Friday, August 3, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Miami Behavior Detection Officers Thwart Kidnapping


Behavior Detection Officers (BDO) Help Thwart Kidnapping – Two BDOs at Miami (MIA) alerted on a woman with several other passengers whose behavior seemed out of the ordinary. When the BDOs approached her and asked if she needed help, she rejected their offer. During the conversation, they noticed that she was attempting to disguise that she was badly bruised. The BDOs approached her again to ask if she was harmed by the people she was traveling with, and when she said yes, the BDOs immediately escorted her out of the checkpoint and contacted the police. After an investigation, it was learned that the woman had been badly beaten and was being kidnapped. Watch this video to learn more and hear from the BDOs who thwarted this crime. 

Five inert grenades were found this week at 5 different airports: St. Louis (STL), San Diego (SAN), Dothan (DHN), Minneapolis (MSP), Gainesville (GNV). A replica grenade lighter was also discovered at Rochester (ROC).
 Inert Ordnance – In addition to a spike in the number of guns found each day at checkpoints recently, we continue to find hand grenades and other ordnance on weekly basis.  Please keep in mind that if something looks like a bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited - real or not. And when these items are found at the checkpoint, they can cause significant delays to you and other passengers. I know they are cool novelty items;  I used to own a few. But again, please don’t take them on planes!  Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.


A realistic replica of an artillery round was discovered at Tucson (TUS). An inert warhead was discovered at Providence (PVD).
  • Five inert grenades were found this week at 5 different airports: St. Louis (STL), San Diego (SAN), Dothan (DHN), Minneapolis (MSP), Gainesville (GNV). A replica grenade lighter was also discovered at Rochester (ROC).
  • A realistic replica of an artillery round was discovered at Tucson (TUS).
  • An inert warhead was discovered at Providence (PVD).

Knives
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 credit card with a concealed 2½-inch knife was detected in a carry-on bag at Albuquerque (ABQ).
  • An artfully concealed belt buckle knife was found at Rochester (ROC).
  • A 3-inch Swiss Army knife was discovered artfully concealed in a lead-lined film bag at Tampa (TPA).
Stun Guns – 7 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation at: Richmond (RIC), La Crosse (LSE), 2 at Denver (DEN), Dickinson (DIK), and 2 at Baltimore (BWI).

People Say the Darndest Things – Here is an example of what not to say at the airport. Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience lots of other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:
  • After having their bag searched, a passenger at Bradley (BDL) stated:  “Hope they get a bomb and blow you *expletive* up.”
  • After a bag search was called on a passenger’s bag at Orlando (MCO), they stated: “I have two bombs in my carry-on bag.”
  • A family member escorting a passenger at Phoenix (PHX) approached and Officer and stated “I am a former Al Qaeda individual escorting a family member to her flight.”
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 sharp pointy things.

Loaded guns.
Loaded guns. Loaded guns. Loaded guns.
29 firearms discovered at TSA checkpoints.



Firearms - Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.

Prohibited Bling
Prohibited Bling
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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48 comments:

Laura Monteros said...

Congrats to the BDOs, who stuck with this woman until she could tell them what was wrong.

Anonymous said...

Why do you persist in posting this self-congratulatory schlock every week, Bob? Nobody cares that you found some things-that-look-scary-but-really-aren't. It's such a thinly transparent attempt to appear as if you are actually doing something useful. Find a real bomb? We'd love to hear about it. Novelty inert grenades are an item that is A: Routinely found and B: Of no concern to national security.


Why don't you spend some time talking about how the TSA can't manage to obey the law without a court order?

Do you feel that this behavior is acceptable from a government organization? How should TSA be punished if they fail to comply?

Anonymous said...

The absence of paltry numbers of false positives found by strip-search scanners for the second consecutive week must mean someone in the TSA really has figured out that those reports were counterproductive. So we'll presumably never see them again.

So now they've apparently decided to spotlight the BDOs, and the skills they've acquired from their Full Week of Training. This might be in preparation for an upcoming "enhancement" to the intrusiveness of screening involving increased "engagement" by BDOs with passengers. Reporting a BDO's fortuitous "detection" of a crime unconnected with terrorism or threats to aviation should presumably make all of us eager to have a friendly chat with any BDO who approaches us in search of the week's quota of false positives.

What I'm really waiting for are statistics proving the effectiveness of the enhanced patdowns. I'm sure that if the patdowns produced an impressive weekly tally of drugs and toothpaste, critics would quickly be convinced that the occasional spilled urostomy bag, ruined feeding tube, and traumatized passenger found crying at the gate is a price well worth paying for effective security. But the TSA has not yet seen fit to provide those numbers.

Regardless, this week's report yet again proves that despite the much higher cost (in liberty, privacy, dignity, and dollars), TSA security is no better what we had before 9/11. But it's nonetheless worth all the cost, since it's undeniably better than nothing.

Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

...and still nothing about how the TSA has been blatantly disobeying a court ruling to have a public comment period regarding the nude body scanners.

Adrian said...

Good for these TSA agents who helped the woman. I guess that helps balance the BDO-related kidnapping news stories like this one:

http://www.ajc.com/news/clayton/hartsfield-tsa-worker-allegedly-751953.html?cxtype=rss_news

Wintermute said...

Is the lack of body scanner discovery mentions in this and the previous post due to the fact that they have only ever been false positives? Or because there were zero finds?

GSOLTSO said...

Kudos to the MIA BDOs that helped this woman when she needed it. Awesome job guys.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

First, good job on helping the victim. I am sure she will be forever grateful.

Now, having shared the good I still fell compelled to point out the bad.... You have video of this good thing you did? Outside of a security area no less? But how many times have you told us video is not available for things you have done wrong. Is this the inconsistency you keep mentioning that is one of your layers of security?

Anonymous said...

Well Bob, we have another case of TSA tooting their own horn when they do something good. I do applaud those TSA employees in MIA. Now, how about making an honest attempt to address all the questions and comments concerning the abuse of the lady with the feeding tube. I have a medical implant and have to travel via air next month and I hope I don't experience the same level of TSA arrogance and abuse I have previously experienced. But I have my doubts since TSORon thinks TSA doesn't work for the people and Kelly knows her actions will never be questioned.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
Kudos to the MIA BDOs that helped this woman when she needed it. Awesome job guys.

West
TSA Blog Team

August 4, 2012 7:31 AM
.................
I agree that the MIA TSA employees did a good deed in moving this lady out of harms way but let us be honest about the whole thing.

TSA BDO's had little or nothing to do with it. The lady's face was bruised, she was wearing a head covering which surely leads to increase attention by TSA. Anyone could have observed that and some probably did but did not act.

So I repeat, it was good that TSA acted but we all know there is no science behind the wasteful of tax monies TSA BDO program.

If TSA is going to blow its own horn should not the same be done for the hundreds of TSA employees engaged in criminal acts?


This CAPTCHA sucks!

Sharyn said...

Coming home last Sunday on Delta flights 1754 and 1081 LAX/ATL/PBI I was bringing a Ziploc bag of homemade candied pecans from a friend for my husband. There was no note in my bag that it was searched, but when I arrived home the pecans were not in my suitcase. I flew business class with a Priority sticker on my bag. Shame on TSA for stealing my husband's candied pecans! Don't you have anything better to do...like national security?

Anonymous said...

Two years ago, the GAO investigated the SPOT (BDO) program. They found a lack of scientific consensus on the effectiveness of behavior detection as a counter-terrorism measure. They also found that the TSA had no plan for validating the effectiveness of their behavior detection program, and questioned the validity of spending over $230 million per year on a program that lacks scientific basis.

The GAO then made their own attempt to assess the effectiveness of SPOT. As far as I know, this was the first truly independent evaluation of a TSA security measure. They reviewed the travel history of sixteen people associated with known terrorist plots. They found these people made 23 trips through 8 airports with BDOs. There was no record of any BDO taking notice. (This constitutes a "FAIL" by any definition. The only thing Blogger Bob could do in such a situation is to ignore it, which he did.)

The GAO report also provided interesting statistics about the disposition of BDO "catches" between 2004 and 2008. BDOs questioned 152,000 passengers. Of those, they referred 14,000 to police, resulting in 1,083 arrests for immigration status violations, outstanding warrants, and drugs. The GAO concluded that "TSA officials did not identify any direct links to terrorism or any threat to the aviation system in any of these cases." Translation: The TSA spent nearly a billion dollars to achieve a 0.7% detection rate for possible criminal activities unrelated to the TSA's supposed mission of stopping terrorism and threats to aviation. (Another "FAIL" by any definition, which Blogger Bob again ignored.)

The GAO report included the TSA/DHS response to their investigation. In very diplomatic bureaucratese, they told the GAO to get lost. They reiterated their usual stance that the DHS is accountable only to itself and will ignore any outside criticism. And that was the end of the investigation.

It's nice to see a BDO occasionally doing some good for the public, even when it has no connection with the TSA's mission of protecting aviation from terrorism. But to quote the GAO, "the nation's constrained fiscal environment makes it imperative that careful choices be made regarding which investments to pursue and which to discontinue." One fortuitous "observation" that happens to have yielded a false positive worth bragging about does not mean the BDO program is an "investment to pursue."

@SkyWayManAz said...

Reading about this incident reminded me of the film The Running Man. Arnold Schwarzenegger's character kidnaps a woman to use her travel pass (TSA Pre Check?). So he’s going to flee with her to a small island it will be hard to escape from on the run. Anyone see a problem with that? Watching it all those years ago I thought how idiotically stupid that idea was. There’s no way he’s going to get away with that. He’s taking her somewhere it isn’t possible to have a weapon and in a very public place. He has to physically hold her the whole time for hours until they arrive in Hawaii? Even by 1987 standards when the film was released they’d have been separated at security. In that split second she’d be able to scream as loud as she could she’s being kidnapped and who he was. Of course because this is Hollywood they make it past security and possibly because the audience would have expected him to get caught there too. Still it only took a split second of him being distracted for her to hit him hard in his TSA special inspection area and start screaming like anyone with half a brain was waiting for.

I’m not trying to diminish what happened to this woman but like I said my first thoughts are how could someone even remotely hope to get away with transporting a kidnap victim thru an airport onto a plane? I thought there has to be more to this and indeed there is. Seems the story in major media outlets is five female friends travelled from New Jersey to Miami. While there it appears one of the women accused the victim of having an affair with her boyfriend, for possibly real or imagined reasons. They allegedly beat the victim, robbed her and forced her to withdraw money from her bank accounts with her ATM card. All are serious crimes that need to be looked into. There is an argument to be made that she was being held against her will in furtherance of the previous crimes. She was likely threatened not to speak to anyone at the airport. A problem though is there’s an argument to be made that she wanted to get home and was probably travelling on her original tickets bought before all this happened.

Kidnapping and attempting to transport her across state lines is a federal crime. TSA is a federal agency that to be polite has a less then admirable track record. The behavior detection program has been ridiculed and as noted on this blog one of them did in fact kidnap a woman. Not to diminish their actions here, which were heroic, but it does indeed sound like she was both visibly injured and visibly frightened. I’m not entirely convinced no one else picked up on this but that’s hard to know since it is not in dispute TSA did. I don’t think it likely that any sane person believes the TSA needs to protect us from being kidnapped and taken to the airport though. For reasons already pointed out the airport really is one of the last places you’d be taken to against your will. (I’m guessing maybe the Police station would be the last place?) This seems a little like TSA trying to justify a questioned program at best. At worst it is being used in furtherance of expanding TSA’s power. I wonder if the kidnapping charge will really hold up but we’ll see.

Anonymous said...

Wow. So much anger and ignorance.

Body scanners and thorough screening are both looking for actual threats and deterring threats. Not finding threats means the deterrent part is working.

When you see a police officer standing at the entrance to a stadium, their presence deters would be criminals. They dig through purses and pat people down and hopefully find nothing. Knowing you might get patted down or searched is another deterrent.

Do you have smoke detectors in your home? When is the last time you needed one? When you burned popcorn? What a nuisance.

Might as well sell the airbag in your car, also. Those are worth some bucks. And your seat belt? When was the last time you needed that? Businesses spend millions of dollars on security systems, but how many actually are needed?

The simple reality is, you can't measure the effectiveness of a deterrent or a safety net because no news is good news. And if you look at the economic and psychological impact to our country from 9-11 and think the TSA is expensive, go ahead and sell your airbag. What has it ever done for you?

If TSA didn't use the newest technology and something horrific happened, I find it hard to believe the ignorant would defend them using older technology to save some mony.

Anonymous said...

Bob, were the Newark BDOs asleep at the wheel this morning?

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/08/newark_airport_terminal_locked.html

What was the financial cost of this morning's TSA failure at Newark?

Anonymous said...

Some victims of your co-workers' incompetence --

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2012/08/jersey_city_junior_rbi_team_st.html

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you highlight Mr. John Halinski's testimony to Congress about that status of TSA screeners this past week? Mr. John Halinski's testimony to Congress is Example 1 of a disconnected TSA government bureaucrat that has a blatant disregard for average Americans. I suggest that Mr. Halinski spend some "quality time" in an airport screening line to hear what average Americans really think of his beloved TSA organization. TSA screeners are directed to virtually strip search or intimately touch average Americans with "too close for comfort" patdowns. The fact that a growing voice of Americans do not like these lurid procedures would only come as a surprise to an out-of-touch government bureaucrat like Mr. Halinski and the rest of the failed and disgraced leadership team at TSA.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob, you plan to explain the process at DEN I witnessed recently, where those with paper boarding passes were required to show them to the TSO at the scanner, but those with e-boarding passes on their phones were told not to worry about it since they couldn't bring the phones through? more inconsistent and arbitrary security theatre which does not contribute to the anti-terrorist mission?

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

[insults snipped]

"Body scanners and thorough screening are both looking for actual threats and deterring threats. Not finding threats means the deterrent part is working. "

How many times does this need debunked? I have an anti-monkey rock in my living room to deter, well, monkeys. (Why? Doesn't matter. Maybe I have an irrational fear of monkeys, much like much of the public has an irrational fear of terrorists.) Not finding any monkeys in my living room means the deterrent part of the rock is working. Or does it? Just as likely, finding a monkey in my living room would be a very rare event, just like finding a someone trying to smuggle something dangerous onto a plane is a very rare event. And the items that are found weekly and, up until two weeks ago bragged about on this blog, were either not dangerous, or detectable using pre-9/11 methods.

Anonymous said...

It's good that the BDO's stopped this kidnapping. I think this plot had no chance at succeeding though. This woman was clearly not right and the airport is probably the worst place to try to take a kidnapping victim. Would regular TSA employees be able to stop this or are only the BDO's trained to stop kidnapping?

I see that Newark airport was evacuated again. Why does their seem to be so many problems at that airport? Apparently a woman left the checkpoint after testing positive for explosives. How does that happen? How can someone just leave? She managed to board the plane and land in Cleveland. Was anything dangerous found after the terminal was rescreened? How much money did that cost to dump the terminal?

Anonymous said...

You know what? I'm just going to come out and say it. There is no way that anyone in power honestly believes that there is any credible threat of terrorism against the US right now. If they did, we wouldn't have the organization responsible for this as the first line of defense.

Anonymous said...

Awesome job by the TSO's / BDO's. Great collar and great take down.

Thank you TSA..

Anonymous said...

Smoke detectors and airbags don't violate my Constitutional rights.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

I know you won't post this, but you should read it.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/checkpoints-borders-policy-debate/1374235-pat-down-ended-my-wife-up-er-3.html

Someone at the TSA should comment on it, but I won't hold my breath.

Anonymous said...

Cat got your tongue Bob? I can't wait to hear the spin you put on the Newark incidents. Make up something good, okay. I'm sure there were no security cameras covering the incident. There never are when TSA goofs up.

RB said...

A pat down that ended my wife up in the ER

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Want to comment on this story from Flyertalk Bob?

Since you are a member over there I would think looking it up will be easy enough.

RB said...

Bob, are you going to count this found gun Friday in the weekly wrap up?

http://htl.li/cMHtn

Gun found at Detroit Metro Airport's McNamara Terminal

"A traveler found the gun about 5 p.m. in a bathroom at the McNamara Terminal."


TSA released the following statement:

"The firearm was identified as the property of a federal law enforcement officer employed by TSA as a Federal Air Marshal. The passenger turned the firearm over to local law enforcement."

...................
Just another TSA screw up.

RB said...

Bob, there is a report floating around claiming that TSA still has people viewing the raw Whole Body Imager images even with ATR installed.

Comment?



This latest CAPTCHA is not useable!

Anonymous said...

I get a kick out of the fact that the TSA blog team's moderation queue miraculously *happens* to slow to a crawl every time the tide of opinion on the blog turns against the TSA. Or whenever there's a legitimate gripe or complaint that is being raised multiple times. Or whenever TSA critics are making valid points that the TSA doesn't.

I'm attempting to post this on the 8th of August, 2012. But I am willing to bet that you won't see it any time before Blogger Bobby's next self-congratulatory post goes up.

It's funny, really. The TSA blog team has made a big deal out of the delete-o-meter, showing what percentage of comments are posted. But it says nothing about whether or not the comments are posted in a timely fashion. It's amazing how quickly you can watch the comments section grow on weeks-old articles... once they're safely buried at the bottom of the page.

Censorship and spin control take more than one form, guys. If you really want to engage the public, post or delete each comment within 24 hours of submission. Otherwise, stop trying to claim that this is an attempt to "engage the public".

jsand said...

I would be more impressed if the BDO's detected the kidnappers and not the woman with bruises all over her.

Sunshine All Day Long said...

The only time they ever make my posts is when I dont' say anything at all and just complain that they don't post my comments. Also, I see they are actually even censoring the posts they get. That tells me that so many posts are negative, they are actually needing to farm the negative posts to find something positive in them. They probably won't post this post either. The TSA Bloggers are cowards.

Anonymous said...

I am once again amazed that there have been no comments since 6 August.

I'm sure it has NOTHING to do with the fact that some of the comments raise a legitimate question about the TSA's unwillingness to submit to the rule of law and follow court orders. Perish the thought!

But it is amusing. I wonder if my comment will be posted AFTER this story drops off the front page of the TSA blog?

Anonymous said...

Why do you list Security Telephone Numbers to call in cases of issues, but when you call they sit their disinterested?

When I call AND e-mail that one of your public airport's runways are unsecured and you can drive on them and you ignore me that is an issue. When I try to alert you to employees who allow a woman to walk through screening though she brags that her ID and airline ticket do not match, that is an issue. If TSA is really more than smoke and mirrors, maybe they could be responsive to the people who bring them information instead of just stealing their personal belongings!

Anonymous said...

Why are we not hearing so much as an excuse for the inexcusable failure of TSA in Newark?

RB said...

It's funny, really. The TSA blog team has made a big deal out of the delete-o-meter, showing what percentage of comments are posted. But it says nothing about whether or not the comments are posted in a timely fashion.

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

Two things about the Delete-O-Meter.


One it is a clear violation of the United States Constitution for government and government employees to engage in the act of censorship of speech. The TSA Blog Team are violating their Oath to Support and Defend the United States Constitution, and oath they freely swore to and rightly should be dismissed from government service.

That being said almost 40% of all comments submitted are not being posted. What is it that TSA is trying to hide?

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez – “there is a report floating around claiming that TSA still has people viewing the raw Whole Body Imager images even with ATR installed.”

The MMW AIT that operates on the ATR system does not have a remote viewing booth. What the TSOs see, are what the passengers see right there on the back of the machine. It generates a gingerbread cutout image, with highlights over any anomalies found. Hopefully, this will clear up any question you have about ATR and viewing booths.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO said...
The MMW AIT that operates on the ATR system does not have a remote viewing booth. What the TSOs see, are what the passengers see right there on the back of the machine.

Forgive us if we don't believe you.

For a long time, the TSA claimed the nudie-scanners "could not" store or transmit the images it produces... until the TSA procurement specifications document was obtained. It proves that the TSA specifically requested the ability to save and export images. (They claim this is only during 'test mode', whatever that is.)

So, the TSA (and its employees) had a record of LYING about things. So, again, forgive us if we don't believe you now.

Anonymous said...

Suggestion: Post in LARGE letters the time when the TSA line will close - multiple places - advertise!!!!! Work with the airlines and make sure that they are aware of the closing times and that they include this time when notifying passengers that their flight will be delayed.

An example from last night 8/9/12 - American Airlines had a flight scheduled to depart at 10:29 PM. The flight actually left around 1:00 AM. I went outside to smoke around 10:45 PM. When I returned, I could not get back into the terminal as the TSA had closed all check points. Another passenger on the same flight had just arrived based on the phone notifications from AA. All TSA employees still on duty basically said "Oh well, you can wait until morning and get rebooked." Only one TSA person was helpful and explained the only way to obtain help was thru AA. When we called AA, they were amazed - they thought the TSA check points were open 24/7. A supervisor thru AA (at the airport) was able to get permission for us to go thru the concessions check point area, but this is an exception not the rule.

The supervisor of AA also was under the understanding that TSA check points were to remain open as long as there were flights that still needed to depart.

Your consideration to my suggestion is appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Bling is prohibited?

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"Bling is prohibited?"

Anything a TSO decides they don't like is "prohibited" and you will be forced to "voluntarily surrender" the item. If you don't like it, the TSO will "humble" you and you'll have no recourse if you want to fly that day. If you complain about the TSO's actions in "humbling" you being particularly egregious, Bob will attempt to ignore it. If he cannot, he'll claim that your side of the story doesn't fit the situation without outright calling you a liar. If you WERE lying, then Bob will post video to prove the TSA is right. If you are telling the truth, he'll claim there is no video.

I think that about sums up standard operational procedure. Did I miss anything?

Anonymous said...

"Thwarted a Kidnapping" - wow.

Although this young lady DID unfortunately endure a beating before arriving at the airport, the idea that the TSA saved her from being brought on a plane to NJ against her will is absurdly overblown.

The kidnapping charges against the 2 women relate to the accused "detaining" the victim against her will in the hotel room while they were fighting with her. Read the police report, TSA takes credit for thwarting something that wasn't happening.

TSA succeeded in getting the perpetrators charged for the assault that had taken place earlier. The 2 perps were friends with the victim, the 3 had traveled to Florida TOGETHER, willingly, to vacation and had a fight while there. Quite a bit different than the "spin" TSA is putting on this, making this incident sound like a case of human trafficking or stranger abduction that they "thwarted". Read the police report, here:

http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/kidnapping.pdf

"...they continued to argue as everyone all packed their belongings and prepared to catch their scheduled flight..."

The victim had a ticket to fly back to NJ, where she lives.

TSA, you didn't "thwart" anything. You brought a teenager and a 25 year old to justice for assaulting their former friend, that's all you should be taking credit for.

Anonymous said...

OK, to those people who are saying that it's a waste of money, or that these searches are unnecessary, let's remember that the 9-11 hijackers didn't need guns or anything else. The comb with an internal blade is just the sort of thing someone could use to kill someone with while hijacking a plane. Regarding toy items: these things are banned in NYC because a police officer can't tell the real from the fake if someone is pointing at him or her, and it's justifiable to shoot in such circumstances. Someone could threaten a whole plane with toy grenades. So these things do not "pose no danger."

It's a game of cat and mouse. If there is better detection, terrorists will know they have to conceal their weapons that much better, which means that a box cutter in the back pocket or a wad of plastique disguised as, I don't know, some shampoo in a bottle, or hair gel, or cookie dough, won't work.

What do people expect on a TSA blog? Look at the GAO or your senator/congressperson for objective information. I think it's amazing what some people will bring on an airplane, even after 9-11. So much for coming together as a country if people can't at least check their guns and knives with their baggage. It's an interesting insight on human nature and how we live now to see the kinds of things people are bringing on, how they are hiding them, and what the story turns out to be once they're caught.

Maybe we should look to things like offshore tax havens for billionaires and corporations or capital gains taxes if we want to find a "waste of money."

Anonymous said...

It's cool that you found all this dangerous stuff, but were there any nefarious intentions behind any of it? Or were these all just examples of people being stupid?

Nick said...

hy didn't you highlight Mr. John Halinski's testimony to Congress about that status of TSA screeners this past week? Mr. John Halinski's testimony to Congress is Example 1 of a disconnected TSA government bureaucrat that has a blatant disregard for average Americans. I suggest that Mr. Halinski spend some "quality time" in an airport screening line to hear what average Americans really think of his beloved TSA organization. TSA screeners are directed to virtually strip search or intimately touch average Americans with "too close for comfort" patdowns. The fact that a growing voice of Americans do not like these lurid procedures would only come as a surprise to an out-of-touch government bureaucrat like Mr. Halinski and the rest of the failed and disgraced leadership team at TSA.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. Maybe one day you will stop a terrorist! Who knows? Anything is possible.

Anonymous said...

In all my many years of flying, encounters with TSA have been primarily good.

The exception was a rude bunch at Cleveland airport who treated everyone like cattle going to slaughter!

I believe that the TSA mission is difficult and the results are superb. The media whines about most anything that is perceived as an inconvenience. Those who listen to the media tend to whine too.

Items are banned for good reason and finding and preventing transport of banned items is making travel safer. How would you like to fly with passengers who carry-on real or fake weapons?

Anonymous said...

To all the TSA bashers who are complaining that nothing serious like a bomb has been found, or that TSA is useless: You are all forgetting the point of TSA. Its to PREVENT people from bringing items on planes such as bombs, just by having security checks. Not finding bombs doesn't mean they missed them- it means that instituting a security checkpoint dissuaded would-be bombers from even trying. So thanks TSA for keeping everyone safe simply by your presence.

St├ęphanie said...

I live overseas and travel a lot. I know you guys don't get a lot of thanks, and I just want to say I very much appreciate the fact that you take your job seriously and are doing what you can to keep us safe.

Thanks!