Saturday, September 24, 2016

TSA Week in Review September 16th - 22nd

Discovered firearms

TSA discovered 68 firearms this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 68 firearms discovered, 61 were loaded and 26 had a round chambered. All of the firearms pictured were discovered in the last week. See a complete list below.
Discovered smoke grenades and flares

Live smoke grenades and parachute flares were discovered in a checked bag at Detroit (DTW).
Discovered inert grenades

Three inert/replica grenades were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Jacksonville (JAX), Phoenix (PHX) and Grand Rapids (GRR).
Discovered sword canes

Two cane swords were discovered this week in traveler’s carry-on property at New York Kennedy (JFK) and Dallas (DAL).
Discovered a throwing knife on a necklace chain

Officers at Chicago O’Hare (ORD) discovered a throwing knife on a chain around a passenger’s neck during a pat-down after he opted out of body scanner screening.
Discovered knives and throwing stars
Clockwise from the top, the weapons pictured above were discovered at DTW, SNA, OAK, LAS, SFO, IAH and PHX.


In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly in carry-on bags, our officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, stun guns, small pocketknives and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.



Firearms spreadsheet
When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked baggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag.



You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline.






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 $11,000. 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, 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.



Read our 2015 Year in Review post! If you haven’t read them yet, make sure you check out our year in review posts for 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.



Follow @TSA on Twitter and Instagram!



Bob Burns
TSA Social Media Team

34 comments:

RB said...

How many perfectly safe bottles of water did TSA interdict last week?

Chip and Andy said...

"...Three inert/replica grenades were discovered in carry-on bags"

First, who made the determination they were inert? Was it the explosives team that was called?

Second, once determined to be inert where they allowed to fly? If not, why not?

Neither question should run afoul of ssi procedure so an answer would be appreciated.

Wintermute said...

Now, RB, the TSA doesn't know they're safe. That's why the EOD teams are called for every single one of them, and they're definitely not just thrown straight in the trash.

/sarcasm

Harry Broaders said...

RB this restriction is applied worldwide. You may wish to read this article https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_transatlantic_aircraft_plot#Liquid_explosives

Boldly said...

RB said...
How many perfectly safe bottles of water did TSA interdict last week?
probably hundreds of thousands. But the important question, how many liquid bombs made it onboard due to the no liquid policy? Zero.

RB said...

Very much like the rest of TSA, a federal agency that is notorious for not following TSA policy, the TSA Blog Team also does not follow its own policies.

TSA Comment Policy

"We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day."

The question that comes to my mind is why create a policy only to ignore that policy? And what of the "manager" of that particular endeavor? Does that person just not care? Are there no checks and balances within that persons organization? Or is ignoring agency policy just how business is done at TSA?

I think the answer is clear for anyone who has had the pleasure of dealing with TSA at any airport or in any other way over the years.

TSA Job #1= Failure!

Wintermute said...

Wow! Where to start with the problems with this short statement? I'll just leave it at this: because liquid bombs are not viable, the TSA has stopped no liquid bombs.

Jon Buhmeyer said...

Can you carry ratchet straps in your carry on?

Chip and Andy said...

Boldy said "...But the important question, how many liquid bombs made it onboard due to the no liquid policy? Zero."

That might have more to do with liquid binary explosives not being a viable threat to commercial aviation.

And there is nothing in the silliness of the TSA liquid rules that would prevent a liquid bomb even if it was a possibility. Bad guy one takes 20 ounces of part 1 in his zippy bag, Bad guy two takes 20 ounces of part 2 in his zippy bag.... You now have 40 ounces of potential explosives on the aircraft and you got there by following the rules of the TSA.

Just saying....

Aris Adam said...

Bob, you did a good job in not cutting off guns this week. I did notice, especially in the knives montage, that you cut off the portion of the image that could show a date written by the screener on the forms or paper they use to log when the item was found. It helps American taxpayers to have that information included in the photos you post.
You are one of only 7 people in the country that pay any attention to that. Nobody cares about dates and time stamps.

Thanks !!
Aris@ Redgage

RB said...

Boldly said...
RB said...
How many perfectly safe bottles of water did TSA interdict last week?
probably hundreds of thousands. But the important question, how many liquid bombs made it onboard due to the no liquid policy? Zero.

September 26, 2016 at 1:55 PM

.....................
I take it that you have no problem with TSA disposing of those liquid bombs in common trash bins right at the checkpoint where hundreds of people are lined up?

No liquid bombs have made it on to airplanes, you are right about that, but the reason is because there are no liquid bombs.

Either there is a threat or there is not and TSA's handling of potential liquid bombs demonstrate clearly that there is no threat.

RB said...

Harry Broaders said...
RB this restriction is applied worldwide. You may wish to read this article https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_transatlantic_aircraft_plot#Liquid_explosives

September 25, 2016 at 12:40 PM

.........
Simply not true.

Wintermute said...

It was 2 when Boldy said it ;) But, using his logic on all topics about anything except this, how do you know only 7 people care? Did you interview everyone in the country to get their opinion, or did you maybe just make that completely up?

Wintermute said...

For a brief time, everyone lost their minds over a non-plot that wasn't even viable, but then everyone except the US came to their senses.

GSOLTSO said...

Liquid bombs are a viable form of explosives. It has been demonstrated by explosive experts all over the world. Our local explosives experts have also confirmed that liquid explosives are a viable threat for aviation. I will take the statements, testimony and demonstrations of world renowned explosive experts, and the local guys that have 50+ combined years of explosive disposal, construction, controlled demolitions, underwater demolitions, and military and LEO EOD service - over the word of the posters here. Again, just saying something over and over does not make it a fact, it makes it repetitious. I have posted commentary, official info from HQ, and even videos from experts from other countries. Liquid explosives are a viable threat.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

I have seen no prohibitions on ratcheting straps. It is not on the prohibited list, and I have never seen a passenger not be able to take it with them.

West
TSA Blog Team

Chip and Andy said...

"...Liquid explosives are a viable threat.

West
TSA Blog Team'

Except they aren't.

The 3-1-1 rules don't reduce the binary explosives risk even slightly.

Your implementation of the 3-1-1 rules actually increase the risk. Try this..... You take part A into the security line, get to the rubbish bin and toss your bottle in. Get to the nudie-scanners with a knife or something and say you will leave the thing in you car. You now have part B in a bottle, which you toss in the same rubbish bin. The very rules TSA has invented have made the situation more dangerous for the travellers.

You are welcome to stick your head in the sand, you are welcome to ignore my opinion since I am just some guy on the internet. You are foolish to ignore me because if I can dream up this attack vector as just some guy on the internet imagine how much worse it could be when someone with actual criminal intent puts some time and consideration into the idea.

To put it another way... If liquid bombs were a viable threat why haven't they been used elsewhere in the world? TSA only annoys US travellers, there are plenty of airplanes in use elsewhere in the world.

Boldly said...

I take it that you have no problem with TSA disposing of those liquid bombs in common trash bins right at the checkpoint where hundreds of people are lined up? you are correct. The cool thing about liquid bombs is they don't blow up on their own. They need help. To your point, they don't ban liquids because they believe they are bombs. They ban them because the only way to insure no liquid bombs get on a plane is to ban them all except those needed for medical purposes. Those they test. They couldn't possibly test everyone's water. Thus the best solution is to ban it. I'm good with that.

No liquid bombs have made it on to airplanes, you are right about that, but the reason is because there are no liquid bombs. bojenko plot, read up on it.

Either there is a threat or there is not and TSA's handling of potential liquid bombs demonstrate clearly that there is no threat. I think I addressed it above.

Wintermute said...

I've seen precisely ONE TSA "expert" demonstrate a liquid explosive, and, even I lab conditions, he had difficulty causing a catastrophic explosion. I will take the absence of proof over a moderator's word on this any day.

Boldly said...

It was 2 when Boldy said it ;) But, using his logic on all topics about anything except this, how do you know only 7 people care? Did you interview everyone in the country to get their opinion, or did you maybe just make that completely up?

as with most "facts" the nay sayers post here, it is completely made up and based on no actual evidence.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
Liquid bombs are a viable form of explosives. It has been demonstrated by explosive experts all over the world. Our local explosives experts have also confirmed that liquid explosives are a viable threat for aviation. I will take the statements, testimony and demonstrations of world renowned explosive experts, and the local guys that have 50+ combined years of explosive disposal, construction, controlled demolitions, underwater demolitions, and military and LEO EOD service - over the word of the posters here. Again, just saying something over and over does not make it a fact, it makes it repetitious. I have posted commentary, official info from HQ, and even videos from experts from other countries. Liquid explosives are a viable threat.

West
TSA Blog Team

October 2, 2016 at 2:50 AM
...................
Show some evidence of a one part liquid explosive bomb that can be carried through a checkpoint, take the knocking about that is likely to happen, and is stable enough not to blow up the checkpoint.

When you are done with that show evidence of a two or more part liquid bomb that can be mixed and made ready of the sterile side of the checkpoint without any equipment to control temperature or other factors while mixing.

The only evidence of liquid bombs that has been demonstrated by "experts" have been carefully controlled situations, one case using a robot to mix the binary liquids.

A human carried liquid explosive is most unlikely and if TSA screening is worth the money taxpayers are shelling out each year would interdict that weapon.

The conclusion is that liquid bombs are a very low threat and that TSA screening wouldn't interdict one if presented.

TSA: $8 Billion Dollars Down the Drain Per Year!

GSOLTSO said...

I never said a single word about ignoring you, or anyone else that posts here. I merely stated that I would take the word of the professionals over folks that post here. The only limitation of a threat, is the level of creativity of the person wanting to pose said threat. This is one of the better aspects of our Transportation Security Specialist, Explosives, program (what we call our explosives experts). These guys spend some of their time researching and game planning for new and inventive ways that dangerous items can be used. They also send share this information with HQ and other TSSEs nationwide, which leads to even more research and game planning - all of which gives us a huge catalog of knowledge as an organization.

West
TSA Blog Team

Wintermute said...

I have read up on it, and I came to the conclusion (based on commentary by people with a lot of expertise on the subject) that it wasn't viable. You might want to continue reading up on it yourself.

Wintermute said...

So, you're admitting to making up statistics and facts in order to support your argument. Thanks for the admission.

Chip and Andy said...

Bold Posting Intern posted, again, about the "bojenko plot" and then suggests the rest of us read up on it..... Which is entertaining because I suspect Boldy has only skimmed the materials she suggests the rest of us study. For example, the Bojinka plot was a plan from around 1995 that included, among other things, plans to build a liquid bomb. Plans, not an actual bomb.

I suspect, however, Bold Posting Intern is actually trying to draw our attention to the plans of a terrorist group in the UK from around 2006 that planned on smuggling liquid explosives onto an aircraft by making them look like a sports drink. Except that plan wasn't any more viable an attack plan than the Bojinka kerfuffle. On paper it was a good plan, put some stuff in a bottle, put this other stuff inside of a battery casing, mid-flight put all the bits together and 72 Virgins in the afterlife here they come.

Except..... it is a good plan on paper.

It is a crap plan in real life.

If you built the bomb per plan you would probably kill yourself in the detonation. You might kill the people next to you. You are going to seriously wound the people on the row ahead of and behind you. But you aren't taking down an aircraft even if you put the device right against the window because it *is* and explosive device but it *isn't* a very powerful explosive. Bodies are soft and squishy, easily damaged by explosions. Aircraft are neither soft nor squishy so very much less susceptible to explosive forces.

And just because all the words used sound scary.... bomb, explosive force, bang..... the bomb at the center of the 2006 plot is technically a "boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion." This means the liquid inside starts to boil, the pressure builds, the container fails due to the pressure inside, bang. Why is this important? Because a plastic water bottle has a very low capacity to contain the boiling liquid inside so you don't get an 'explosion' like you see on tv, you get more of a Pop like a really big balloon. It is still enough to kill you so I am not minimizing the deathiness of the bomb, I am pointing out that that kind of bomb can kill people and kill them very dead but it has just about zero chance of damaging an airplane in a way that is going to cause it to crash.

And, like I have said over and over again..... the current 3-1-1 rules do nothing, and I am going to say it again this time in all caps... NOTHING, to reduce the risk of something like the Bojinka plot and even less to reduce the risk of anything like the 2006 plot. The 2006 plot was based on a 500ml bottle, I can get seven or more 100ml bottles into my magic zippy bag so if liquid explosives were a viable attack option nothing the TSA is doing is preventing a 2006 style attack on civilian aviation.

And I should also say, again, those were plots. Not actual attacks. TSA didn't save us from anything, isn't saving us from anything, and isn't going to save us from anything.

RB said...


Boldly said...
I take it that you have no problem with TSA disposing of those liquid bombs in common trash bins right at the checkpoint where hundreds of people are lined up? you are correct. The cool thing about liquid bombs is they don't blow up on their own. They need help. To your point, they don't ban liquids because they believe they are bombs. They ban them because the only way to insure no liquid bombs get on a plane is to ban them all except those needed for medical purposes. Those they test. They couldn't possibly test everyone's water. Thus the best solution is to ban it. I'm good with that.

Water isn't dangerous so requires no testing.

No liquid bombs have made it on to airplanes, you are right about that, but the reason is because there are no liquid bombs. bojenko plot, read up on it.

Bojenko bombing was a small bomb made up of nitroglycerin. Are you suggesting that TSA's screening methods are so fouled up that TSA cannot detect nitro?

Either there is a threat or there is not and TSA's handling of potential liquid bombs demonstrate clearly that there is no threat. I think I addressed it above.

No, you did not address it above.

October 2, 2016 at 11:19 AM


*****Boldy's comments are highlighted since Boldy doesn't understand how to properly attribute someone elses comments.

Boldly said...

RB said...

Boldly said...
I take it that you have no problem with TSA disposing of those liquid bombs in common trash bins right at the checkpoint where hundreds of people are lined up? you are correct. The cool thing about liquid bombs is they don't blow up on their own. They need help. To your point, they don't ban liquids because they believe they are bombs. They ban them because the only way to insure no liquid bombs get on a plane is to ban them all except those needed for medical purposes. Those they test. They couldn't possibly test everyone's water. Thus the best solution is to ban it. I'm good with that.

Water isn't dangerous so requires no testing. and you can tell by looking at it that it is water? How?

No liquid bombs have made it on to airplanes, you are right about that, but the reason is because there are no liquid bombs. bojenko plot, read up on it. I have read extensively on it. It was a viable bomb that killed one person in a test run.

Bojenko bombing was a small bomb made up of nitroglycerin. and several other ingredients, each by itself are harmless. Are you suggesting that TSA's screening methods are so fouled up that TSA cannot detect nitro? when did I say that?

Either there is a threat or there is not and TSA's handling of potential liquid bombs demonstrate clearly that there is no threat. I think I addressed it above.

No, you did not address it above.

October 2, 2016 at 11:19 AM


*****Boldy's comments are highlighted since Boldy doesn't understand how to properly attribute someone elses comments. my posts are in bold because that's how I post, thanks

Chip and Andy said...

Bold Posting Intern said..."Water isn't dangerous so requires no testing. and you can tell by looking at it that it is water? How?"

I don't have to know it is water by sight. If there was a concern about liquids being used as explosives then there would be no 311 silliness.

Your favorite example, the Bojinka Plot, planned on using 500 ml of liquid. That would be 5 three ounce bottles to save you the time to convert from metric to imperial.

Why is one 16 ounce bottle of an unknown clear liquid so dangerous but five smaller 3 ounce bottles safe?

When you can answer that simple question then we will take the liquid bombs idea seriously.

And if the contents of the bottles are potentially so dangerous why are they just tossed into a common rubbish bin at the security choke point?

Until you can answer that question your silly insistence that water bottles are dangerous is just silly.

RB said...

*****Boldy's comments are highlighted since Boldy doesn't understand how to properly attribute someone elses comments. my posts are in bold because that's how I post, thanks

October 9, 2016 at 7:48 AM

.............
Boldy, it doesn't take much intelligence to understand that placing your comments within another persons remarks makes it very difficult to quote you. At least separate your your comments with a blank line.

RB said...

*****Boldy's comments are highlighted since Boldy doesn't understand how to properly attribute someone elses comments. my posts are in bold because that's how I post, thanks

October 9, 2016 at 7:48 AM

.............
It was not the bolding that I commented about.

Boldy, it doesn't take much intelligence to understand that placing your comments within another persons remarks makes it very difficult to quote you. At least separate your your comments with a blank line.

Boldly said...

Boldy, it doesn't take much intelligence to understand that placing your comments within another persons remarks makes it very difficult to quote you. At least separate your your comments with a blank line.


I'll try to keep that in mind.

Boldly said...

Chip and Andy said...
Bold Posting Intern said..."Water isn't dangerous so requires no testing. and you can tell by looking at it that it is water? How?"

I don't have to know it is water by sight. If there was a concern about liquids being used as explosives then there would be no 311 silliness.

that doesn't even make sense

Your favorite example, the Bojinka Plot, planned on using 500 ml of liquid. That would be 5 three ounce bottles to save you the time to convert from metric to imperial.

Why is one 16 ounce bottle of an unknown clear liquid so dangerous but five smaller 3 ounce bottles safe?

in my opinion, you cannot eliminate all risk. But you can certainly reduce it. I believe it is an action taken to reduce the risk while still allowing passengers to have some of the basic necessities.

When you can answer that simple question then we will take the liquid bombs idea seriously.

And if the contents of the bottles are potentially so dangerous why are they just tossed into a common rubbish bin at the security choke point?

liquids by them selves are not a threat. Only when mixed with other liquids. The reality is, TSA I'm sure knows that 99.99% of all liquids at the checkpoint are harmless. But unless they decide to test each and everyone, the only way to keep that one .000000009 out is to ban all liquids. You know, most people wont get cancer from asbestos, but it has been banned anyway.

Until you can answer that question your silly insistence that water bottles are dangerous is just silly.

Chip and Andy said...

Bold Posting Intern said "liquids by them selves are not a threat. Only when mixed with other liquids. The reality is, TSA I'm sure knows that 99.99% of all liquids at the checkpoint are harmless. But unless they decide to test each and everyone, the only way to keep that one .000000009 out is to ban all liquids."

Except the 3-1-1 rules don't ban liquids. The 3-1-1 rules don't even test the liquids.

And you didn't answer the question.... If a sixteen ounce bottle is unsafe how does splitting it into three once bottles change it from unsafe to something that doesn't need any evaluation at all so long as it is separated in a quart sized zippy bag?

Wintermute said...

"liquids by them selves are not a threat. Only when mixed with other liquids. "

So, it sounds to me that a single 16oz bottle would be safer than multiple 3oz ones, then. You know a single 16oz is safe... but the 3oz ones could be different liquids to be mixed later... Based on your statement, it seems to me that banning multiple bottles is safer than restricting their size but allowing as many will fit in the baggie. Or is it the magic baggie that makes it safe?