Friday, February 24, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Artillery Projectile Fuse?

M557 projectile fuse, inert grenades, drugs concealed in peanut butter, knife concealed in laptop, knives, smoke grenades.
M557 Projectile Fuse: (See Pic) This is the nosecone fuse used with shells fired out of various guns, howitzers and mortars. Instead of having a detonator, it was filled with wax and used as a training device. Of course, we didn’t know that at first and it didn’t help that it caused our explosive trace detector to alarm. Great job to the team at Salt Lake City (SLC).

Knife Inside Laptop: Similar to when a surgeon stitches a scalpel inside a patient, a computer tech put a computer back together and left his knife inside. You can imagine the passenger’s surprise when our officers at Jacksonville (JAX) discovered it. After all, the passenger had just rented the computer, it wasn’t theirs!

Have I Ever Mentioned That Grenades are Prohibited?: Two inert grenades were discovered at Columbus (CSG) and a live M18 smoke grenade was discovered at Seattle (SEA). If that’s not enough, yet another live smoke grenade was discovered in checked baggage at Colorado Springs (COS). It’s obvious why smoke grenades aren’t allowed, but read here and here  for more information on why inert grenades cause problems at checkpoints.

Somebody Doesn’t Read the TSA Week in Review: Just like the incident I wrote about last week, another passenger attempted to conceal marijuana in a hollowed out peanut butter jar. Just like last week, we found it.

How to Complicate Things: A passenger at Houston (IAH) told an officer: “If I miss my flight, I will come back and strangle you.” The passenger missed their flight. Another passenger, while waiting in line to board his flight at Palm Beach (PBI), told fellow passengers: “Good luck getting on this plane because it’s going down.” It didn’t go down, but it was delayed for 52 minutes affecting 89 passengers.

If at First You Don’t Succeed…:  After a passenger attempted to check an unloaded 9mm in her checked baggage at Norfolk (ORF), she was informed by the airline that she needed a hard-sided lockable case in order to check it properly. (See details on properly checking firearms) Instead of heeding their advice or giving the firearm to her father as she said she would, the passenger attempted to conceal the firearm with other items in her purse. We found it.

Gellin’ Like a Felon?: During additional screening, officers at Denver (DEN) noticed a bulky area under the insole of a shoe and discovered narcotics.

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items: In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our officers also found several stun guns, a throwing star, nunchucks, brass knuckles, realistic firearm replicas, knives, knives, and more knives, firearm components, ammunition, and an expandable baton.

9 loaded firearms.

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

35 guns discovered. 25 were loaded.
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 permits policies may differ from state to state. Travelers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with state and local weapons and firearm regulations 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 in their bag. That’s why it’s important to double check your luggage before you get to the airport.

Including checkpoint and checked baggage screening, TSA has
20 layers of security both visible and invisible to the public. Each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping a terrorist attack. In combination their security value is multiplied, creating a much stronger, formidable system. A terrorist who has to overcome multiple security layers in order to carry out an attack is more likely to be pre-empted, deterred, or to fail during the attempt.  

Blogger Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

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