Friday, November 9, 2012

TSA Week in Review: 7" Nonmetallic Pocketknife Discovered With Body Scanner



Folding plastic knife discovered at Salt Lake City.













Nonmetallic Pocket Knife – A 7” plastic pocketknife was discovered on a passenger during a pat-down after an anomaly was detected with a body scanner at Salt Lake City (SLC). The passenger stated he was trying to get the knife through security and was arrested on a federal charge.

Inert Ordnance and 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 realistic bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited - real or not. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, 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. 

Inert explosive training aids that were discovered at Austin.
IED Training Aids Discovered at Austin (AUS)
























  • Inert explosive training aids were discovered in a golf club case  after an alarm in checked baggage at Austin (AUS).
  • Two inert hand grenades were discovered in checked baggage at Norfolk (ORF).


Two inert hand grenades.
Two inert grenades discovered at Norfolk


















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 cane sword was discovered in the carry-on bag of a passenger at LaGuardia (LGA).

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:

  • After being denied boarding due to intoxication, a Columbus passenger told the gate agent that she had a bomb in her bag.

Stun Guns –  Seven stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation: Denver (DEN), San Juan (SJU), Las Vegas (LAS), Reagan Washington National (DCA), Jacksonville (JAX), Tallahassee (TLH), Grand Rapids (GRR). The stun gun discovered at DCA was disguised to look like a smart phone. 

Stun gun disguised as smart phone.
Stun Gun Disguised as Smart Phone Discovered at DCA

























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…

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.  

Five loaded pistols.


Four loaded revolvers.


Three loaded pistols.


Three loaded pistols.





















\
35 total firearms discovered this week. 33 loaded, and 2 unloaded.








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.

26 comments:

Chip and Andy said...

Congratulations, you completed your job for another week by finding stuff you were looking for.

And that nonmetallic pocketknife.... only cost $634,000 to find! I know safety has no cost when it is effective, but you are not effective therefore there is a cost.

SB said...

That nonmetallic knife totally looks like it could saw right through the locked and hardened cockpit door, as the crew and the knife owner's fellow passengers sat meekly by.

Thank you, TSA, for preventing another 9/11.

Anonymous said...

Every one is aware that all of the previously displayed seized items are prohibited carry-on items.

Only terrorists and dumbo extremists continue to attempt to probe, mock, and circumvent TSA systems and rules for no good purpose.

TSA, please avoid being lenient where such violations occur.

jdcoblin said...

My heart goes out to you for maintaining your politeness in the face of the ongoing idiocy of the traveling public. It boggles my mind that so many Americans are so ignorant about security issues; they are probably the first to complain that the government is violating their rights to "carry arms"?

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Ms. Napolitano and Mr. Pistole will have the decency to submit their respective resignations after the recent election. The TSA is a national disgrace that needs new direction and leadership.

RB said...

Just another week of TSA patting itself on the back. TSA employees must be double jointed given all the self back patting getting done.

This weekly recap list of items is very similar to every other week that TSA has posted.

Thought TSA claimed these inspections were a deterrent.

Doesn't seem like it!

Why not use this taxpayer funded TSA Blog to discuss problems taxpayers have trying to navigate the unknowable TSA so-called Security Checkpoints.

Tell us exactly what a TSA screener means when they say they will feel up to our resistance. Is that our genitals?

Or how about explaining just why the confiscated liquids, jells, and aerosols that are to dangerous to fly are just tossed in common trash bins like non-harmful item.

Why don't TSA employees who work around x-ray emitters wear radiation exposure badges? Doesn't TSA care about employee health?

FIX THE CAPTCHA!

Copy retained for DHS OIG.

Anonymous said...

Michelle Dunaj

Anonymous said...

I work for TSA as a supervisor with a secret security clearance and a "need to know", so I get the watered down safe version of information about people and plots against avaiation security. I wish (like hell) I didn't have to know the little that l do know. Believe me, ignorance is bliss in this situation. If the public would just understand that the people who have a point to prove will stop at NOTHING to carry out their mission. They eat, sleep and breathe their cause. The are willing to sacrifice ANYTHING including their own lives for their cause. They have time, money and unlimited resources at their disposal. They have no cares or worries. They play on our sympathies, but they have none. They will use children, women (including ones that are pregnant) and the elderly. They have patience to wait years for the right opportunity. I can go on forever, but I will end here with this; you may not understand why TSA has a certain policy and you may not agree with it, but there is some logic and intelligence behind it. This job is not glamourous and we do not enjoy touching you or your property.

Wintermute said...

"And that nonmetallic pocketknife.... only cost $634,000 to find!"

Not only that, but it's not even a threat to aviation, even in the hands of someone with the worst of intentions! Unless is can magically allow it's holder to bypass the hardened cockpit doors, that is!

Anonymous said...

To Chip & Andy

So your telling us 100 or so passengers lives are not worth $640,000.

BG

Anonymous said...

Will you please comment on what training screeners receive on recognizing normal anatomy?

Ms. Maggie Buckenmayer's screening experience at Birmingham is appalling: http://tsanewsblog.com/7280/news/maggie-another-person-sexually-assaulted-by-the-tsa/

Anonymous said...

That first knife has a 2.5" blade. Calling it a 7" knife is disingenous, because in most people's minds, it would conjure up a knife with a 7" blade.

A 2.5" blade might not be allowed, but do not try to make it sound more dangerous than it is.

Also, please tell your photographer to do a better job lining up these alleged "found knives" with the ruler. Measuring starts at the first line of the ruler, not the end of the ruler. (See Using a Ruler 101.)

Anonymous said...

@ jdcoblin:

Yes, the TSA faces a lot of criticism. Some of it is done in a rude manner.

The TSA responses to criticism are not usually very polite. A quick search of TSA employees' comments on this blog range from polite and helpful to downright rude and condescending.

Some TSA employees post here using the same identifiable handle. Others post as "Anonymous," which makes one wonder why, if they are so proud of their work and their department.

I encourage all commenters to post in a polite manner, but I even more strongly encourage the TSA employees, who are public servants and are the "face" of their department to make a stronger effort to be civil, informative, and helpful.

If the TSA would rein in their nastier employee commenters and work harder to inform the public, they would have better encounters on this blog and in the public.

Adrian said...

The past four times I've flown, including this past weekend, the whole-body imaging machines have been turned off or removed. Passengers are simply going through metal detectors as in the past. It's been wonderfully nostalgic. But if such measures are good enough, why did TSA waste so much money on the WBIs and the propaganda telling everyone they are safe and essential?

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. I live in Asia and fly throughout Asia frequently for business. My local airport, in a city with roughly 32 million people in the metro area and a per capita GDP exceeding that of the US, has no TSA nor any TSA equivalent. We only go through metal detectors--no AITs. They don't even check IDs at the gates. No ID checks at all if you're flying domestic. All I have to do is show my ticket. Why do these kinds shown in this blog only happen in the US?

Anonymous said...

Either the commentariat has suddenly become much more pro-TSA, or Blogger Bob is blocking all non-supportive comments. Interestingly, there are only 4 comments here, where in past posts, more than 30 comments have usually appeared, with perhaps 4 pro-TSA ones scattered among them.

I am taking a screenshot of this and will report any censorshop.

Anonymous said...

Also in the news: TSA loses its case against apple-sauce woman who wanted to give her 93 year old mother snacks. Arrested & strip searched.

Anonymous said...

An alleged TSAnonymous said...

"I work for TSA as a supervisor with a secret security clearance and a "need to know", so I get the watered down safe version of information about people and plots against avaiation security. I wish (like hell) I didn't have to know the little that l do know. Believe me, ignorance is bliss in this situation. If the public would just understand that the people who have a point to prove will stop at NOTHING to carry out their mission. They eat, sleep and breathe their cause. The are willing to sacrifice ANYTHING including their own lives for their cause. They have time, money and unlimited resources at their disposal. They have no cares or worries. They play on our sympathies, but they have none. They will use children, women (including ones that are pregnant) and the elderly. They have patience to wait years for the right opportunity. I can go on forever, but I will end here with this; you may not understand why TSA has a certain policy and you may not agree with it, but there is some logic and intelligence behind it. This job is not glamourous and we do not enjoy touching you or your property."

November 10, 2012 7:42 AM


Do Americans believe terrorists exist who wish to cause harm? Yes.

Are we willing to cower and hide in our homes because of a self-serving "YOU MUST FEAR EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING!!! TERRORISTS ARE EVERYWHERE!!!" post by an alleged "TSA Supervisor"? No!

Sorry, we do not trust the TSA, your comments are vague, have no evidential value, and do not match the information provided by actual security experts.

The TSA is a government department and is answerable to the American people and our representatives. Hiding every policy and screw-up behind "SSI!" and "Screeners followed procedure!" further erodes the department's value and believability.

Your last sentence, "This job is not glamourous and we do not enjoy touching you or your property," speaks volumes, and is probably the only honest thing in your post.

Americans and visitors to America don't care whether you like to touch us or our property. The fact is you ARE touching us and our property. Many believe this "touching" violates our privacy, state and local laws, and the US Constitution.

We will continue to demand transparency, accountability, professionalism, and our rights.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
I work for TSA as a supervisor with a secret security clearance and a "need to know", so I get the watered down safe version of information about people and plots against avaiation security. I wish (like hell) I didn't have to know the little that l do know. Believe me, ignorance is bliss in this situation. If the public would just understand that the people who have a point to prove will stop at NOTHING to carry out their mission. They eat, sleep and breathe their cause. The are willing to sacrifice ANYTHING including their own lives for their cause. They have time, money and unlimited resources at their disposal. They have no cares or worries. They play on our sympathies, but they have none. They will use children, women (including ones that are pregnant) and the elderly. They have patience to wait years for the right opportunity. I can go on forever, but I will end here with this; you may not understand why TSA has a certain policy and you may not agree with it, but there is some logic and intelligence behind it. This job is not glamourous and we do not enjoy touching you or your property.

November 10, 2012 7:42 AM
....................

So just were are these terrorist attacks you so worried about being carried out?

TSA is a colossal waste of money!

Chip and Andy said...

"...To Chip & Andy

So your telling us 100 or so passengers lives are not worth $640,000.

BG"

Well... if someone was able to demonstrate how a two inch non-metallic knife was an actual threat to an aircraft your question would be valid.

And before you ask, no I would rather not get stuck with the knife but me getting poked is not a threat to an entire aircraft full of people even if you somehow managed to stick all of them before getting beat down horribly by all of the passengers who may or may not have been stuck with the two-inch non-metallic knife.

As I see it, and many will agree, the find in question is simply a tic-mark on a checklist of things done simply to justify having a checklist because the more checklists you have the more important you must be.

And that is my opinion of the TSA.... a bunch of checklists of things that generate more checklists but don't actually accomplish anything other than the completion of the checklist.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for TSA as a supervisor with a secret security clearance and a "need to know", so I get the watered down safe version of information about people and plots against avaiation security. I wish (like hell) I didn't have to know the little that l do know. Believe me, ignorance is bliss in this situation. If the public would just understand that the people who have a point to prove will stop at NOTHING to carry out their mission. They eat, sleep and breathe their cause. The are willing to sacrifice ANYTHING including their own lives for their cause. They have time, money and unlimited resources at their disposal. They have no cares or worries. They play on our sympathies, but they have none. They will use children, women (including ones that are pregnant) and the elderly. They have patience to wait years for the right opportunity. I can go on forever, but I will end here with this; you may not understand why TSA has a certain policy and you may not agree with it, but there is some logic and intelligence behind it. This job is not glamourous and we do not enjoy touching you or your property.

November 10, 2012 7:42 AM

___________________________________

Exactly how many of them have been caught at a checkpoint?

Anonymous said...

Because Americans think everyone is out to get them.

Anonymous said...

"If the public would just understand that the people who have a point to prove will stop at NOTHING to carry out their mission. They eat, sleep and breathe their cause. The are willing to sacrifice ANYTHING including their own lives for their cause...."

That's why TSA's current procedures are "security theater." A 75-year old doesn't have to take off his/her shoes at the checkpoint but a 74-year old does? Inane. Cargo is not 100% screened but TSA tests beverages bought from vendors inside the airport? Ridiculous. The health of a woman with terminal cancel (Michelle Dunaj) is compromised at a checkpoint because TSA staff don't know how to recognize threats? Shameful. (When will TSA address the Michelle Dunaj event anyway?) Passengers are irradiated and subject to nude body scans to find guns and knives that metal detectors find more reliably? Wasteful.

The best counters to future terrorism have already been implemented: locked cockpit doors and passengers who will fight back. Passengers on a plane will stop at NOTHING to prevent another 9/11.

Anonymous said...

In NO way am I being sarcastic or condescending - can someone please (without sarcasm or belittling) please explain what Rights they believe TSA is taking away from us? I

want to understand what the uproar is. I am neither pro or against TSA. None of my friends or family have been directly affected by 9/11.

I simply want to understand and be informed when i travel as well. I dont want to be "sheeple" as some have stated, but i as dont want to be against something i don't fully understand as well.

All i understand so fari is, our bags go through xray just like pre 9/11? - is that the 4th amendment unlawful seach part? Or is it the body scanner part? Or is that the privacy invasion? Or am i just getting them all miixed up?

Again, i am absolutely not trying to start an argument or get on anyones nerves. Just seeking guidence, as i tried googling for help, but nothing was really clear cut and dry about which and how my rights are going to be violated when i travel.

Chip and Andy said...

"... can someone please (without sarcasm or belittling) please explain what Rights they believe TSA is taking away from us?"

Specifically the TSA is violating the Fourth Amendment. The searching is not the problem, the Government doing the searching is. The Fourth Amendment prevents the Government from searching individuals without probable cause. The desire to travel by aircraft is not, or should not be, probable cause. Private security companies can do whatever the law allows and the public will tolerate. The Government, however, is supposed to be limited to the powers we granted them in the Constitution.

Then....

The TSA is violating many other parts of the Constitution and Bill of Rights by claiming that the airports, or whatever area the TSA is currently working out of which includes bus and rail stations, that these areas are somehow exempt from Constitutional Freedoms. This has been expressed many times with Agents harassing individuals for photography, videogaphy, and being in public places near, but not on, an airport like on top of parking garages or near the end of runways.

There are plenty of more examples, and probably much better explanations available. You did ask for a simple answer and this comment does comply with the site commenting rules so by strict definition it should be mostly sarcasm and belittling free.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the 4th amendment point, there is nothing that says you have to fly. sort of like going to Disney World. They search your bags. While they are definitely not the government, I have seen complaints about that as well. The counter to that is, ... DON'T GO THERE! I could say the same here. DON'T FLY!!! I am NOT a fan of the TSA or the Federal Govt. Could this be done better by a private entity? possibly. It would be cheaper for sure.

I am just trying to bring up an alternate argument. not saying you CAN'T fly, just that, apart from the $$$$$ issue, SOME things/inconveniences are not THAT big of a deal to make travel safer. No, a plastic knife with a 2 inch blade is not gonna do much. Yes the people on the plane would probably kill anyone trying to take over a plane. I sure wouldn't want to be cut/stuck by the plastic knife. Yes, a pen, keys, glasses, shoes, blanket, hands, ANYTHING could be used as a weapon. there is a legitimate use for those things tho. Why would someone NEED one of those knives on a plane? NOTHING good could come from it. The TSA is a joke. ppl just need to stop testing it. That does/proves nothing. cooperate, let them do their job and perhaps the cost will go down.