM wrote: Read today's news..... (hint -try explosives found at Texas airport)

You mean the C4 that the TSA missed at least twice before finally detecting it, and wasn't accompanied by any way to actually detonate it?

Anonymous said...

"Would this be the same 2+ pounds of C4 that TSA apparently did not find when this person first cleared TSA Security in North Carolina TSM?"

The TSA looks kind of foolish now, doesn't it, TSM?

Anonymous said...

Haha yeah this is all a big joke. really a grenade!? no terrorist is stupid enought to go through a highly secured facility with a grenade. The government wants people to be scared to death and people actually believe that terroists are lurcking in the cracks waiting for the opportuned moment to strike. What they dont tell you is how much tax payer dollars are wasted on confiscating cupcakes! Stop living in fear people kick the tsa out the door and stop letting the government limit your freedom.

Jayant Ahuja said...

Batman's technology has always fascinated me......