USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

TSA Week in Review: Knife Zip-Tied to Handle of Bag

Friday, April 13, 2012
Knives, stun pen, loaded gun, inert grenade.

Concealed Knife - A knife was found zip-tied to the inner workings of a bag handle at Cedar Rapids (CID). Clever, but no match for our officers and technology. (See photo)

Chicken Soup for Your Pants? - Officers found a can of soup in a Las Vegas passenger’s carry-on bag. When told that it couldn’t go through because of the liquids rule (it was more than 3.4 ounces), the passenger said they would put the soup in their checked baggage. But when the passenger returned to the checkpoint, officers saw that the passenger had tried to hide the soup in their pants. No soup for them.

Derringer in a Dopp Kit - A Derringer was found amongst everyday toiletry items in a dopp kit at San Diego (SAN). I don’t think you could trim your nails, but I bet you could knick yourself if you shaved with it. (See photo)

Stun Pen - I’ve often heard that the pen can be mightier than the sword. Well, in this case that statement is pretty close to being true. A stun-pen was found on a passenger at Chicago Midway (MDW).

Bad Kitty - Known as a black cat, or cat eyes, this seemingly harmless kitty cat (see photo) becomes a punching weapon when your fingers are inserted in its eyes. It’s cute little pointy cat ears are designed to puncture and rip flesh.

Belt Buckle Knife- A belt buckle knife was found was found on a passenger during screening at Akron (CAK). Holy utility belt, Batman, good thing you didn’t bring your batarang and grappling gun.

More Grenades - An inert grenade was found this week in a checked bag at Salt Lake City (SLC). Another was found in a carry-on bag at San Diego (SAN) and it had a 1” knife concealed inside it.

People Say the Darndest Things: Here is an example of what not to say at the airport. Statements like this not only delayed the people who said them, they can also inconvenience lots of other passengers if the checkpoint has to be evacuated:

  • An officer at Minneapolis (MSP) was searching a bag for liquids when the passenger stated: “Those are my explosives.”

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items:In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also found firearm components, realistic replica firearms, stun guns, brass knuckles, a agglomeration of knives, ammunition, and batons.

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

8 loaded firearms.

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. 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.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

All of these items appear to be discoverable using the technology available on 9/10/01. Why exactly are we spending billions on your agency again?

Submitted by Anonymous on

How again is chicken soup dangerous to an airplane?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Would any of these items actually have been useful to terrorists/malcontents/nincompoops? Americans learned ON Sept 11 to fight back. We don't need your baby-sitting over ineffectual toys.

Submitted by Unknown on

So what did the extra 1 billion dollars you spent on the naked scanners get us then? All of these could be found with metal detectors.

And you really count a can of soup, a non-functional decorative grenade and a one inch knife as wins? Really?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Congratulations on removing these items from non-terorists, preventing no terrorist attacks, bombings or other dangers to passengers. Especially with that soup. My my.

Also, congratulations on spending so much money to do it! I wish I could get paid so much while delivering so very little. Nice work, if you can get it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm glad we're spending billions to keep airplanes soup-free.

Submitted by Anonymous on

You know I was wondering the same thing. I'm sure glad ya'll spent all that money on those body scanners that don't actually work. BTW exactly how many of these items were discovered using that technology? And by the way an inert grenade is a grenade shaped paperweight, not a grenade. It has zero threat value in checked luggage.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Except before 9/11 they could have brought the soup through just fine... wouldn't want that!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Still no information on how people with insulin pumps were "mistakenly" harassed and what you are doing about it.
Feet... Fire... ADA...

Submitted by Anonymous on

How many terrorists have you stopped? Please show proof.

Submitted by Anonymous on

way to go, you stopped someone from taking soup on a plane.....the skys are safe again.

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

And now, for the other side of the TSA Week In Review:

"Airport security in America is broken." So says Kip Hawley, former head of the TSA, in a recent essay.

Who Watches The Watchers? A Boston TSO was arrested and charged with possessing and distributing child pornography.

Wrong Way Corrigan: Part of a terminal at Newark airport was evacuated because someone entered the secure area without being screened, walking past a distracted TSO.

Submitted by Anonymous on

omg thanks SO MUCH for keeping the world safe from chicken soup!!!! WHEW! Billions of tax dollars well spent.

Submitted by Wilson on

While some of these are clearly good catches, I fail to see why stopping someone from boarding an airplane with a can of soup is a success. Who exactly is being made safer by keeping soup out of a plane?

(if the answer is that it might be something more sinister inside the can... was the person arrested? the way I see it, either it was harmless soup and confiscating it was unwarranted, or it was something bad and allowing the person to go free was a serious failure)

Submitted by Anonymous on

I love how the TSA tries to inject these descriptions with pithy humor, only to follow up with the fact that under no circumstances should travelers try to be humorous. It's serious business or it isn't... pick one.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So that's what what this new "Week in Review" postings are all about. You're flaunting your TSA Easter Egg basket for the week!! Kip Hawley made it clear. TSA Screeners have an Easter Egg hunt mentality and get praised for finding things that are actually irrelevant to air security. I know you read his piece in the Wall Street Journal--Which was full of stuff TSA's been claiming BS SSI on.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Week in review a TSA employee steals IPads at Dallas airport. TSA'S response:

"The unacceptable behavior of this individual in no way reflects the dedication of our nearly 50,000 transportation security officers who work tirelessly to keep our skies safe," TSA said in a statement obtained by the station.

Obivously this unacceptable behavior does refelct TSA in every way if this is the ONLY government agency that week after week is in the news. Sure other government agencies make headlines but TSA is consistently in the news every week. And sadly none of it is good, this website is the only thing positive about TSA. Why? Better hiring standards and promotion standards or STEP ASIDE!-Privatize!!!

Submitted by Anonymous on

How many of these items were going to be used on the airplane? Do we seriously believe that the ruthless soup-smuggler was planning to hijack an airliner with his food product?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I don't think you can blow up a plane with a can of soup. How many millions of dollars will we continue to waste on an organization without the good sense not to brag about such useless discoveries?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm curious. How many terrorists has the TSA arrested and/or terrorist attacks has the TSA stopped? Several sources state ZERO, but that can't be right...

Submitted by Anonymous on

The TSA should start intimidating....err..strongly cautioning media outlets to not print Kip Hawley's letter. Did you see all the supposed SSI stuff he wrote in it? Can't wait to see what else is in the book.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So the "Bad Kitty" can be used to "tear and rip flesh." OH NO! Do you know what else can be used to tear and rip flesh? Pretty much any metal item allowed through security.

As security expert Bruce Schneier points out, almost anything made of metal can be sharpened into a blade once you're through security. Just break off the handle of your rolling bag and sharpen the end and you have a great spear. Or sharpen the knie you still get handed in first class. It's that easy.

Given that, it's time we acknowledged that the TSA is completely ineffective and pointless. Under most circumstances I would say that we should just ignore them, but they insist that they have the right to spend billions of tax dollars and reach into our pants, so rather than ignoring them, I am afraid we're going to have to take the time to disband them.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The world is a much safer place because that soup was not allowed on the plane. I agree with the first post that it looks like all of these would have been caught with pre-9/11 security.

That person could have divided the soup into 3.4 oz containers, placed them in a quart bag and taken it through security. They could have placed the entire can of soup into a quart bag ans not been allowed to take that through security. Why is that? It's the same amount of liquid. I understand the quart bag limits the amount of liquid, but what is the point of the 3.4 oz containers? The total volume is still the same.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Second that, while I greatly am glad our country has the TSA and I appreciate your work, the current methods are not better. You're sadly stuck in a system where the people in charge are too stubborn to realize that they should be doing statistical comparison on safety rather then generalization.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm sure plenty of commentors are mentioning Kip Hawley's WSJ article, and each of those comments are being filed in the deleted piece of the delet-o-meter pie. TSA's public relations tactics are equal to that of Kim Jong Un.

Submitted by Joshua on

I'm just astounded at how many people carry a firearm without a round chambered. Come ON people. If you have to deploy that thing, it's going to cost you precious time. Keep the safety on and keep the gun in a properly-designed holster, and it is 100% safe to carry most guns with a round chambered.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hey Bob,

Are you going to comment on the article in the Wall Street Journal on 4/14/2102 discussing how bad the TSA is operating?

It ties in to this article because the author, who was head of the TSA during Geo Bush, said there is too much of an easter egg hunt mentality among screeners.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Re: "Second that, while I greatly am glad our country has the TSA..."

You must be a TSA employee!

Everyone knows TSA is a miserable bureaucratic failure that protects no one.

Who would have thought that in 10 short years the TSA could replace the IRS as the most hated governemnt agency.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"No soup for them."

Did you miss entirely the irony in quoting Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi" here? Have you learned nothing from so many other sad attempts at being pithy?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I love the new line that's tagged onto every single story about the TSA and its workers...

"The unacceptable behavior of this individual in no way reflects the dedication of our nearly 50,000 Transportation Security officers who work tirelessly to keep our skies safe," the agency said.

Wow. I'll bet this is required training for every security director - how to repeat this and not laugh when saying, since it's said almost daily!

Truth is that the unacceptable behavior of this, and many other individuals, reflects the organization that is full of criminals of various types.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/04/13/3882741/tsa-inspector-accused-of...

Submitted by Anonymous on

"An officer at Minneapolis (MSP) was searching a bag for liquids when the passenger stated: “Those are my explosives.”

Would this not be a reasonable response if the TSA agent held up a bottle of water? After all, it won't be allowed through because it's a threat - likely because it's possibly an explosive - so why wouldn't a literal-minded passenger refer to it that way?

Submitted by Sandra on

What about the guy, a murderer, who got through the TSA in NY with a fake passport? Why didn't your vaunted ID clerks or the even-more vaunted BDOs catch him?



Screen shot.

Submitted by Anonymous on

what exactly is the tsa budget and what percentage of the national budget is goin to the tsa?
2011 US budget $3.83 trillion, tsa budget abour $8.1 billion. talk about a drop of water in the ocean.

please look at a list of items and focus only on one, aka soup. common people wake up. if a bomb gets on board and is detonated how many passengers are going to wrestle the person to the ground after it goes off? quit focusing on the small picture. pre 9/10/11 security would not detect explosives on a person.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Who is Jon Corbett?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I know one item that are not being found on lugagge....iPads.....TSA is "pre-emptibly removing then without owner consent" because....well, you all know those items were the prefrered weapon on 9/11....so it is not "stealing"....it is called "Keeping America Safe......

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
"pre 9/10/11 security would not detect explosives on a person."

Post 9/11 security doesn't either. The body scanners are not explosive detectors. The TSA likes to pretend they are, but they don't really work.

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

Bob ... why are comments approved out-of-order? My comment wasn't approved in the first batch of 20 approved comments, but suddenly showed up today ...

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
what exactly is the tsa budget and what percentage of the national budget is goin to the tsa?
2011 US budget $3.83 trillion, tsa budget abour $8.1 billion. talk about a drop of water in the ocean.

please look at a list of items and focus only on one, aka soup. common people wake up. if a bomb gets on board and is detonated how many passengers are going to wrestle the person to the ground after it goes off? quit focusing on the small picture. pre 9/10/11 security would not detect explosives on a person.

April 15, 2012 5:05 PM
.............

First off each little drop in the bucket quickly leads to a full pail. TSA has historically wasted large sums of taxpayer monies. Explosive Trace Portals come to mind and I suspect the Strip Search Machines are soon to follow. I see no problem with requiring all federal agencies to be responsible when spending tax monies or we will have another GSA on our hands.

AS far as the can of soup, TSA could have quickly tested the can with ETD and determined if the item was a threat or not. The current restrictions on LGA's has no basis in science and is done to show the public that TSA is doing something when we all know that TSA is broken. Even Kip Hawley, the former Administrator of TSA has admitted that TSA is on the wrong path. I have to wonder just why John Pistole isn't smart enough to realize that TSA non-functional.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"what exactly is the tsa budget and what percentage of the national budget is goin to the tsa?
2011 US budget $3.83 trillion, tsa budget abour $8.1 billion. talk about a drop of water in the ocean. "

$8B is a drop in the ocean?!? Remarkable, unquestionably the justification of someone who is in the employ of this failed, horrible agency.

"pre 9/10/11 security would not detect explosives on a person."

And neither will post 9/11 techniques. You have to go beyond the TSA propoganda to get to the truth. The very inventors of the technology feel that it is easily defeated.

Dogs would be much more effective but the TSA workforce is not sufficiently skilled to handle explosive dogs.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"pre 9/10/11 security would not detect explosives on a person."

TSA has never detected explosives on a person.

Submitted by Peter H on

"Aside from obvious weapons capable of fast, multiple killings—such as guns, toxins and explosive devices—it is time to end the TSA's use of well-trained security officers as kindergarten teachers to millions of passengers a day. The list of banned items has created an "Easter-egg hunt" mentality at the TSA. Worse, banning certain items gives terrorists a complete list of what not to use in their next attack. Lighters are banned? The next attack will use an electric trigger."

-Kip Hawley, Director of the TSA 2005-2009

How many of the items on your list should have been allowed, according to the standards the former TSA director suggests?

Submitted by Anonymous on

1st: I think it's great that the TSA publishes this blog every week. Yes, the TSA does have a bad rap, but at least they are trying to be open, honest and trying to work with the public. Well done!

2: People are really picking on a "can of soup" as some sort of joke point? How are we supposed to know what's in said can? Should we flaunt all the rules? Heck no. The fact that a passenger actually plain faced LIED to the TSA about their intentions is bad enough, what else did they lie about? Plus I doubt it was some sort of "rare collectible" can of chicken soup. Buy one when you land for crying out loud!

3: You're saying the TSA protects no one? My god, are you LOOKING at some of the LOADED GUNS people are trying to bring onto airlines? The knives people are trying to conceal and bring on board? With all the stories lately of people going nuts on airplanes, how long before someone (who's not even a terrorist!) just decides to attack passengers because "The dog told me to!". Frankly I'm grateful that the TSA made another "catch" this week!

Flying is a pain, that's for sure. Being stuck in a metal tube for hours, no leg room, your neighbour practically sitting on your lap. Yup, I even admit, I hate having to que, take off my shoes, empty my bags, get scanned, repack everything..... and I really wish I didn't have to do that. However, if anything, this blog has shown that the general public can't be trusted to act responsibly for air travel, let alone anyone with terrorist beliefs.

If you don't want to deal with the TSA, don't fly! If you NEED to fly or WANT to fly, but believe things should be run differently, then petition your local Senator. Require them to fly coach on public airlines rather than have their private jets paid for out of our tax payer money! I promise you, things will change a heck of a lot quicker then.

As for the TSA? Well done and thank you for trying to make the airways safer for us.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Interesting that the majority posting on here have nothing good to say about the TSA and that no terrorists or terrorist threat has been prevented by the TSA. How exactly do you all know that ?

Isn't it faintly possible that there have been no attempts to bomb planes because the terrorists now know they will likely get caught so prefer to concentrate their efforts elsewhere. Even hijackings will not be repeated since no passenger is ever going to let a hijacker control a plane without a fight.

You people need to get out more.

Submitted by Anonymous on

most of these items are clearly for self defense...

i still cannot believe this is America. i was always taught to protect yourself and family. not give up all your rights and weapons, so the TSA (which another in dallas was just arrested for STEALING ipads from passengers) can "save us" from terrorists and chicken soup.

are you serious bro?

Submitted by Anonymous on

anon said:
Post 9/11 security doesn't either. The body scanners are not explosive detectors. The TSA likes to pretend they are, but they don't really work.

really? they dont detect explosives? they detect anything that does not conform to the contuers of the body, including explosives. they are designed to stop someone from hiding explosives on their person, just as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka the underwear bomber. i like the people that say that you can hide explosives in your body, very true. so do you want this type of search in the future?

Submitted by Anonymous on

rb said:
First off each little drop in the bucket quickly leads to a full pail. TSA has historically wasted large sums of taxpayer monies. Explosive Trace Portals come to mind and I suspect the Strip Search Machines are soon to follow. I see no problem with requiring all federal agencies to be responsible when spending tax monies or we will have another GSA on our hands.

AS far as the can of soup, TSA could have quickly tested the can with ETD and determined if the item was a threat or not. The current restrictions on LGA's has no basis in science and is done to show the public that TSA is doing something when we all know that TSA is broken. Even Kip Hawley, the former Administrator of TSA has admitted that TSA is on the wrong path. I have to wonder just why John Pistole isn't smart enough to realize that TSA non-functional.

so you live in a dream world do you rb? history is history, why dont you focus on larger areas of corruption like the whole lobbying process? do something for the greater good, instead of preaching from your soapbox. its a good thing that the tha agents arent real officers like say the secret service, because they never do anything wrong...
what is your experience with this etd machine? are there tyoes of explosives that it doesnt search for?
once again if tsa allows people to bring large liquids in again then they will need to be inspected and tested. do you know what that means
? MUCH longer lines. im for less time spent in line. what i find interesting is that people arent accountable for their actions. how long has the liquid ban been in effect? and people still bring these items? give me a break!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Wow...you know things are bad at the TSA when the former leader writes an article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) entitled "Why Airport Security Is Broken - And How To Fix It". As Mr. Hawley stated in the WSJ article "The relationship between the public and the TSA has become too poisonous to be sustained." Unfortunately, Mr. Hawley along with many other TSA leaders have failed to acknowledge that most Americans do not want to be virtually stripped searched, radiated, or groped to board an airplane. Until you are your other colleagues at the TSA recognize that fact, your wasting our time and tax dollars with these silly and useless weekly posts.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I flew two weeks ago from FAT to SLC with a can of soup in my carry on. Obviously your policies are not the same across the board.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I would like to see what would happen if we got rid of the TSA for just 6 months. I bet the number of passengers would greatly decrease do to fear for safety, and there would be an outcry by the same people on here bashing the organization as to why the government doesn't secure our airlines. Also, I think there would be a high probability that terrorists would strike again, in a way that would put 9/11 to shame. Believe it or not the TSA does deter terrorist acts just by their mere presence. People need to quit finding things to complain about.

Pages