Judicial Watch • TSA Misses Guns, Bombs In Tests

TSA Misses Guns, Bombs In Tests

TSA Misses Guns, Bombs In Tests

DECEMBER 20, 2010

 

While the government agency responsible for securing the nation’s transportation system harasses honest citizens with invasive, genital-groping personal searches, guns and bombs regularly get past inept Homeland Security screeners.

At major airports throughout the United States undercover agents have slipped a shocking number of weapons through security checkpoints during covert exercises conducted randomly since the devastating 2001 terrorist attacks. Reports on the so-called “red team tests,” are kept secret by the government, but a major news agency got wind of some results and they are downright scary.

In secret tests at major airports such as Los Angeles International and Chicago’s O’Hare, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers missed loaded guns, bombs and other types of explosives in dozens of cases. The recent lapses indicate that little has changed since a 2007 government audit revealed that airport security screeners missed hundreds of fake bombs during tests at three major airports. In those runs, TSA agents in Los Angeles, among the world’s busiest airports, missed 75% of the bogus bombs and screeners at O’Hare missed 60%.

Just last fall an Iranian-American businessman (Farid Seif) boarded an international flight in Houston with a loaded Glock pistol in his computer bag. TSA missed it even though the bag was x-rayed. Upon returning to Houston Seif informed Homeland Security officials of their failure—and his “honest mistake”—and a TSA spokesman confirmed it in the news story, saying the agency “had taken steps to address it.” A South Dakota political news site published a piece titled: “TSA Gropes Children, Misses Iranian’s Gun.”

Unfortunately these types of lapses are not uncommon, according to the nation’s former Homeland Security Inspector General. He confirmed that guns, knives and fake explosives get through airport security checkpoints too often even though they are the most critical layer of aviation security. In fact, the TSA was created specifically to keep American travelers safe after Islamic terrorists crashed commercial airplanes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Instead the 50,000-member Homeland Security agency has repeatedly come under fire for its negligence and shameful lapses. Over the years TSA has approved background checks for illegal immigrants working in sensitive areas of a busy U.S. airport and has failed miserably to ensure the security of tens of thousands of cargo packages transported daily in the bellies of passenger planes.

Just last month a Massachusetts news station revealed that TSA cleared dozens of illegal immigrants to train as pilots in the U.S., despite “strict security controls” implemented after 9/11. Some of the illegal immigrants provided the station with official TSA documents approving pilot lessons through the agency’s alien flight student program. After the story broke, Homeland Security officials promised to “review the process” for clearing foreign nationals to become licensed pilots.


 

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