Friday, September 28, 2012

TSA Week in Review: 16 oz. Can of Black Powder Discovered at Anchorage

Black Powder - While resolving an explosives alarm in Anchorage (ANC), Officers discovered a 16 oz. can of black pack powder in checked baggage along with 1,400 primers. 

Grenades
Grenades Discovered at Glacier Park
















Inert Grenades Etc. – We continue to find inert hand grenades and other weaponry on weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited - real or not. When these items are found at a checkpoint, they can cause significant delays. I know they are cool novelty items, but it is best not to take them on a plane.  Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.
  • 3 inert grenades were discovered in checked bag at Glacier Park (GPI) resulting in an evacuation of the baggage room as well as the public side of the airport. Some news reports cited the grenades as “Halloween props”, but to our Officers, they looked like 3 live grenades. 
  •  An inert training detonator was discovered during a pat-down search after a Charleston (CHS) passenger alarmed the body scanner. The passenger was an instructor who forgot the item was in his pocket.

An inert training detonator was discovered during a pat-down search after a Charleston (CHS) passenger alarmed the body scanner. The passenger was an instructor who forgot the item was in his pocket.
Detonator Discovered at Charleston















Items in the Strangest Places –It’s important to check your bags prior to traveling. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag, you could be cited and possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found in strange places.

A switchblade and a boot knife were detected under the lining of a carry-on bag at Washington Dulles (IAD).























  • A switchblade and a boot knife were detected under the lining of a carry-on bag at Washington Dulles (IAD).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Las Vegas (LAS).

What Not to Say at an Airport – Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience many other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:
  • As a gate agent was approaching an unattended bag at El Paso (ELP), the owner of the bag stated “I better get it before it explodes.”
Stun Guns –  Four stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation: Pensacola (PNS), Dallas Love (DAL), Chicago Midway (MDW), and Roanoke (ROA).

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, Airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, and a lot of sharp pointy things -- to mention a few… 

Machete
Discovered at Albany (ALB)







Firearms - Here are pictures of some of the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. See a complete list below. 

Loaded guns.
Loaded guns.
Loaded guns.

29 loaded guns discovered at TSA checkpoints.





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.


If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.


42 comments:

RB said...

Does the weapons count include the pistole missed by TSA at Orlando?

Guess Orlando TSA Screeners they are to busy pinching Ipads to find guns.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Burns, could you please comment on this alleged incident at MCO?

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/oops_gun_on_flight_yNiTHOZsJmsu2voSdzBQqN

«Bungling TSA airport screeners at Orlando International Airport failed to notice a loaded handgun in a woman’s carry-on bag yesterday — and she was able to fly to New Jersey with the pistol in her purse.

United Flight 15 was already in the air when the passenger, an unidentified 37-year-old Florida woman, realized her .380 caliber Ruger was in her handbag, said Port Authority police spokesman Al Della Fave.»

If this is true, then even though the passenger clearly had no ill-intent, it represents a stunning breach at MCO. With the latest state-of-the-art metal detectors and scanners and x-ray machines, how could a loaded gun slip through a checkpoint?

Alberto said...

How many guns did you miss?

Alan Powell said...

I don't understand what goes into people's minds. Whether you agree with TSA and the rules (sure that some will post negative things)it shows a lack of common sense, and a disregard for the safety of fellow passengers. Before someone says that the TSA is a waste of money, I would rather have there be no material to post in this blog, and to not have the TSA, and have the things that are posted board our aircraft, unnoticed. Yes, there are people who really don't realize that even a fake granade can cause a problem, and make "innocent" mistakes. However, there is no excuse for attempting to carry a firearm (loaded or not) onto an airplane. I also believe that those who do, know the rules. If not, then they should NOT have even HAVE a firearm, in the first place: Most have already broken federal, state, and/or local laws, just by conceiling them (and other weapons). I ask: would you rather, or rather not, have someone there to STOP that kind of person board a plane you (and possibly your family) are on with the types of things listed here?

ddd said...

I had no idea so much prohibited items were attempted to be smuggled on board each week. Makes one wonder what happened before all the recent regulations were put into place.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if TSA has any reaction to the reports from ABC about thefts by its personnel of electronic items passed through by passengers. I find this a very troubling development.

Chip and Andy said...

"...black pack powder in checked baggage"

So how was this black pack powder a threat to aviation if it was in checked baggage?

How was 1,400 primers a threat to aviation security if it was in checked baggage?

Did you *also* find some sort of connection from one item to the other? Was one arranged in a such a way as to make the other dangerous?

Was the owner of the baggage in question charged with Domestic Terrorism?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

How much of this was found by you inexplicably asking everyone to "freeze" on command? None? And you don't bother to mention the criticisms surrounding those practices that sprung up this week?

Anonymous said...

I don't care about this stuff. It needs a match. Find a terrorist, please.

Anonymous said...

Inert grenade props are not a threat to airline safety and are not used by terrorists. Better train your staff so they can correctly identify these kinds of non-threats.

Another failed "gotcha."

Anonymous said...

How do you guys miss a gun? That has to be the most basic thing to keep off of a plane.

Do you have any comment on this story?

http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/28/14127532-recovering-the-spread-mom-forces-tsa-to-shell-out-399-for-seized-peanut-butter?lite

I have a couple of questions.

Why was the peanut butter confiscated, but not the jelly or applesauce?

Since this woman got a refund from the government, dies that mean her peanut butter was improperly confiscated? Is peanut butter permitted through security now?

When are the silly liquid restrictions going to go away? I still don't see how peanut butter is a liquid.

Anonymous said...

Oh good, the TSA is doing the job that regular security did before except with the added bonus of theft.

Seriously, you herald these as TSA successes, but hey there, regular airport security would have done the same thing. In other words, not only is the TSA a pointless government agency, but with the recent ABC news report, it does more harm than good.

It's not a success unless you're doing something useful that wasn't being done before.

As the comments previously posted on the theft post - I'm more likely to have my stuff stolen by a TSA agent than I am to end up in a terrorist attack (but not because the TSA did anything about this non-existent terrorist attack).

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to always complain about TSA. You would rather not be screened now would you? How about all of you people get on the same plane along with all the other passengers who would rather not be screened? and bring their "fake" grenades for the trip. Sounds like a fun trip right? I know i'd much rather go through the screening processes than go on a plane with people who havent been properly screened. I dont know about you, but I want to make sure my plane lands safely and get home to my kids. Some of you people disgust me because of your ignorance.

Chip and Andy said...

" How about all of you people get on the same plane along with all the other passengers who would rather not be screened?"

Sign me up! Which airline is offering this from which airports?

"...Some of you people disgust me because of your ignorance...."

And some of you people disgust me with how easily you throw away your constitutional rights and how quick you are to try and throw away my rights in the process.

Anonymous said...

Do you think a piece of razor blade would count as concealed weapon? I have a shard stuck in my beard and i don't want to shave yet...

Anonymous said...

Good!
Sim so dep re

Anonymous said...

I am glad the TSA is finding the objects they are and dealing with these. There are too many crazies out there these days - who knows what they would do on a plane. If someone stood up with a grenade on a plane and began waving it around, how would we, other passengers, know it was not real? It would be extraordinarily disruptive, probably resulting in the person being taken down, plane diverted and all sorts of "inconveniences," as well as being very frightening. I, for one, am not interested in havng that experience.

Anonymous said...

Pedophile working for the TSA. To bad the Church waited until after the limitations of the crime before reporting it.
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20121001_TSA_hired_defrocked_Camden_priest_without_background_check.html

Sunshine All Day Long said...

Just donated to Jon Corbett's TSA Our of Our Pants project. I doubt they will post this, but I hope everyone will consider donating to this worthy cause.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Good!
Sim so dep re

October 1, 2012 2:02 AM
.....................

Spam Much?

Anonymous said...

Most people who are critical of the TSA still want screening. We are tired of getting groped and irradiated just to get on a plane. The metal detectors and baggage x-rays catch almost everything. This can be seen every week on the weekly roundup of items caught. The body scanners rarely catch anything and it usually ends up being toothpaste or pot. Neither of which is a threat to the plane.

In the years between 9/11 and 2010, I rarely had issues at the checkpoint. If I set off the metal detector, I would get checked with a hand held metal detector. Where did those go? Since 2010, I almost always get a full body patdown with repeated genital contact. The reason is because I have to opt out because of a medical condition. I'm not opting out because I want to, so why do I get treated like someone going to jail?

Anonymous said...

"Everyone seems to always complain about TSA. You would rather not be screened now would you?"

I would rather the US implement real security, not the security theater that employs non-HS grads as "officers."

"How about all of you people get on the same plane along with all the other passengers who would rather not be screened?"

Deal! Where can we do this?

"and bring their "fake" grenades for the trip."

There's a straw man argument for you!

"Sounds like a fun trip right? I know i'd much rather go through the screening processes than go on a plane with people who havent been properly screened."

Are you aware of anywhere in the US that screening is done properly? I'm not - the TSA misses 70% of prohibited items, including firearms.

"I dont know about you, but I want to make sure my plane lands safely and get home to my kids."

And I want my kids to have their God-given Constitutional rights. Don't you?

"Some of you people disgust me because of your ignorance."

Yes, ignorance is disgusting as is denying your fellow citizens their Constitutional rights for a paycheck. You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?


Anonymous said...

"When are the silly liquid restrictions going to go away?"

2009. Didn't you get the memo?

"I still don't see how peanut butter is a liquid."

It's not.

Anonymous said...

"How many guns did you miss?"

According to Congress, TSA misses two of every three weapons that pass through checkpoints or approximately 70 firearms/week.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to compare these weekly TSA "catch" tallies with corresponding ones from before 9/11. If the numbers are significantly and consistently greater, that might be compelling proof that the TSA have truly enhanced security as they constantly claim.

Do the pre-9/11 numbers exist? If so, have they been retroactively classified "for reasons of national security"?

Absent such a comparison, I see nothing in these weekly reports that shows the TSA to be any better than the minimum-wage screeners who protected aviation before 9/11. The items are almost all metallic objects that could have been detected with the metal detectors and wands in use before the TSA existed.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"According to Congress, TSA misses two of every three weapons that pass through checkpoints or approximately 70 firearms/week."

Are you referencing three airports back in 2004-2005? Number doesn’t seem relevant considering TSA is at 450 airports and the year is 2012.

Morris said...

Almost all of the guns shown here are either target pistols or concealed carry firearms all of which are legal for citizens to own and carry (as long as you don't live in CA or IL). Just because a legal firearms owner forgets he or she is carrying does not make them irresponsible. If you carry all day everyday it becomes part of you, just like your wallet. Have you every forgotten you had a bottle of water in a bag? Or a hair gel? A conceal carry weapon is exactly the same thing.

I carry everyday, everywhere. There are times when I had to make sure to remind myself I had it on me when going into a government building or heading to a school. I have not yet forgotten to stow my carry when boarding a plane but regardless of how responsible I am, I do not doubt that one day my small conceal carry pistol may end up here cause I just... forget.

I also carry a pocket knife on my keychain at all times. I can tell you that I forget I have it on me at all times until I need it. It's very small and really only useful to open packages or cut twine. That said it could still be used as a deadly weapon. It has never been seen or caught by the TSA mainly cause when folded it looks like a key. I often forget it is there till I board my plane or get off.

I do not see how the TSA taking my knife makes citizens safer so I'm glad they are completely clueless as to what it is whenever I fly.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said...
"According to Congress, TSA misses two of every three weapons that pass through checkpoints or approximately 70 firearms/week."

Are you referencing three airports back in 2004-2005? Number doesn’t seem relevant considering TSA is at 450 airports and the year is 2012.

---------------------------

I always hear the 70% failure rate is outdated, but there hasn't been any published data released since then. If more recent data was released, we could see if there is an improvement. If you go by the NBA executuve who got the gun through security on his outbound flight, but was caught on his return flight, you only have a 50% failure rate. That's an improvement.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said...
"According to Congress, TSA misses two of every three weapons that pass through checkpoints or approximately 70 firearms/week."

Are you referencing three airports back in 2004-2005? Number doesn’t seem relevant considering TSA is at 450 airports and the year is 2012.


Then answer this: Why have they not released the results of more recent (and more widespread) tests???

If they were catching more, it would only help their case: "Look, we're improving!!"

The only reason to NOT release more recent figures is they they have NOT improved (or have even gotten worse).

Anonymous said...

Riddle me this TSA: Why do you refer to baggage screeners as Transportation Security OFFICERS? Why do you give them shiny tin badges? and why do you dress them up in LEO-looking uniforms when they HAVE ABSOLUTLEY NO LAW ENFORCEMENT POWERS??? These "officers" are no more qualified to detain or enforce than an average civilian. The only difference is they are federalized minimum wage earners with benefits.... and now, unionized. Go to almost any small airport (like Elko Nevada) and you can see them sitting on their rear ends playing cards or watching movies on their lap tops.
Our tax dollars at work!

Sandra said...

Although I am certain I won't get a response, Bob, why is the page regarding photography at checkpoints no longer showing on the TSA new website?

New American says "Transportation Security Administration has retracted its approval of filming its procedures at security checkpoints."

screen shot

RB said...

If a person goes to the TSA.Gov webpage and tries searching for most any topic the result is a page not found 404.

What happened to the TSA.GOV webpages?

Anonymous said...

Why again do we need the invasive ineffective naked scanners?

Anonymous said...

In my recent travels, I've noticed some of the backscatter scanners being replaced with the MMW scanners. Why are they being replaced? Do they not work? Is it because Europe has banned them over health concerns? How much money is being spent to replace these scanners? It seems like a waste of money to install one type of scanner and replace them with new scanners a short time later.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Then answer this: Why have they not released the results of more recent (and more widespread) tests???

If they were catching more, it would only help their case: "Look, we're improving!!"

The only reason to NOT release more recent figures is they they have NOT improved (or have even gotten worse)."


TSA has never released the results of red team tests. Information gets leaked. That just comes with having a free press. Red team information isn’t useful for judging the system. Let’s say an affiliate of a terrorist group is found by border patrol to have a new smuggling technique. Red team tests the new trick on airport security and finds that it has a 64% chance of working. Would you grade the entire system on this test? No. This would be a time to start working on lowering that percentage to a more acceptable risk (which is subjective from security expert to security expert on what is acceptable risk). However, with physical security, sometimes there is never a point you can reach acceptable risk. Honestly, terrorism is a tiny risk anyways. This discussion is moot.
I understand were your coming from through. The tests to look out for are the ones by the GAO. Those ones are designed to rate the system. Also, you get the results and follow up which is listed at the end of the report. Of course, we won’t get the details of the test as the majority of the report will be redacted due to security concerns.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Red team information isn’t useful for judging the system. Let’s say an affiliate of a terrorist group is found by border patrol to have a new smuggling technique. Red team tests the new trick on airport security and finds that it has a 64% chance of working. Would you grade the entire system on this test? No.

Actually, YES.

The TSA, to be truly effective, needs to be able to find bombs/weapons/etc, no matter what technique is used to hide them.

If they can do that, then they will find 100% (or at least better than 30%!) of the contraband.

If they cannot do that, then they are useless. Terrorists who come up with a 'new smuggling technique' aren't going to wait until the TSA runs tests to see if the method works, and develop training to counter it. They'll just use it. And the TSA won't catch it.

Honestly, terrorism is a tiny risk anyways.

You're right. So you agree the TSA is unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

" If not, then they should NOT have even HAVE a firearm, in the first place..."

I feel the same way about people who are caught with bottles of water at checkpoints. Don't they realize what an incredible risk that represents to their fellow passengers?

No one caught with bottled water at a checkpoint should ever be allowed to possess water ever again.

Anonymous said...

"Are you referencing three airports back in 2004-2005? Number doesn’t seem relevant considering TSA is at 450 airports and the year is 2012."


The Congressional report from late 2011 indicates that the performance today is not statistically different than the results from the results you reference. Of course, the tsa could release the results of red team testing, couldn't it?

Anonymous said...

Chip and Andy said...
[["...black pack powder in checked baggage"

So how was this black pack powder a threat to aviation if it was in checked baggage?]]

Its … An … Explosive… Do the math.

Anonymous said...

Riddle me this intellectual writer..... TSA officers are not minimum wage. Check USA JOBS. They start anywhere between 38,000 to near 50,000 a year and can move into higher positions that pay 70,80,90 thousand a year. The FSD's make triple digit salaries. So recheck your facts boy wonder.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"Riddle me this intellectual writer..... TSA officers are not minimum wage. Check USA JOBS. They start anywhere between 38,000 to near 50,000 a year and can move into higher positions that pay 70,80,90 thousand a year. The FSD's make triple digit salaries. So recheck your facts boy wonder."

Old comment to reply to, but, according to the TSA's own website and additional research, TSO's start around 25518/year (minimum of the D band) plus locality pay. This comes to roughly 12.27/hr (assuming 40/hr weeks), which, you're right, isn't minimum wage. It's hardly a living wage these days, though. Regardless, this does not excuse you for stooping to insults to make your point.

Bryan McDonald said...

The list of dates and items seized is astounding! I never realized that this many people tried to carry items like this onto a plane...

What are people thinking!!??