Friday, September 7, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Knife Discovered With Body Scanner



Knife


Knife Discovered With Body Scanner – Using the body scanner, Officers detected a knife concealed in the groin area of a Los Angeles (LAX) passenger. The Los Angeles World Airport Police arrested him on a state charge.

Seal Bombs




Seal Bombs – Two seal bombs were discovered in the carry-on bag of a 12-year-old passenger traveling with his father at Seattle (SEA). A seal bomb is a small explosive device that resembles a large firecracker.






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 law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found in strange places.
  • A 3-inch knife was detected inside a passenger’s shoe at Fresno (FAT).
  • A 12” cane sword was discovered at Los Angeles (LAX). 
Grenades
Inert Grenades Etc. – We continue to find hand grenades and other weaponry on weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if something 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.
  • An inert grenade was divested into a screening bin by a passenger at Seattle (SEA).
  • An inert grenade was discovered in the carry-on bag of an 11-year-old passenger at Baltimore (BWI).
  • A grenade belt buckle was discovered at Columbus (CMH). If you were looking at the item outside of the X-ray, it would obviously be a belt buckle, but on the X-ray screen, it looked like the real deal.
  • An inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag in Huntsville (HSV).
Stun Guns – 7 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation: Nashville (BNA), Salt Lake City (SLC), Atlantic City (ACY), San Francisco (SFO), Jacksonville (JAX), Minneapolis (MSP), and Kansas City (MCI)

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. Just to mention a few… 


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

Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
30 firearms 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.

70 comments:

D. O'Reilly said...

I just want to say that if more passengers read these they wouldn't complain about security. I'm 72 yrs. old and have a knee replacement and have to be patted down, etc. and I'm OK with it. Dorothy - Portland, OR

CJ said...

Seriously? A grenade-like belt buckle?! These are the threats to our national security? Does the TSA get promotions for confiscating squirt guns too?

Krimeny said...

What are these flyers thinking?!? For crying out loud....

RB said...

What was the cost to find that one knife Bob? Somewhere around $6,000,000.00?

Doesn't seem very cost effective does it? Of course that defines TSA to a T. Not cost effective and not responsible with our tax dollars.

And speaking of money just why does TSA need a large and expensive PR staff? Surely those dollars can be put to better use.

I want my money back.

Charlotte said...

Thanks for sharing this. It is very helpful and insightful. I appreciate it.

Charlotte said...

Thanks you for publishing this info. It is very helpful and insightful.

Anonymous said...

While I am not a fan of either the Democrat or Republican parties...I think the Republican platform language reflects the sentiment of a majority of law-abiding tax-paying Americans...


"While the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks brought about a greater need for homeland security, the American people have already delivered their verdict on the Transportation Security Administration: its procedures -- and much of its personnel -- need to be changed.
It is now a massive bureaucracy of 65,000 employees who seem to be accountable to no one for the way they treat travelers. We call for the private sector to take over airport screening wherever feasible and look toward the development of security systems that can replace the personal violation of frisking."

It's a sad day in the United States when one of the two major parties feels the need to call for such a sweeping overhaul.

Joe S said...

What are people thinking? Don't they realize that all this does is slow the lines and planes up for everyone else. I think these people should be banned for flying for the rest of there lives. Also be charged a lot of money and 25 years in jail. No exceptions. We need to make an example out of some of these idiots. Then maybe people would check there bags before they start packing.

charle alllen said...

I do not fly very often,i just couldn't believe that kind of stuff people try to board a plane with.the guy with the knife there was for sure crimial intent to try something like that plus all the firearms that are found loaded i just can't believe people are that stupid.

Anonymous said...

TSA week in review... we kept one woman from boarding her flight because she made us mad when she drank her bottle of water. We even admitted to her that she wasn't a security threat, but that we were just mad at her.

Alan P said...

I you do not think there is a need for the TSA, then you need to PAY ATTENTION. Did you not notice the loaded firearms and other dangerous weapons, some of which purposely hidden? Or, would you feel safe with someone carry a loaded firearm on the plane you, and possibly your children were riding on? Personally, a belt buck of any type is not worth it. It is also very selfish to other flyers/fellow Americans. And even if you never fly, remember that very plane could be flying over your home...

Bob said...

I hate to point it out, but you could have found that same knife with the metal detector technology you have had in place for decades. It's like you publish these week in review posts to point out just how useless TSA is.

Anonymous said...

For anyone who thinks we should get rid of TSA - I assume you mean there should be no security checks? You must be mad! Every airport in every city in the world has extensive security, I once went through Frankfurt and had to clear 3 different security checkpoints to get on the plane. Was it time-consuming? Yes. Whas is annoying? Yes. Did I appreciate the concern for my safety and that of my fellow passengers? No question. In today's world we don't know who we can trust. I don't want to be getting on a plane with some armed stranger. I used to work in an airport and even in uniform and with secure ID I was screened every day. Put up with it or don't fly. You have a choice...

Anonymous said...

Just go through the line shut up and let them do thier jobs.If not drive then!

Anonymous said...

Nobosy wants to eliminate all security. I just think they could do a better job, with less taxpayer expense, and be just as effective. I don't think the TSA would have stopped 9/11. Boxcutters were a permitted item and the hijackers had valid ID's and boarding passes. People were told to comply with the hijackers at that point. Starting with United 93, that all changed.

Speaking of taxpayer money, I'm not convinced the body scanners are worth the money or health risks. Look at the big find this week. Out of millions of passengers, they found one knife. That knife would have been found by the metal detector. Plus, it is smaller than knives I've been given in airport restaurants and onboard planes.

Anonymous said...

The groin knife would have been found by a walk-through metal detector. Why is it necessary to blast people with radiation and take photos of their naked bodies to find things that a walk-through metal detector would find at a much, much cheaper cost?

Also, please comment on the event in which a TSA employee, out of pique, prevented a woman from boarding her flight when she did not let him test a drink she bought from a vendor in the secure area of the airport. (See http://www.infowars.com/tsa-kicks-woman-off-flight-for-bad-attitude/.) Specifically, as a U.S. citizen and taxpayer, I would like answers to these questions:

1. Is it TSA policy to prohibit free movement of citizens about the U.S. for no reason other than a TSA employee has been annoyed by a passenger?
2. If items purchased in the secure area are potentially a threat, why does TSA not screen them BEFORE they are sold?
3. Why would somebody actually be drinking a potentially dangerous beverage? Wouldn't that make them sick or kill them?
4. Can you cite independent studies that demonstrate that testing beverages by waving a strip over them is a scientifically valid approach to testing beverages?
5. What is the false positive rate of such tests?

Anonymous said...

To those of you who blindly support everything the TSA does:

Of course security is necessary! But is irradiating people, virtually stripping them, and groping their genitals necessary? Do you really want all of these things to happen to yourself and your family members just because you want to fly? Don't you wonder if there are more effective techniques than what you would otherwise find in a prison? Haven't you heard of "innocent until proven guilty"?

Screenshot.

Anonymous said...

Now how many people had a valid permit for those hand guns ? Where the gun properly stored clip or bullets removed ? they don't mention that. ,

No mention if the guns were declared at check-in or reported prior to the airline when purchasing the ticket, since the airline check-in counter doesn't communicate with the TSA , if the airline had prior notice of such hand guns only the airline and the passenger knew.

The TSA is useless and a wate of taxpayers $$$.

Anonymous said...

Once again, you ignore the stories people really care about and want you to respond to.

Like this video here, of an agent admitting that he doesn't care about security, only whether people are compliant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gEii7dQUpy8

Stop showing us insignificant things like inert grenades and actually respond to some of the problems with your agency.

Anonymous said...

Classifying a "Seal bomb" as a "small explosive device" that "resembles a firecracker" ranks right up there with calling a "M4" a "small caliber rifle" that "resembles a BB gun."

They may "resemble" a firecracker for certain values of "resemble".

What's the difference? A firecracker (ladyfinger) will numb your hand if goes off in your open palm. A big firecracker (an M-80) will remove your hand, while a "seal bomb" will remove your entire ARM if it goes off in your palm.

Jay Ellis said...

RB said...

What was the cost to find that one knife Bob? Somewhere around $6,000,000.00?

Doesn't seem very cost effective does it? Of course that defines TSA to a T. Not cost effective and not responsible with our tax dollars.

And speaking of money just why does TSA need a large and expensive PR staff? Surely those dollars can be put to better use.

I want my money back.

September 7, 2012 6:58 PM

If you fly regularly then some of you money is spent on the security the TSA privides. There is a surcharge on every ticket and not one penny comes from tax dollars.

And by the way, you're welcome. Oh, and how many planes have gone down since 9/11? That's right, NONE!!!

Anonymous said...

So a body scanner found an item that magnetometer would have picked up (the only reason why it was found by the body scanner being that the person was forced to go through it instead of the magnetometer).

What a waste of our money (and our health).

Anonymous said...

RB, you do realize that a single 747 costs 200 million dollars or more right? On top of that, since we're putting things in monetary terms, the EPA calculates the value of a human life at around 6.9 million dollars. I would say that while it may not be the most cost effective, the TSA is certainly necessary and worth the money. I think there are plenty of other wasteful areas of government that can be removed without risking the lives of the US people.

Anonymous said...

The 9/11 security fee that everyone pays as part of their ticket does not cover all of the TSA's expenditures, so they are getting the rest from taxes.

To the people saying that no planes have blown up since the TSA took over, that's false logic. They haven't caught one terrorist either. They wouldn't have stopped 9/11 since boxcutters were permitted items and the terroists' ID's and tickets were valid.

Since the TSA was formed, I came into possession of a "Tiger Repellent Rock". I have not been attacked by tigers since then. Does that mean my rock is effective? It's the same argument as saying the TSA has stopped terrorism.

Anonymous said...

And how many of these firearms were planted by the tsa/.gov to create these "stories"??

Anonymous said...

SFO is the most dangerous airport in the country. Their own screeners reported 100s of breaches on daily basis!!! Interestingly, there screeners are private contractors. The contractors put profits over safety. Clearly, the security for profit model doesn't work. Reform the TSA, but please keep it federalized. I do not want to back to the pre911 days when there was zero attention paid to security.
I will never fly out of SFO again.

RB said...

"Anonymous said...
RB, you do realize that a single 747 costs 200 million dollars or more right? On top of that, since we're putting things in monetary terms, the EPA calculates the value of a human life at around 6.9 million dollars. I would say that while it may not be the most cost effective, the TSA is certainly necessary and worth the money. I think there are plenty of other wasteful areas of government that can be removed without risking the lives of the US people.

September 9, 2012 5:13 AM"


TSA is neither necessary or worth the cost. Airlines and airports should be responsible for providing security for their property, and I could care less what a 747 cost.


"Jay Ellis said... If you fly regularly then some of you money is spent on the security the TSA privides. There is a surcharge on every ticket and not one penny comes from tax dollars.

And by the way, you're welcome. Oh, and how many planes have gone down since 9/11? That's right, NONE!!!

September 8, 2012 7:58 PM"



The security fee paid as part of an airline ticket does not completely fund TSA.

I didn't say thank you nor do I need your welcome.

How many planes would have gone down with pre 9/11 security? It was not a security screening failure that resulted in 9/11 it was the procedures in place at the time.

"Anonymous said...
For anyone who thinks we should get rid of TSA - I assume you mean there should be no security checks?"


Well you know or should know)what happens when you assume. I see few people calling for the removal of airport security screening.

Many of us just don't think we should be verbally abuse, sexually assaulted, or have our civil rights violated the way TSA seems to think it must do.

TSA and its abusive polices are the problem, not the concept of security.

Bobiam said...

Somehow I can't imagine a terrorist carrying a semi-automatic pistol onto a plane. But given that the people that do mean us harm have nothing better to do than figure out how to harm us, I would guess they would carry on more imaginative weapons. For instance, with a little thought the metal parts of an umbrella or briefcase can be easily fashioned into knife type weapons. From what I've seen in the past, this stuff goes through security checks fairly easy.

@SkyWayManAz said...

Alan P said...

“I[f] you do not think there is a need for the TSA, then you need to PAY ATTENTION. Did you not notice the loaded firearms and other dangerous weapons, some of which purposely hidden?”


To Alan and everyone else expressing similar concerns I personally feel reasonable screening is necessary. I don’t think most people object to that. I see the constitutional claim made repeatedly but a business owner, like an airline, has the right to refuse service if you are unwilling to comply with their rules. Even without external threats we had plenty of home grown crackpots who put bombs on planes in the 60's. I'm old enough to remember when the magnetometers first went up in 1972 and never had any problem with them. What most people object to, and what I object to, is invasive screening. There is a difference between the screener putting their hands inside my bag as I observe and then putting their hands inside my clothes or feeling my genitals. I’ve had several screeners run their finger along the inside of my underwear waistband. The first several times without warning but they usually tell you they’ll do it now.


I think we all knew TSA would have teething problems in the beginning. We expected they'd grow out of them and mature. Unfortunately it's a cluster that keeps getting bigger and more absurd. They replaced the IRS as the agency Americans hate the most and that wouldn’t seem easy to do. A lot of the problem though is the rules make it ridiculously easy to get away with rude obnoxious behavior on TSA’s part. Almost everyone is judged suspicious enough to invasively search. Therefore we constantly see Bob proudly report all proper procedures were followed even if it’s so over the line TSA has to walk it back later like the JFK strip searches. TSA staff in many instances take the attitude that they are at war with the public instead of there to serve them. Then when something no matter how minor sets a screener off out comes the attitude and the threats. I see this all the time with other passengers, even when TSA is polite to me. The whole mentality puts the emphasis for the screener more into looking for the absurd then finding the real threat. This has been confirmed in tests where the screeners spot the water bottle in a bag but miss the bomb next to it.


Hopefully TSA Pre Check establishes some sanity and reasonable rules back into the process. An American citizen with no criminal background should always be able to qualify at a minimal cost. (Even if they criticize TSA publicly in this forum.) That might offend foreign tourists but I'd understand if the UK or Australia eyed me more suspiciously at their airports. If someone with Pre Check is caught with the kind of weapons we always see Bob post week after week or trying to sneak something thru then subject to a hearing they lose that privilege permanently. Have a CCW but forgot your gun was in your bag? Forgot to put your throwing stars in the checked luggage? Hid your, I'll assume, medical marijuana in a peanut butter jar? These things happen but it would be your fault you get the body scanner and the rubber glove treatment after that. Guess we’ll see if TSA tries to abuse that by revoking Pre Check on someone having a butter knife handed out by the airline onboard in their bag or claim a passenger with the Medal of Honor is attempting to smuggle a throwing star.

Anonymous said...

No mention if the guns were declared at check-in
_____________
Agreed. I believe these to be items found in luggage and not available to the passenger during flight. In fact, some of them appear (at least to me) to be photos from previous dates.

I also think that any employee of TSA should be required to identify themselves as such on this blog.

Anonymous said...

While I understand that the majority of these could be prevented, I have once accidentally almost took a folding knife thru the security checkpoint. Luckily I found it, but please understand that in some cases, these are honest mistakes...

Wintermute said...

Alan P said...

"I you do not think there is a need for the TSA, then you need to PAY ATTENTION. Did you not notice the loaded firearms and other dangerous weapons, some of which purposely hidden? Or, would you feel safe with someone carry a loaded firearm on the plane you, and possibly your children were riding on?"

Pre-TSA methods worked fine. The failure was in not securing the cockpit doors and training everyone to comply with terrorist demands, teaching them that they'd be OK if only they did everything the terrorists said. 9/11 taught us the folly of those two things, and those things have changed as a result. Those alone make flying safer.

Aside from that, the TSA has an approximate failure rate of 70%, so out of the 30 or so guns they find per week, about 70 or so make it on. So if you fly frequently, it's pretty likely someone was carrying a loaded firearm on the plane you, and possibly your children, were riding on.

"And even if you never fly, remember that very plane could be flying over your home..."

I know scare tactics are par for the course for TSA and their apologists, but really? You could also have a car drive through your living room. I see that story on the news far more often than planes falling out of the sky.

Anonymous said...

"For anyone who thinks we should get rid of TSA - I assume you mean there should be no security checks?"

I assume you know what a straw-man is? I've not once seen anyone argue for no security. Just a roll back to pre-9/11 methods. TSA apologists like to paint their opponents as loons who want no security at all, though, when that's simply not the case.

Blogger Bob said...

"Using the body scanner, Officers detected a knife concealed in the groin area of a Los Angeles (LAX) passenger. The Los Angeles World Airport Police arrested him on a state charge."

Would the knife not have been caught via walk-through metal detectors? And even if it had made it on (with a little more "artful" in the concealment, it likely would have), what actual threat was this person to aviation? No need to answer, as those would be "Yes" and "None," respectively.

Anonymous said...

I eagerly await tomorrow's "The TSA remembers 9/11" puppy post. You must be busy writing it as I type.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, any comments on the TSA agent who detained a woman in Houston because of her "attitude"?

Anonymous said...

I assume you know what a straw-man is? I've not once seen anyone argue for no security. Just a roll back to pre-9/11 methods. TSA apologists like to paint their opponents as loons who want no security at all, though, when that's simply not the case.

There actually is an appropriate role for the TSA.

Had the Bush administration done it right (and in accordance with the "smaller government" ideology they were elected to promote), they would have created a small Transportation Security Agency charged with overseeing the private contractors who provided airport screening service. That TSA would set standards for screening processes and for screening personnel to ensure consistency and competence. They would also exercise oversight and conduct audits to hold contractors accountable for compliance and effectiveness. Along with the hardened cockpit doors and the change in approach to hijacking, that oversight would have provided enough security enhancement to make passengers feel safe about flying, and at a reasonable cost (in dollars as well as liberty and privacy).

Instead, the Bush administration took full advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that the panic and FEAR after 9/11 gave them. They rammed a law enforcement wish list through Congress without debate, and created an enormous "Homeland Security" bureaucracy exempt from the accountability and oversight required of ordinary federal agencies.

Rather than a small and efficient agency accountable for ensuring the consistency, competence, and effectiveness of private screening, we have a bloated unaccountable TSA that has earned a reputation for inconsistency, ineptitude, and above all, arrogance.

It's not clear whether flying is any safer from the terrorist threat than it was before 9/11. The evidence is conflicting: GAO audits consistently suggest a lack of effectiveness. The TSA insists that we ignore the GAO-- and these weekly posts about items that pre-9/11 screening could have found-- and simply trust their frequent assurances that they're doing an excellent job.

But it is clear that we are more hassled than we were before 9/11. The TSA have transformed flying from a symbol of ultimate freedom to a privilege contingent on forfeiting our privacy, liberty, dignity and even bodily integrity. But we have nothing to assure us that we've gained anything from this transformation, or from the very high cost the TSA extracts. We have only the TSA's insistence that we give them our blind unquestioning faith. And that we remember 9/11, which justifies all the intrusive hassles.

Indeed, we must never forget 9/11. We must never forget the sacrifices of the victims, and the heroes who gave their lives attempting to rescue those victims. But is a queue of passengers standing shoeless at airport checkpoints, waiting like cowering sheep for uniformed officers to herd them into full-body scanners before "intimately" patting them down, a fitting (or effective) way to honor the victims and fallen heroes of 9/11?

Anonymous said...

Did you both fail to read the line that said 'here are the firearms our officers found in CARRY-ON luggage'? If the guns were in checked baggage it would not be a big deal.

Mark Anderson said...

Of the 27 loaded guns, 6 had a round in the chamber!?
What in the hell are people thinking.

If you're going to fly with a gun know the rules, it's not that hard. Check it, unloaded and locked after inspection.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the ignorance of some of the individuals posting on this blog. The point of reporting the confiscation of a knife is not to highlight the knife but to bring awareness that everyday individuals who may intend to do harm attempt to board our planes. Sure the knife would have been picked up by a metal defector. Would you feel better if the knife had been a plastic exposive? Only a scanner would find a plastic explosive. I assure you that individuals attempt to do harm EVERYDAY. Today is the 11th anniversay of 9/11 so be respectful of those individuals who lost their lives. We did not think box cutters were a threat before....we now know that we can't trust anyone nor can we assume that their intentions are innocent.

Anonymous said...

I eagerly await tomorrow's "The TSA remembers 9/11" puppy post. You must be busy writing it as I type.

Let us never forget 9/11. Let us never forget the sacrifices of its tragic victims and the fallen heroes.

But let us never allow the TSA to exploit the memory of those victims and heroes as justification for arrogance and contempt, or as justification for their continuing refusal to even acknowledge their many obvious failings.

Anonymous said...

I you do not think there is a need for the TSA, then you need to PAY ATTENTION. Did you not notice the loaded firearms and other dangerous weapons, some of which purposely hidden? Or, would you feel safe with someone carry a loaded firearm on the plane you, and possibly your children were riding on?

Yes, we all noticed them. A few things you need to be made aware of, however:

1. The TSA didn't catch all of the guns. They do not have a 100% success rate - not even close. If the TSA catching a fraction of the loaded guns that pass through airports somehow confers a feeling of "safety" upon you, then you need to pay attention.

2. Given (1), we also know that people fly - safely - with loaded guns every day. While loaded guns on planes are obviously a sub-ideal situation, there is clearly no cause for this think-of-the-children scare tactic nonsense.

3. Despite (1) and (2), yes, I feel relatively safe flying, because it is statistically safe form of travel. I can feel safe while simultaneously knowing that the TSA isn't actually responsible for that safety.

4. Metal detectors are more than sufficient for detecting firearms. No policy or technology implemented by the TSA has made it any more difficult to get a loaded handgun onto an airplane.

Anonymous said...

Thank god we have the TSA!
Only wish they could scan for rude ignorant selfish passengers. Are people just too self absorbed to think of the total picture of what they are doing? DUH!
RM

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"I can't believe the ignorance of some of the individuals posting on this blog."

Pot. Kettle. Black.

"Only a scanner would find a plastic explosive."

And yet none have been found with a scanner. Hmmm...

"I assure you that individuals attempt to do harm EVERYDAY."

Yes, but is there an actual credible threat every day? (as an aside, notice how "every" and "day" have spaces between them?)

"Today is the 11th anniversay of 9/11 so be respectful of those individuals who lost their lives."

I am always respectful of them. Those who so carelessly toss aside our freedoms are those who are being disrespectful.

"We did not think box cutters were a threat before...."

And because of those tragic events, box cutters are no longer a threat today. A terrorist wielding a box cutter can no longer take down a plane.

"we now know that we can't trust anyone nor can we assume that their intentions are innocent."

There's this concept that our entire justice system is based on. Maybe you've heard of it. "Innocent until proven guilty." The world must be a scary place for someone who trusts no one and thinks everyone is guilty.

Anonymous said...

"I also think that any employee of TSA should be required to identify themselves as such on this blog."Yeah just like you, "anonymous", should be made to put your real name on this Blog. Stupid comment.
Also the article READS that the guns were found in Carry-On Bags. Read the article carefully before you run your mouth or write a stupid tyraid on a Blog page. In all fairness I am not a huge fan of the body scanners, but they were only installed because people wined and cried about being pat down or felt-up. Lesson: you can't have your cake and eat it too when it comes to security. The only way for people to fly securely is to either submit to the Walk through metal detectors and the pat downs or walk through the scanner. I don't think either of them is all that bad if it means that I and everyone on the plane is safe. And where exactly "ananymous,"do you get your "70%" and other numbers...Google??? I wouldn't believe everything I read on the internet lol.

Anonymous said...

9/10/12

Mileage Peaks IV, age 24, pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal conspiracy charge stemming from a scheme to smuggle marijuana on flights out of Los Angeles International Airport. He faces up to five years in prison at his Jan. 14 sentencing hearing in Los Angeles federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. In court papers, Peaks acknowledged promising to pay $500 to ex- Transportation Security Administration agent Dianna Perez for each pot-filled suitcase that cleared security checkpoints at LAX.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

And where exactly "ananymous,"do you get your "70%" and other numbers...Google??? I wouldn't believe everything I read on the internet lol.

Is the "ananymous" comment direct at me? I always post via this pseudonym, and it's trivial to find out my real name. It may, however, require that you believe something you read on the internet ;)

Anyhow, the 70% failure rate comes from two sources. First, an old, leaked, report gives us the 70% number. The TSA has NEVER disputed this number. They only claim it is outdated. However, a Nov 2011 GAO report states that while the actual failure rate is classified, it has changed very little over time.

Anonymous said...

I think if a terrorist is at the airport with a bomb, it's not going to matter if the TSA catches him or if he gets on the plane. Does anybody think the terroist will allow himself to be captured at the checkpoint? He's probably going to detonate the bomb right there. It may not be as spectacular as blowing up a plane, but it will still be effective. Depending on how packed the checkpoint area is, it may kill more people.

If the terrorism threat is so great, how come the TSA hasn't caught any terrorists? Look at the items confiscated here, were any of these people charge with terrorism? They seem like people who were either thought they could bring these items on a plane (not smart), or forgetful. Even Kip Hawley, the former head of the TSA, said the TSA's methods don't work including the liquid restrictions.

Mr. Gel-pack said...

With about 6 million concealed carry permits in 300 million US, the base rate of concealed carriers is about 2%

30 guns divided by (7 days time 2,000,000 passengers) = about 2 in a million.

So if the air travelling public is representative, about 99.99% of armed folks remember to not take their weapons flying. The 0.01% that TSA detects could very well have "simply forgot they had these items."

I doubt that folks could do much better than remembering 99.99% of the time. All the "friendly reminders" and exhortations to be more careful isn't going to be able to move that very much.

I also doubt that TSA catches more than 80% of the guns that come through, so there's at least 7 guns that flew uneventfully and undetected last week.




Wintermute said...

Mr. Gel-pack said...

"I also doubt that TSA catches more than 80% of the guns that come through, so there's at least 7 guns that flew uneventfully and undetected last week"

They don't even catch that many. They don't catch more than about 30%, which means that for the 30 or so they find every week, 70 or so more go undetected. The 70% failure rate is well established and has never been denied. The only thing TSA claims is that it is outdated, being based on an old report. However, the Nov 2011 GAO report to Congress states that while the actual failure rate is classified information, the number has changed very little over time. This means that if the failure rate was once about 70%, then it's still around 70%. The means that the TSA's claim that the number is not accurate based on timeliness is, quite frankly, bunk. TSORon tried to argue this point with me once, and, because he could not win that argument, resorted to insults. ;)

Anonymous said...

"The point of reporting the confiscation of a knife is not to highlight the knife but to bring awareness that everyday individuals who may intend to do harm attempt to board our planes."

That's not true; if it were, Curtis would tell us how many arrests resulted from these "big finds."

"Sure the knife would have been picked up by a metal defector. Would you feel better if the knife had been a plastic exposive? Only a scanner would find a plastic explosive."

Actually, TSA's body scanners have never found a single explosive, nor led to a single arrest, let alone conviction, for terrorism. Nor have they ever found a single dangerous item that would not have been found by a metal detector -- a technology which is faster, non-invasive, and does not cause unnecessary radiation exposure.

"I assure you that individuals attempt to do harm EVERYDAY."

I assure you, you have no idea what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Is the picture in this article showing standard TSA procedure?

http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/story/2012/09/12/reduce-patdowns-house-gop-tells-tsa/57751922/1

Here is the enlarged picture:

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/media/USATODAY/USATODAY/2012/09/11/A03_TSAgroping_13.jpg

That's a terrible picture. I wonder what this teenager did to be subject to this type of search. It had to be bad, correct?

Anonymous said...

TSA is only smoke and mirrors. They are not there to protect us, they are there to make it seem like we have real threats against us on a daily basis. Truth is, these are not trained professionals in any sort of fashion. There is no prior criminal justice background required to hire these individuals. Nor is there any real training or physical fitness requirements.

If there was a real emergency situation, would you honestly believe that this department is capable of saving you and your loved ones?

Jim said...

I have a concealed carry permit and carry most of the time but I absolutely agree that guns or knifes have no place on an airplane. It bad enough that the crazies pop up unexpectedly just about anywhere but at least I don't have to worry one is on my plane. If you need to carry a gun on a plane you can make arangements to have it handled securely as luggage.
I'm not a fan of the TSA and I think they are a bunch of Keystone Cops but I have to agree that anything that may be realisticly be used as a weapon should not be allowed on an airplane.

Mr. Gel-pack said...

Wintermute: I can believe that their detection percentage is much lower than 80%, for the exact reasons you mention: they did a test, came up with the embarrassingly low 30% detection rate and since then they try to hide it.

The 80% detection rate I mentioned is a widely accepted industry standard upper limit for visual inspections, as TSA's X-ray-screen-moderated inspection process has become. If TSA is capable of better than that, as they pretend to be, they are superhumanly good screeners which could find good employment in the Non Destructive Testing field.

TSA's less-than-perfect detection rate explains the several undetected water bottles I've mistakenly carried on board, and is also the reason TSA is such a sham.

Without a well-substantiated near-perfect detection rate, articles like this are evidence that guns are indeed flying on the planes.

Mr. Gel-pack said...

...In other words, given industry standard detection rates, if terrorists really want to get at least 7 guns (or explosive water bottles) onto the planes, they need to risk maybe 35 mules. If TSA's detection rate is the old 30%, they'd only have to risk 10 mules.

The only reason that the big things haven't happened is that they aren't actually worth doing, not because TSA is stopping them.

Anonymous said...

"...For anyone who thinks we should get rid of TSA - I assume you mean there should be no security checks?"

You assume wrong.

Very, very wrong.

The Walk-Through-Metal Detectors would have stopped all of the knives and guns listed in this post at a fraction of the cost.

Those of us complaining about the TSA want security. And we complain about the TSA because the TSA DOES NOT provide security and charges us for it.

Anonymous said...

Looks like your screeners missed a cat in someone's luggage. How do you miss that?

http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/mistaken-stowaway-cat-survives-10-hour-journey-suitcase-000247617--abc-news-topstories.html

Anonymous said...

"What are these flyers thinking?!? For crying out loud...."

Probably that they live in a free country where they don't have to think about government intrusion.

The TSA motto: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter our checkpoint; we're poorly trained and have no standards."

Anonymous said...


"I think these people should be banned for flying for the rest of there lives."

No. Flying is a right that cannot be denied for these transgressions. I think people who are so dismissive of others' rights should be banned from flying for the rest of their (note the proper spelling) lives.

Anonymous said...

"No exceptions. We need to make an example out of some of these idiots. Then maybe people would check there bags before they start packing."

And for speeding, the death penalty. If we're going to set up a totalalitarian society, we need to set standards! Speeding kills, you know!

Come on out west and try to get your suggestion implemented. You might find out that people value liberty highly. You might not like the lesson though.

Anonymous said...

"I assure you that individuals attempt to do harm EVERYDAY."

Harm that the TSA could prevent? Great, let's exchange clearances and you can present your evidence, ok? I can assure you that you don't know what you're talking about.

"Today is the 11th anniversay of 9/11 so be respectful of those individuals who lost their lives."

And we should show respect by forfeiting our Constitutional rights?

"We did not think box cutters were a threat before....we now know that we can't trust anyone nor can we assume that their intentions are innocent."

Actually, the government didn't think small blades represented a threat. The government was wrong.

The government told aircrews that hijackers only wanted to make a political statements. The government was wrong.

Now we're being told that strip searching senior citizens, molesting children and similar nonsense is necessary to prevent future attacks. The government remains wrong.

Think for yourself. It's risky but necessary.

Anonymous said...

"However, a Nov 2011 GAO report states that while the actual failure rate is classified, it has changed very little over time."

It was a Congressional report but you're precisely correct otherwise.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "And how many of these firearms were planted by the tsa/.gov to create these "stories"??"

None

West
TSA Blog team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon 1 sez - "No mention if the guns were declared at check-in"

Anon 2 sez - "Agreed. I believe these to be items found in luggage and not available to the passenger during flight. In fact, some of them appear (at least to me) to be photos from previous date"

The guns listed were found in carry on luggage unless specifically indicated otherwise.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Looks like your screeners missed a cat in someone's luggage. How do you miss that?"

The answer is already included in the article:

"The Columbus airport where Bob-bob made it through luggage checks and onto the plane says its security system is built more for bombs than accidental feline flyers.

"Our machines are very sensitive to picking up explosives and other threats to aviation," Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokeswoman"

The Xray machines are not calibrated to alarm on felines, only explosives, etc.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

How many teachers and priests have we seen in the news fooling around with young kids? Oh and did we forget about the asst. coach at Penn State? What about him? In case you all haven't noticed their are bad apples in every bunch. This simply boils down to one thing. If you don't want to go through the security procedures and deal with all the restrictions....DONT FLY! Flying is a privilege not a right. Take other means of transportation. Way to go TSA!! Keep up the excellent work you do screening millions of passengers each day. And no hijackings since TSA was created 10 years ago!!!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if packing medical marijuana is a problem with TSA.

Anonymous said...

I just can't believe how many people seem to carry enough firepower for a small army! I understand the right to Bear Arms in the US, but what about common sense & treating others with decency? If you go through Airport Security with weapons, you cause more annoying delays to the passengers behind you then, IMHO, other types of travelers.
Thanks to TSA workers for all they've been doing and trying to do.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if packing medical marijuana is a problem with TSA."

Depends on the amount of bribe you paid to allow drugs through ;)

Bob, please start addressing the negative news out of the TSA, and not just when you can use double-speak to excuse it away. If the TSA hopes to regain any sort of credibility with the public they serve, then addressing these issues openly would be an important first step.

Anonymous said...

Q: Why do they call the Air Marshals?
A: Because its Marshall law in the US airspace.

Well almost. Just think of it as that. Don't bring anything that can be fashioned in to a weapon. Simple. Common. Sense.

Arlie said...

Oh my goodness! "Seal Bomb: a small explosive device (resembling a firecracker) that is used underwater in order to frighten mammals away from fishing grounds" I feel so much safer now that a 12 year olds fishing equipment has been taken away.. Thank you SO much.