Friday, March 8, 2013

TSA Week in Review: Inert Suicide Vest, Grenades, Guns and More…



Loaded Firearm Detected by Imaging Technology: A loaded .380 pistol with eight rounds was discovered on the lower left leg of a passenger at Bradley Hartford (BDL) after he alarmed Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). The passenger was arrested by Connecticut State Police on a state charge. 

Loaded Firearm Detected by AIT at BDL

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 in checkpoint screening. I know they are cool novelty items, but you cannot bring them on a plane. Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.

Inert Suicide Vest (IND)

  • The contents of a checked bag at Indianapolis (IND) drew our officer’s attention:  After alarming in the X-ray, our officers discovered 30 electric matches, a bag of potassium chlorate in the original packaging, a bag of titanium powder in the original packaging, a bag of powder that appeared to be a mixture of potassium chlorate and titanium powder, and a vest that appeared to be a suicide vest. All of the items were inert and the passenger was an explosives instructor. As I’ve said before, we’re all too familiar with instructors and other people in this type of business needing these sorts of items for their jobs. As with all inert training items and replicas, we don’t know they’re not real until we’ve checked them out. This can include evacuated baggage areas and closed checkpoints which lead to delays and missed flights. People that need to travel with INERT items should plan ahead and contact their preferred shipper about mailing the training aids to their destination.

  • A total of seven inert/replica grenades were discovered this week. Five WWII replica “potato masher” grenades were discovered in checked baggage at Louisville (SDF). The other two grenades were discovered at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) and Phoenix-Mesa (IWA). The grenade at DFW was in a carry-on bag.

Replica Grenades

Replica Grenade

Stun Guns – Thirteen stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at Minneapolis (MSP), and the others were found at Atlanta (ATL), Baltimore (BWI), Denver (DEN), Fort Myers (RSW), Guam (GUM), Jacksonville (JAX), Kansas City (MCI), Nashville (BNA), Portland (PWM), Sacramento (SMF), and Seattle (SEA).

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 alarming Advanced Imaging Technology at Minneapolis (MSP), the TSA officer asked the passenger if he had any items he would like to divest from that area, the passenger stated: “Yes, A Colt .45.” He didn’t have a firearm.

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…


33 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 33 firearms, 26 were loaded and eight had rounds chambered. Here are pictures of some of the firearms.  

Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
 

33 loaded guns discovered this week.
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. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $7,500.00. 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 order to provide a timely weekly update, I compile my data from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly (increase) from what I report in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear, or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will not be estimates.



If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our post highlighting the dangerous, scary, and downright unusual items our officers found in 2012.



Bob Burns 
TSA Blog Team 

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

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

And after all this insanity (and by this I mean on the part of this idiot passengers), the TSA is going let people take knives onto planes now. How is that not ridiculous?

Anonymous said...

And as always, nothing a metal detector wouldn't have found more easily and a bunch of stuff in checked bags that posed no threat to anyone.

Anonymous said...

A loaded .380 pistol with eight rounds was discovered on the lower left leg of a passenger at Bradley Hartsfield (BDL) after he alarmed Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT).

Could have been found a lot cheaper with a simple metal detector.

After alarming in the X-ray, our officers discovered 30 electric matches, a bag of potassium chlorate in the original packaging, a bag of titanium powder in the original packaging, a bag of powder that appeared to be a mixture of potassium chlorate and titanium powder, and a vest that appeared to be a suicide vest.

I know you have a War On Liquids, but do you also have one on powders? Is it against the TSA rules to bring powders through the checkpoint??

Five WWII replica “potato masher” grenades were discovered in checked baggage at Louisville (SDF).

CHECKED baggage. Which the passengers don't have access to during the flight. And thus, not a threat.

Thirteen stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation:

Thank goodness- there's a 1/100000000000000 chance someone might have stunned one or two people before being dog-piled by the other passengers.

After alarming Advanced Imaging Technology at Minneapolis (MSP), the TSA officer asked the passenger if he had any items he would like to divest from that area, the passenger stated: “Yes, A Colt .45.” He didn’t have a firearm.

Did he have a can of malt liquor? You know there's a brand of it called "Colt 45", and that liquids are still banned, right? I note that you refrained from giving further details on that situation. Hmm....

MEANWHILE... http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/newark_tsa_bomb_boozled_eTIZBp2X7B299qO5WCWvAK
"An undercover TSA inspector with an improvised explosive device stuffed in his pants got past two security screenings at Newark Airport — including a pat-down — and was cleared to get on board a commercial flight"

...no comment, I think it speaks for itself.

Marine Doc said...

And how about that fake bomb that made it through 2 security screening at Newark Airport. Come on guys, you have got to do better. Made it through TWO screenings and one was a body pat down.

SSSS for some reason said...

Congratulations! The TSA is back up to its average of about 30 guns a week. That is a discovery cost of about $51k per gun!

Too bad there was nothing with the nudie-scanners. Some guy said something but since there wasn't more I am guessing it was a non-issue.

Keep up the expensive work TSA! It takes a village to destroy America as thoroughly as you do.

Anonymous said...

So, once again, no useful finds with the slow, invasive and possibly carcinogenic full body scanners?

steve said...

I dont understand TSA. I try so hard to understand their reasoning on Policies. Its not like they have years of experience in air safety. Much less then profesional flight attendant and pilots that have been working in aviation for decades. But to ignore professional advice from aviation experts such as them, and allow knives on planes, saddens me and makes me think its just another way to make political name for them selfs.

Anonymous said...

Not a good week for the TSA. (But when is?)

First a undercover inspector gets a (fake) bomb past the screeners in Newark, and now a Newark TSA screener who recently left the agency tells how silly policies and lazy workers do little to stop real threats:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/confessions_of_tsa_agent_we_re_bunch_OhxHeGd0RR9UVGzfypjnLO

Testing is a joke:
"When there are internal tests, conducted by the Newark training department, it’s easy to cheat because they use our co-workers. You could be working with someone all morning, and then they’re gone. Word gets around the checkpoint. Someone will come over to you and say, “Hey, it’s Joe. He’s got a blue duffel bag.”"

Supervisors are a joke:
"Supervisors play absolutely no role in day-to-day functions except to tell you not to chew gum. Gum chewing is a huge issue with management. I once saw a supervisor make an officer open his mouth to prove he had a mint and not a piece of gum."

Professionalism is a joke:
"Goofing off and half-hour-long bathroom breaks are the only way to break up the monotony. There is also a lot of ogling of female passengers by the male screeners. So, ladies, cover up when you get to the airport. These guys are checking you out constantly."

Common sense is a joke:
"A small number of screeners are delusional zealots who believe they’re keeping America safe by taking your snow globe, your 2-inch pocket knife, your 4-ounce bottle of shampoo and performing invasive pat-downs on your kids."

The 'relaxing' of rules to allow knives is a joke:
"(Incidentally, the flap over the new rule allowing small pocketknives is overblown. Most of the public doesn’t realize it, but you are already allowed to bring scissors, screwdrivers, tweezers, knitting needles and any number of sharp instruments on board.)"

Discipline is a joke:
"One screener didn’t come to work for four weeks. When he finally reappeared, he asked for another week off. The answer was no. So what did this brainiac decide to do? He took another week off — and didn’t get terminated.

People have been caught falling asleep on the job. They get written up, it’s put in their file, and that’s it."

tl;dr- The TSA is a joke.

Anonymous said...

A thought that comes to my mind, is what is the goal? To eliminate air travel? I know and agree that there should be some kind of security check but if it goes to far consumers will travel by other means. When I contemplate using a plane vs. driving somewhere all I have to do is visualize a long security line and I decide to drive. The process has to be more automated or privatized by the airlines, what we have today is not right and if it continues we will have more airlines going bankrupt. I guess the governments solution to that will be to own the airlines....funny in school I was thought that we were better than the USSR because we had private industry, but it seems every year we have less of this. We should call ourselves the Peoples Republic of America then :)

Anonymous said...

Every American family should read the Tweet from Senator McCaskill who described her aggressive pat-down today. Her description included "OMG" and "#veryuncomfortable".

Anonymous said...

The New York Post article is completely true. The same thing happens all over the country. The TSA is the most expensive farce ever.

@SkyWayManAz said...

Anonymous said

"Every American family should read the Tweet from Senator McCaskill who described her aggressive pat-down today."

Like Sen. Paul who was detained (TSA prefers to use a different word for legal reasons) and the late Sen. Kennedy who said he was on the no fly list, she is in a position to do more then offer sharp criticism. I can appreciate the experience was humiliating and degrading for her. It isn’t pleasant for me either since I alarm AIT and can only use metal detector at Pre Check locations. The outrage to me is they’re in a position to do something about it, we aren’t. They have a duty to take action to prevent it from happening to others. Unfortunately all we ever see is grandstanding and righteous indignation, never any action to protect the rest of us.

(screenshot taken since even very public names with events easily sourced at random result in post being sent to the delete-o-meter)

Anonymous said...

if you guys dont like tsa that much dont fly its simple as that. If you cant fly find another way to travel. If you have no other way to travel thats to bad for you, suck it up and get over it. Most of these people are just doing their jobs and you people cry and complain none stop.

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2013/03/13/rape-suspect-carries-stun-gun-past-jfk-airport-security/

Good catch, guys!

Oh, wait, it was the NYPD and Port Authority police who found the stun gun. Thank goodness for those layers.

King Shaka International Airport said...

you guys should be great full, the findings are not huge but findings are findings at the end of the day.

Cape Town International Airport

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"if you guys dont like tsa that much dont fly its simple as that. If you cant fly find another way to travel. If you have no other way to travel thats to bad for you, suck it up and get over it. Most of these people are just doing their jobs and you people cry and complain none stop."

Let's define "complain" in this context. Do you mean "have a different opinion than you, and are vocal about it?" If that's what you mean, then no apologies from me. I don't let the government trample our rights without making some noise.

As for other modes of transportation, can you name one that TSA doesn't have their paws in?

Anonymous said...

As a good guy, I used to always travel with my favorite folding lock-blade when I traveled. I felt very safe because if anything bad ever happened, I had a small chance of stopping it. Now I feel helpless and just get drunk instead.

Anonymous said...

TSA has an almost impossible job. They have to be perfect 100% of the time. The Terrorists have to be lucky once or twice. I know it's a pain going through security, but just look at their weekly finds and you will see that it is worth it. The terrorists see this and don't try highjacking because they know they will get caught.

Thank the TSA employees the next time you go through security. They migh have saved your life and you not even know it.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"I know it's a pain going through security, but just look at their weekly finds and you will see that it is worth it."

You do realize they have a failure rate of approximately 70%, don't you? If you think the weekly finds proves they're keeping dangerous stuff off of planes, then the 70% that made it on should send shivers down your spine.

"The terrorists see this and don't try highjacking because they know they will get caught."

Again, I ask for proof of this. You see, I have this anti-tiger rock. The tigers see this rock on my coffee table, and therefore the tigers do not attack me while I'm in my apartment. Can you prove it's not the rock protecting me, and not the fact that tigers attacks in central Ohio (and terrorists) are extremely rare?