Friday, July 6, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Grenades Galore


Inert grenades were discovered at DSM, SEA, TPA, and BNA.

Due the holiday, this Week in Review covers June 28th through June 5th. 

 

Grenades Galore – In case you haven’t heard, grenades and planes do not mix. Inert grenades were discovered at DSM, SEA, TPA, and BNA. Two live smoke grenades were discovered at DEN. Read here and here on why inert items cause problems at checkpoints. We don’t know they’re inert until we check them out and checking them out can often inconvenience your fellow passengers.

 

stun cane
Stun Guns – 11 stun guns/devices were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation at: ORD, OGG, SMF, RIC, JAX, LGA, FLL & DEN. Among these items were a stun pen at Ketchikan (KTN) and a stun cane at McGhee - Tyson (TYS). Yes, a stun cane! That’s a first for the Week in Review posts… 

 A 4” knife was discovered concealed inside a comb at Baltimore (BWI). A 3 ½” knife was found concealed in the lining of a bag at LaGuardia (LGA).
 Items in the Strangest Places - It’s one thing to forget you had a prohibited item in your bag, but when you intentionally try to sneak it past us, you could wind up being cited or even arrested by law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where passengers tried to sneak items past our Officers.

  • A razor knife was discovered in the seat of a wheelchair at Salt Lake City (SLC).

  • A 4” knife was discovered concealed inside a comb at Baltimore (BWI).

  • A 3 ½” knife was found concealed in the lining of a bag at LaGuardia (LGA).


Knives, nunchucks, axe, and fireworks.

Kids Pack the Darndest Things – Even though a 9-year-old’s grandmother packed their bag, the child went in later and added 6 ground bloom fireworks. I can see why they wanted them. My 9-year-old self probably would have packed them too. These fireworks were discovered at Milwaukee (MKE).

 

Automotive Flares: Keyword “automotive.” Not only are automotive flares prohibited on aircraft, the look a little creepy due to their resemblance to dynamite sticks. Two of them were discovered at Phoenix (PHX) in a passenger’s carry-on bag.


Body Scanner Discoveries This Week – There were a total of 18 illegal items discovered this week with the body scanners at: ITO, ATW, JAX, PIE, 2 at ATL, ABQ, TPA, 2 at SMF, LAX, SFO, CLE, SEA, MSY, PDX, MDW, and LAS. Items were found in hands, pockets, and concealed in the groin area.

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also found firearm components, realistic replica firearms, stun guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, and a lot of bladed items.

4 loaded firearms.
4 loaded firearms.
4 loaded firearms.
4 loaded firearms.
4 loaded firearms.
29 guns discovered. 25 were loaded.
Firearms - Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.

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. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure

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.



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30 comments:

Anonymous said...

"June 28th through June 5th"

Perhaps you meant JULY 5th? Or, is this all you did in the last 11.5 months?

Anonymous said...

And how many sodas did you have to sip at the gate to find this junk? Pathetic

Anonymous said...

So all the scanners in all the airports in the United States found 18 "illegal items" last week. At least the numbers are trending in the right direction. Since Bob didn't see the necessity of identifying what those items were, and he didn't mention knives, liquids, or anything connected with threats to aviation, I'll have to assume that all the "illegal items" were drugs.

This suggests that if we must spend $150,000 for each scanner, that money might be better spent by the DEA instead of the TSA. The devices show some evidence of effectiveness at detecting hidden drugs, more so than anything that threatens aviation. Whatever value the scanners might have-- and the cost vs. number of detections doesn't suggest it's very much value-- they would seem to be more useful weapons in the DEA's endless failed War on Drugs than in the TSA's endless failing War on Passengers (to the extent that they're useful for anything).

As usual, the other items Bob brags about are metallic objects that would have been detected with the measures in place before the TSA. So yet again, Bob is giving us detailed and illustrated evidence that the TSA and its "enhancements" are no more effective than what we had before 9/11, despite the vastly higher cost in convenience, liberty, and privacy as well as dollars. I guess we should be grateful that Bob is so eager to keep us fully informed about how they're wasting our money.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for Bob's response to the two drug smuggling and bribery operations at LAX, the latest of which made the news this week. If two different groups of drug smugglers can bribe two different groups of TSA screeners for months without TSA management noticing, how can we have any confidence that terrorists can't bribe screeners into ignoring bombs? There's clearly a grave systemic problem with TSA and its leadership if these smuggling and bribery schemes can go on under their noses, not just once but twice. It's obvious to anyone (outside the TSA, that is) that ignoring the problems won't make them go away. But that's what the TSA seems to be doing.

Keep up the good work, Bob.

Anonymous said...

Would you care to comment regarding TSA screeners telling people to freeze like they are sixth graders? http://www.infowars.com/new-tsa-policy-ordering-travelers-to-freeze-on-command/

Wintermute said...

Interesting. I notice that you finally quit repeating the lie regarding the body scanners. I also notice that they found 18 illegal items but nothing specifically prohibited from aircraft. Exactly how many people were scanned during this period, with zero legitimate finds? And this week, based on reported failure rates and the confirmed accuracy of those reports, we can assume based on the 29 firearms you found, that approximately 70 were missed. I feel safer already.

(screenshot taken)

RB said...

Body Scanner Discoveries This Week – There were a total of 18 illegal items discovered this week with the body scanners at: ITO, ATW, JAX, PIE, 2 at ATL, ABQ, TPA, 2 at SMF, LAX, SFO, CLE, SEA, MSY, PDX, MDW, and LAS. Items were found in hands, pockets, and concealed in the groin area.
.................

What were the 18 items?

How many were of no threat to aviation?

How many would have been discovered by WTMD at a much lower cost to taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

Since you would be trumpeting from the tallest mountains an AIT find that either would not have been caught by a metal detector or that was an actual threat to a plane, I can only conclude that all 18 items were drugs.

I see that you have finally given up on the "drugs are not a threat but show that AIT works" line.

Nice work, Bob. Real nice work.

txrus said...

BB bragged:

Body Scanner Discoveries This Week – There were a total of 18 illegal items discovered this week with the body scanners at: ITO, ATW, JAX, PIE, 2 at ATL, ABQ, TPA, 2 at SMF, LAX, SFO, CLE, SEA, MSY, PDX, MDW, and LAS. Items were found in hands, pockets, and concealed in the groin area.
**********************************
But didn't elaborate on what those 'illegal' items are, so here's your chance, Bob, to list out all those 'illegal' items found by the NoS'. You have no problem listing all the items found the old fashioned way, why not elaborate on what the NoS found? One can only assume it's because none of what the TSA claims is 'illegal' was really dangerous, right? I think I know what was found @ ABQ, since there was mention of it on the news there & if it is what I think it is, no wonder you refused to elaborate!

Anonymous said...

I noticed that, for several weeks now, when touting the virtues of the body scanners, you simply state "illegal and prohibited items".

Is this obfuscation in place to conceal that you search for drugs and large amounts of cash or to cover the blunder a few weeks ago when you removed a drug-related comment???

Anonymous said...

Uh...you needed a cancer machine..I mean body scanner, to detect something illegal in someone's hand? Really?

The crack TSA team members couldn't just see it? Or are you now going to say it was surgically implanted????

I find it strange as to where some of the things are being found. I don't buy it.

Anonymous said...

..."Anonymous said...
Would you care to comment regarding TSA screeners telling people to freeze like they are sixth graders? http://www.infowars.com/new-tsa-policy-ordering-travelers-to-freeze-on-command/..."

You mean where we are all treated like criminals? Ironic that it is the criminals who are in charge of security at the airports.

Again....metal detectors and dogs. How many times does it need to be said!!!!!?????

Anonymous said...

An amazingly detailed report of your findings. Oh, except for the body scanner part. For some reason that's glossed over with about a sentence or two "we found 18 illegal things".

Anonymous said...

I have been following this blog for several months now since I came across it. It still amazes me what people think they can bring on board a flight. Seriously, are these people living under a rock? Maybe you should start posting their excuses. We can all use a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested to know how many of the people who brought these items on board were arrested, tried, and convicted of attempted terrorism.

Anonymous said...

I find it really sad that others need to rant and rave at the service TSA is providing to thousands of passengers a day. They dont need to tell the rest of us what those 18 items were, that would be telling the terrorists what dosent work, and where. Stop fishing to see what you can get by TSA, its not a game. As for those people that are willing to take on bribes, they are stupid and can be found in any organization including the one that you work at. There are over 48000 highly educated and talented screeners that work for TSA who dont need to take bribes. FOr those that are stupid enough to do it they are a minority and are at only .004% of their workforce. Thats less then the corruption that is found in many police depts, govt offices, and school boards combined. My guess is that anyone ranting about the TSA as an inconvience, and a waste of money is a very unhappy person who hates their own job, if they have one at all sadly.

Anonymous said...

It always gets me what people think is a good idea to take through security. A fake grenade and road flares are always going to cause problems.

I've noticed that most of the items are caught through the traditional metal detectors and luggage x-ray machines. They aren't caught with the new expensive scanners. They found 18 items with the scanners this week, but they didn't list what they are. Since it says they are illegal, they probably were drugs. I don't really care if the person next to me on the plane is carrying drugs. That's not a threat to anybody on the plane.

I don't like the body scanners. They take longer than a metal detector and they generate too many false positives. I had a yellow square show up on the screen on my head. I had a TSO run his hands through my inch long hair. I have no idea what he was thinking since it's obvious nothing could have been hidden there.

Jared said...

"I have been following this blog for several months now since I came across it. It still amazes me what people think they can bring on board a flight. Seriously, are these people living under a rock? Maybe you should start posting their excuses. We can all use a good laugh."

I see you guys have been taking my advice to heart. Good for you. Still not good enough, though. You need something a little less obvious. Maybe something that leads in with a criticism and then develops into the blind toeing of the party line you normally write. Try that and get back to me.

Anonymous said...

Is candy not allowed on flights now?

http://boingboing.net/2012/07/09/tsa-mocks-deaf-man-as-fcki.html

That is pretty low if they confiscated his candy, ate it in front of him after telling him it was being donated to the USO, and mocking his disability.

Anonymous said...

Bob.Lets hear you come to the defense of the "agents" at Louisville, Kentucky airport who abused a deaf man and stole his candy.

Anonymous said...

18 guns at the cost of $179M? Is $10M per gun a reasonable price to pay for the lawless intrusion into our lives? A school a week - and a nice one at that - is what the TSA costs us. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that since you started posted this kind of information a few things have become evident...

First, you are finding about 30 guns per post. Each Post is around a week in duration/coverage so that represents an average of roughly 4 gun finds a day.

There are, conservatively, about 24,000 Commercial Flights a day. That makes the percentage of guns per aircraft so incredibly small that my calculator can't even figure it out.

Yes, I completely understand that it only takes one gun. But you have found an average of 4 guns a day and yet in ten years you haven't found even one terrorist carrying one of those guns.

Anonymous said...

1So the 18 finds across how many thousand of travelers did you find weapons of mass destruction? Or did you find toothpaste over 3 oz and/or drugs? I wouldd like details on what you found. Grenades? Grandpa's ashes? Knives? Peanut butter? Cupcakes? What did you find in 18 people this past week?18 rbdner

Anonymous said...

Do the numbers include the candy stolen from the deaf guy in Louisville?

Anonymous said...

As for those people that are willing to take on bribes, they are stupid and can be found in any organization including the one that you work at. There are over 48000 highly educated and talented screeners that work for TSA who dont need to take bribes. FOr those that are stupid enough to do it they are a minority and are at only .004% of their workforce. Thats less then the corruption that is found in many police depts, govt offices, and school boards combined.

Yes, I'm sure the screeners who take bribes are a very small minority of TSA employees, who by and large are honest and sincere if not "highly educated and talented." But they're not the real problem. They're just the visible tip of the iceberg.

Two separate groups of screeners at LAX are known to have taken bribes. Each of these drug smuggling operations went on for many months, until someone outside the TSA brought it to light.

That points to a serious systemic deficiency with TSA management. The screeners' supervisors and managers may have failed to notice the operation, which indicates gross incompetence and mismanagement. Or else they may have known about it but failed to do anything, or have even explicitly allowed it to continue, indicating corruption that goes well beyond the screeners. Either way, it's an unacceptable failure of management and leadership that allowed these "minority" of corrupt screeners to compromise security not once but twice.

Not only that, the screeners reportedly advised the smugglers on how to pack their bags to avoid a scanner alarm. That classified or SSI information disclosed to the drug smugglers could have ended up in the hands of terrorists, who could then use it to circumvent baggage scanning without the need for bribery.

This is a grave failure. And even worse, if even a "small minority" of screeners can be bribed to ignore drug-filled bags for nearly a year, why couldn't terrorists bribe them to ignore bombs?

The root cause is the culture of secrecy and evasion of accountability within the TSA that allows these incidents (and probably many others we haven't heard about) to occur repeatedly.

The most serious failure, though, is the silence with which the TSA is responding to these incidents. That tells us TSA leadership wants to ignore their grave systemic failures rather than doing anything to correct them. If that's the case, their hubris is severely compromising their ability to do their mission.

The TSA demands our unquestioning trust. They want us to ignore what we read in the media, and what we see and experience when we submit to their screening. They want us to have blind faith that everything they do has a valid reason, even though it must remain unknown to us, and that they're providing highly effective protection against terrorism. They want us to have confidence that the people who do secret things behind closed doors are highly qualified experts who always do the right things.

Incidents like these, and the TSA's deafening silence about them, make any trust or faith in their agency untenable. I know the TSA and its defenders seek to minimize the agency's many problems by blaming them on a "tiny minority." But the failures are not the fault of that "minority." They're visible proof of systemic failure, incompetence, and possibly corruption in an organization that allows the "minority" to regularly violate rules, abuse passengers, and even commit crimes. But the TSA leadership just sweeps it all under the rug.

Anonymous said...

"I find it really sad that others need to rant and rave at the service TSA is providing to thousands of passengers a day."


What service is that? I don't want the "service" the TSA is providing me. Can I opt out?

"They dont need to tell the rest of us what those 18 items were, that would be telling the terrorists what dosent work, and where."

Trust me, anyone who wants to know what does and doesn't work has no trouble figuring that out. Until this week, the TSA blog has listed those items. They tend to be illegal items that pose no risk to an airplane such as drugs.


"Stop fishing to see what you can get by TSA, its not a game."

It's also not security. Screeners miss ~ 70% of contraband.

"As for those people that are willing to take on bribes, they are stupid and can be found in any organization including the one that you work at. "

Really? Can you tell me who at my organization is taking bribes? No? Then how could you possibly say something so silly?

"There are over 48000 highly educated and talented screeners that work for TSA who dont need to take bribes."

No, there are not. Screeners are not even required to have a high school diploma. One screener I spoke with didn't have a HS diploma, he substituted a year working at Home Depot where part of his job was looking out for shoplifters. A nice guy but, like most of the screener force, not highly educated and utterly unqualified to provide security.

"FOr those that are stupid enough to do it they are a minority and are at only .004% of their workforce. "

hmm. 48000 * 0.004/100 = 1.92. You really think there are only two screeners who've accepted bribes? Try this one: Randy Littlefield, Michael Arato and Dianna Perez, to name three have been removed from government service for accepting bribes and that's just looking at the first three google entries. How many were fired for accepting bribes for falsifying training records?

For that matter, bribery is likely a smaller problem than outright theft. Care to hazard a guess at the percentage of screeners engaged in theft?

Anonymous said...

"My guess is that anyone ranting about the TSA as an inconvience, and a waste of money is a very unhappy person who hates their own job, if they have one at all sadly."

Bad guess, sadly. I criticize the TSA because I love the Constitution and hate to see TSA's security theater being sold to Americans at the cost of $1M/hr, every hour of every day of the year.

Wintermute said...

"My guess is that anyone ranting about the TSA as an inconvience, and a waste of money is a very unhappy person who hates their own job, if they have one at all sadly."

Again, someone posting is support of the TSA slinging insults, yet their comment is approved (against comment guidelines). Meanwhile, on-topic comments sans insults (but critical of TSA) are being censored.

Anonymous said...

wow. thats some weird stuff, a knife in a hairbrush? glad they found it though. i cant believe they would get that THROUGH the security

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"wow. thats some weird stuff, a knife in a hairbrush? glad they found it though. i cant believe they would get that THROUGH the security"

Yeah, because someone is obviously gonna be able to take down a plane with that ;)

Anonymous said...

whats the point of this? this is Americam, im sure the majority know of the second amendment, as it seems.