Friday, October 10, 2014

TSA Week in Review - IED Training Kit, Knife in a Laptop, 47 Loaded Firearms, and More




IED Training Kit (HNL)
IED Training Kit (HNL)

Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. – We continue to find inert grenades and other weaponry on a weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a real bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays because the explosives detection professionals must resolve the alarm to determine the level of threat. Even if they are novelty items, you cannot bring them on a plane.  Read here on why inert items cause problems.

  • A military training kit containing inert blasting caps, inert detonators, inert detonating cord, and inert C-4 were discovered in a checked bag at Honolulu (HNL). The baggage room was evacuated causing a delay in screening.
  • A realistic replica grenade was detected in a carry-on bag at Fargo (FAR).

50 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 50 firearms, 47 were loaded and 16 had rounds chambered. 

Loaded firearm and gut knife discovered in carry-on bag at CLT.
Loaded firearm and gut knife discovered in carry-on bag at CLT.
Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure you are not carrying prohibited items. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places. 
  • A bottle of alcohol was discovered attached to a traveler’s leg with a bandage after being screened by advanced imaging technology at Phoenix (PHX).
  • A three-inch knife was found concealed inside of a laptop’s hard drive caddy at Dayton (DAY).
  • A stun gun disguised to look like a cell phone was discovered in a carry-on bag at Billings (BIL).


Knife discovered inside a hard drive caddy at DAY
Knife discovered inside a hard drive caddy at DAY.
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 many other prohibited items too numerous to note.
Knives discovered at: IAD, DTW & CLE
(Top to bottom) Knives discovered at: IAD, DTW & CLE
Stun Guns – 18 stun guns were discovered this week around the nation: two were discovered at Abilene (ABI), and the remainder were discovered at Billings (BIL), Burbank (BUR), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Dallas Love (DAL), Denver (DEN), Detroit (DTW), Las Vegas (LAS), Nashville (BNA), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Palm Beach (PBI), Providence (PVD), Sacramento (SMF), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Diego (SAN), Shreveport (SHV), and Yuma (NYL).
Cell phone stun gun discovered at BIL
Cell phone stun gun discovered at BIL

Guns discovered at: DEN, ATL, BNA, ATL, PHL & DAL
(Top to bottom, left to right) Guns discovered at: DEN, ATL, BNA, ATL, PHL & DAL

50 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 50 firearms, 47 were loaded and 16 had rounds chambered.
*In order to provide a timely weekly update, this data is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not estimates.



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 line 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. 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 haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our TSA Blog Year in Review for 2013. You can also check out 2011 & 2012 as well.



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

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

nstsiclnI would hope that those attempting to carry on any of these concealed items should be arrested and their trip disrupted for the anguish they may cause others when the terminals have to be cleared.
You can't tell me that the people carrying these concealed items didn't know they were in their bag.
Arrest a few people and let it be known that you will be arrested and you won't have the problem anymore.

Anonymous said...

Makes me wonder about the stuff that actually gets through.

RB said...

Now that it has been established that the TSA Blog is still open why hasn't the question inquiring about the reuse of ETD swabs been answered?

Are TSA screening practices contributing the the possible transmission of deadly illnesses?


Keith K. said...

It seems absolutely amazing that the TSA faces that much serious contraband in a single week...what are people thinking these days? I just don't understand how some people can be so clueless about national security and what's required to keep our shores safe.

Susan Richart said...

Your TSA at work:

"Among the many changes the Nobel Prize brought to Schmidt’s life: travel hassles. Here’s what he said it’s like to carry a Nobel medal aboard an airplane:

“There are a couple of bizarre things that happen. One of the things you get when you win a Nobel Prize is, well, a Nobel Prize. It’s about that big, that thick [he mimes a disk roughly the size of an Olympic medal], weighs a half a pound, and it’s made of gold.

“When I won this, my grandma, who lives in Fargo, North Dakota, wanted to see it. I was coming around so I decided I’d bring my Nobel Prize. You would think that carrying around a Nobel Prize would be uneventful, and it was uneventful, until I tried to leave Fargo with it, and went through the X-ray machine. I could see they were puzzled. It was in my laptop bag. It’s made of gold, so it absorbs all the X-rays—it’s completely black. And they had never seen anything completely black.

“They’re like, ‘Sir, there’s something in your bag.’

I said, ‘Yes, I think it’s this box.’

They said, ‘What’s in the box?’

I said, ‘a large gold medal,’ as one does.

So they opened it up and they said, ‘What’s it made out of?’

I said, ‘gold.’

And they’re like, ‘Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?’

‘The King of Sweden.’

‘Why did he give this to you?’

‘Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating.’

At which point, they were beginning to lose their sense of humor. I explained to them it was a Nobel Prize, and their main question was, ‘Why were you in Fargo?’”

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2014/10/10/nobel-prize-airport-security/

Anonymous said...

It is just amazing that people continue to even attempt disobeying the rules. There is no wonder in why we need more security.

Anonymous said...

Keith K. said...
It seems absolutely amazing that the TSA faces that much serious contraband in a single week...what are people thinking these days? I just don't understand how some people can be so clueless about national security and what's required to keep our shores safe.

October 11, 2014 at 6:50 PM
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people are thinking that this security theatre is accomplishing nothing more than wasting time and huge quantities of tax dollars. and they're thinking that because it is true.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Makes me wonder about the stuff that actually gets through.

October 10, 2014 at 8:08 PM
--------------------------------
no need to wonder. the last publicly released red team testing reports indicate that the stuff that gets found is about 30% of what is attempted. that means 70% gets through. if you fly fairly often, you've sat next tosomeone with a gun or other prohibited item. AND NOTHING HAPPENED. TSA is a waste of time and money.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
It is just amazing that people continue to even attempt disobeying the rules. There is no wonder in why we need more security.


October 13, 2014 at 6:36 AM
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what is it that amazes you about people excercising their Constitutionally protected rights, and occasionally forgetting?? ever forget?? happened to me ... (with thanks to Ron White).

Anonymous said...

I continue to wait for some justification for active duty military being included in pre-check, but not retired military or holders of current DoD or LE background investigations. military retirees have at least 20 years documented service to this Nation, pretty much proving their lack of risk. both DoD and LE background investigations should reveal any risk factors. active duty military do not, necessarily, have a background check or any significant length of service. neither citizenship nor a background investigation is required to enlist in the military, in fact there are likely illegal immigrants serving. if it is really about safety, then why are potentially unscreened non-citizens allowed through? sounds like it is just pandering to an admirable group to get PR, not adjusting the rules to ease screening on those who present a lower likelihood of threat.
Let me be clear: pre-911 screening should be the norm. it is all that is required, now that cockpit doors have been reinforced and locked, and flight crews and passengers know that the rules have changed and passivity=death. however, if we are going to continue this massive waste of tax dollars on security theatre, at least have _some_ of the rules make sense.

Baillyweb said...

How can people be that stupid to bring a gun on a plane??, thank to those we all have to suffer all the registrations...
thanks for the post and keep on with the good work!!

RB said...

Baillyweb said...
How can people be that stupid to bring a gun on a plane??, thank to those we all have to suffer all the registrations...
thanks for the post and keep on with the good work!!

October 13, 2014 at 5:39 PM
............
Another post linking to SPAM

Airports and guns have nothing to do with weapon registration. Nothing.

It may not be the smart move to have a weapon in your carry on baggage but look at the big picture. The percentage of people flying with a weapon is very, very small. If 1.2 million people traveled by air last week and TSA found 50 firearms improperly transported that is still only .00416666666% if travelers with a firearm. TSA hasn't released numbers on knives and other prohibited items but I would bet that the total found is low and on the same order as guns.

What would be more interesting to know would be how much harmless water, soda, and other such items that TSA confiscates each week.

Anonymous said...

As always, absolutely nothing you needed your slow, invasive, and ineffective naked body scanners to detect. Meanwhile, how many people suffered physical searches thanks to false alarms on these useless machines?

Why are Curtis Burns and West Cooper unwilling to address, let alone answer, that question?

How many weeks has it been since you last trumpeted something dangerous (note: a bottle of alcohol is, of course, not at all dangerous, and if not for your inane liquids policies that passenger would simply have put the bottle in his or her bag) you found with the naked body scanners?

RB said...

"A military training kit containing inert blasting caps, inert detonators, inert detonating cord, and inert C-4 were discovered in a checked bag at Honolulu (HNL). The baggage room was evacuated causing a delay in screening."

........................
Did the "Military Training Kit" belong to an employee of the federal government?

Were they assessed a fine by TSA?

Mac Saxe said...

I just returned from several flights around the US researching clients and having a foreign (UK) passport with multiple arabic stamps in it possibly made me more of a TSA target than if I hadn't so I definitely had more than my fair share of stops. But saying that, the inconvenience was nothing compared to the protection the service provides. UK airports seem to take much longer to do a worse job and I've had a whole bag taken off me because it had "sharp edges"!

Susan Richart said...

Anonymous wrote:

"As always, absolutely nothing you needed your slow, invasive, and ineffective naked body scanners to detect. Meanwhile, how many people suffered physical searches thanks to false alarms on these useless machines?

Why are Curtis Burns and West Cooper unwilling to address, let alone answer, that question?"

The question can't be answered because the TSA refuses to comply with a request by the IG to keep such statistics.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Total Freelancer said...

It is probably not the smart move to use a weapon in your carry on baggage but go through the big picture. The percentage of men and women flying with a weapon is quite, very small. If 1. 2 million people traveled by air the other day and TSA found 50 firearms improperly transported which is very few. if travelers using a firearm. TSA hasn't released numbers on knives as well as other prohibited items but I would bet the total found is low and for a passing fancy order as guns.

Latest News said...

How can people be that stupid to bring a gun on a plane?? Makes me wonder about the stuff that actually gets through.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

"...Latest News said...
How can people be that stupid to bring a gun on a plane?? Makes me wonder about the stuff that actually gets through."

Why would you wonder about the stuff that got through? None of it was used to cause harm to any aircraft or passenger.

If you consider that as many as 7 'bad things' make it through security for every three found, combined with the incredibly small percentage of things found anyway, and you have what is statistically a zero percent chance of something bad happening.

It is not a an actual zero percent so don't confuse the statement with the idea of no screening at all. There is some risk, but you have a greater chance of your plane blowing up in flight from mechanical issues than you do of some bad guy trying to take over or take down your flight.

Keep the threats in perspective and you will quickly realize that the TSA doesn't actually make things more secure and that we could do a lot more for security with a lot less money spent and actually make aviation more secure.

Susan Richart said...

@SSS for Some Reason:

The post from Latest News was another copy and paste job. The comments you mention were written orginally by Baillyweb and an anonymous person. Interesting link in the poster's name, however.

Anonymous said...

"...when the terminals have to be cleared..."

Has this actually happened because TSA found a gun at a checkpoint?

"...But saying that, the inconvenience was nothing compared to the protection the service provides..."

You have proof of TSA's effectiveness? Do share! All I have is a GAO report that concludes that TSA's BDO program is ineffective and a recent university study that concludes TSA doesn't know how to effectively use the body scanners it purchased en masse.