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TSA Blog Year in Review: 2013

Friday, January 24, 2014
Some of the Loaded Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Baggage in 2013

Every day, Transportation Security Officers interact with nearly two million travelers across the United States with a single goal in mind – ensuring the safety of the traveling public.

TSA had a busy year in 2013, screening 638,705,790 passengers in 2013 (over 1,700,000 per day), which is  1,123,668 more passengers than last year.

Sadly, this year marked the first incident where a TSA officer, Gerardo I. Hernandez, was killed in the line of duty at Los Angeles International Airport.

In many ways, Transportation Security Officers are the public face of our nation’s security. It is difficult work, requiring patience, stamina, and great attention to detail. It requires extensive training and constant vigilance. This year’s tragic incident reminds us that being on the frontline also comes with a great risk. It is a risk that the men and women of TSA undertake willingly knowing that in doing so they are serving a higher cause, and a noble one – protecting the men and women of the United States every day.

We wanted to share with you examples of the continued vigilance of TSA officers in protecting our nation’s transportation systems, including some of the most unusual items TSA caught at the checkpoints this year.

1,813 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging nearly five firearms per day. Of those, 1,477 (81%) were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at a total of 205 airports with Atlanta (ATL) on top of the list for the most firearms intercepted (111) in 2013.

There was a 16.5% increase (257) in firearm discoveries from last year’s total of 1,556.

Top FiveLoaded Gun (BDL) Airports for Gun Catches in 2013

  1. (ATL) - 111 Guns Discovered
  2. (DFW) - 96 Guns Discovered
  3. (IAH) - 68 Guns Discovered
  4. (PHX) - 66 Guns Discovered
  5. (DEN) - 51 Guns Discovered

Loaded Gun (PIT)Here are a few of the more notable firearm incidents: 

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

A loaded .45 caliber pistol with six rounds and one chambered was discovered strapped to the ankle of a Pittsburgh (PIT) passenger during a pat-down after he had opted out of AIT.

A .25 caliber firearm loaded with 10 rounds was discovered hidden under the lining of a carry-on bag at Cedar Rapids (CID).

A passenger at Salt Lake City (SLC) received a pat-down after an anomaly was detected during advanced imaging technology screening.

Loaded Gun (CID)During the pat-down, officers discovered a fully loaded .22 caliber firearm inside his boot.

Using imaging technology, a .380 pistol loaded with seven rounds and one chambered was discovered in the pocket of a passenger at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW).While resolving an alarm on checked baggage, officers at Boston Logan (BOS) discovered a fully disassembled 30-30 rifle concealed within the lining of the bag and taped to the straps. Police responded and ran a check on the serial number of the rifle, revealing that it had been stolen.

In what was believed to be an attempt to avoid declaring his firearms, a passenger at Houston (IAH) wrapped two guns in newspaper and placed them in a box of detergent powder in his checked baggage.

Seven undeclared firearms were found concealed in a checked toolbox at Miami (MIA).

A shotgun was discovered in a checked golf bag at Detroit (DTW).

An unloaded .45 caliber pistol and four magazines were hidden in a cassette deck in checked baggage.

Left to Right: Unassembled Rifle (BOS), Shotgun in Golf Bag (DTW), Seven Firearms in Toolbox (MIA), Guns In Detergent (IAH)

Left to Ri24 Pounds of Black Powder (MDW)ght: Unassembled Rifle (BOS), Shotgun in Golf Bag (DTW), Seven Firearms in Toolbox (MIA), Guns In Detergent (IAH)

In addition to firearms discovered this year, there were many unsafe items that passengers attempted to travel with this year including:

Ten canisters containing 24-pounds of black powder were discovered in checked baggage at Chicago Midway (MDW).

A live blasting cap was discovered along with an M60 fuse lighter in a passenger’s checked bag at the Manhattan Regional Airport (MHK) in Kansas.

Blasting Cap and Fuse Initiator (MHK)Over nine ounces of black powder was discovered in a carry-on bag at Cleveland (CLE).

A camping stove fuel bottle with fuel was discovered in a passenger’s carry-on bag at San Francisco (SFO).

After causing an alarm in checked baggage, Officers found a 3.2 ounce flask of black powder, 22 feet of fuse, a large empty CO2 cartridge, and miscellaneous ammunition in a passenger’s bag at Anchorage (ANC).

While resolving an alarm in a checked bag at Honolulu (HNL), a TSA officer discovered two one-pound cans of black powder.

Left - Right / Top - Bottom: Black Powder & Fuse (ANC), Two Pounds of Black Powder (HNL), Nine Ounces of Black Powder (CLE), and Camping Stove Fuel (SFO)

Left - Right / Top - Bottom: Black Powder & Fuse (ANC), Two Pounds of Black Powder (HNL), Nine Ounces of Black Powder (CLE), and Camping Stove Fuel (SFO)

TInert Suicide Vest (IND)SA officers also find inert items that look very real. The problem with these types of items is that we don’t know if they are real, toys or replicas until we call out the explosive experts. Inert items can lead to disruption, closed terminals and checkpoints, which often result in canceled or delayed flights. Here are some of the more interesting inert items we’ve found so far this year:

After alarming in checked baggage, our officers discovered The vest was a training aid used by an explosives instructor.

A passenger at Norfolk (ORF) had six inert pressure plates, 50 inert initiators, an inert land mine, inert explosives, and two initiation systems in the his bag.

An inert Claymore mine was discovered in a checked bag at San Jose (SJC). 

Inert IED (ORD)

Inert Claymore Mine (SJU)An inert bandolier line charge was discovered after it alarmed in checked baggage at Norfolk (ORF). Seven inert blasting caps were discovered in checked baggage at Greenbrier County Airport (LWB). Electricdetonators and a blockof inert C4 with duct tape and wires protruding were discovered in two separate incidents at Seattle (SEA) in checked baggage.

A gag retirement gift designed to look like an improvisedexplosive device was discovered on the X-ray at St. Petersburg / Clearwater (PIE). Two inert C4 demolition explosives were discovered in the carry-on bag of a passenger at Honolulu (HNL).An inert Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training kit was discovered at Norfolk (ORF). 

Two battery-charged initiators were discovered in a carry-on bag at Minneapolis (MSP).

Inert Bazooka Round (ORD)

A WWIIera inert bazooka round was discovered in a checked bag at Chicago O’Hare (ORD).An inert 20mm artillery round was detected in the carry-on bag at San Diego (SAN).  

136 inert/novelty/replica grenades were discovered this year at TSA checkpointsand checked baggage locations.

Just A Few of the 136 Inert/Novelty/Replica Grenades Discovered in 2013

Left - Right / Top - Bottom: Battery Charged Initiator (MSP), IED Training Kit (ORD), Inert Blasting Caps (LWB), Inert C-4 (HNL), Gag Gift (TPA)

Left - Right / Top - Bottom: Battery Charged Initiator (MSP), IED Training Kit (ORD), Inert Blasting Caps (LWB), Inert C-4 (HNL), Gag Gift (TPA)

Smoke Grenade (IAD)Live Smoke, Stun, and Incendiary Devices:

A live smoke grenade was discovered under the lining of a carry-on bag at Washington Dulles (IAD). >A live flashbang grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Portland (PDX). >

A live smoke grenade was discovered in checked baggage at Washington Dulles (IAD).

Flash Bang Grenade (PDX)

A live “sting ball” riot control grenade was discovered in checked baggage at John Wayne (SNA). Live smoke and flare canisters were discovered in a checked bag at Phoenix (PHX).

Flare Gun (HOU)

A 3-ounce Can of CS Teargas was discovered in a carry-on bag at Atlantic City (ACY).A passenger at Houston Hobby (HOU)had a flare gun and six loose flares in his carry-on bag.  562 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags in 2013.

Left - Right: Smoke and Flare Canisters (PHX), Flare Gun (MDW), Teargas (ACY), Flare (JNU), Smoke Grenades (PWM)

Left - Right: Smoke and Flare Canisters (PHX), Flare Gun (MDW), Teargas (ACY), Flare (JNU), Smoke Grenades (PWM)>Here are a few of the more notable knife incidents:

Non-metallic Dagger (SLC)

A non-metallic dagger was discovered on a passenger at Salt Lake City (SLC) after he alarmed Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). During the pat-down, the dagger was found hanging by fishing line around his neck and under his shirt.  

Tactical Spike (DSM)

Officers at Des Moines (DSM) discovered an 8-inch non-metallic tactical spike in a passenger’s sock after he alarmed Advanced Imaging Technology.

Knife (BUR)

A knife was discovered concealed in the lower back area of a passenger who alarmed the advanced imaging technology at Burbank (BUR). 

Some Of The Throwing Knives and Stars Discovered in 2013

Some of The Knives and Swords Discovered in 2013

The year also provided the need for travelers to surrender a few odd items:

Human Skull (FLL)While searching clay pots in a checked baggage location at Fort Lauderdale (FLL), our officers discovered human skull fragments! While the fragments weren’t a security threat, they did slow screening down a bit since the area quickly became a crime scene!

A mace was discovered in a carry-on bag at Chicago Midway (MDW). This wasn’t a plastic mace; it was solid wood and metal.

A traveler’s checked bag blew open with threefoot high flames and smoke at Atlantic City (ACY) . The cause? A large leaking can of hairspray was ignited by the spark of a lighter when the bag was loaded onto the rollers. No one was injured.

Mace (ACY)

Mace (ACY)There were many instances last year where travelers attempted to hide items, or the items they packed were disguised to look like other items. Our officers regularly find sword canes, credit card knives, belt buckle knives, comb/brush knives, knives hidden in shoes, knives hidden in thermoses, and knives hidden under the bag lining near the handle mechanism. But, here are a few of the instances that stood out:

Pen Knife (DFW)

A knife concealed within an ink pen was discovered at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). 

A multi-tool was discovered inside a computer hard drive at Birmingham (BHM).

Pen Knife (DFW)

A knife was sewn into the lining of a bag at Dulles (IAD).

A bladed multi-tool was found in a package of socks at Albuquerque (ABQ).

Ammunition Hidden Under Pull Handle (ORF)

Nine rounds of .45 caliber ammunition were found in the pull-handle of a carry-bag at Norfolk (ORF).Pepper spray designed to look like a lipstick case was discovered in Phoenix (PHX). A stun gun concealed in a cane was discovered at Los Angeles (LAX).

Pepper Spray Lipstick (PHX)

A knife was found in a toothbrush holder at Lihue (LIH).A knife was discovered in the battery compartment of a laptop computer at Oakland (OAK).A knife was discovered inside a pillow at Midland (MAF).

Knife In Knee Brace (IAH)A lipstick knife was discovered at San Antonio (SAT).  A knife was discovered inside a passenger’s knee brace at Houston (IAH).Two kitchen knives were discovered in an automotive air filter box wrapped in plastic with the air filter at Houston Intercontinental (IAH).An 8-inch knife and a 6-inch knife were detected wrapped in plastic bags under a false bottom in a carry-on bag at Guam (GUM).A stun gun disguised to look like lipstick was discovered at St. Louis (STL).

Some Of The Cane Swords Discovered In 2013

Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Cigarette Pack Stun Gun (MCO), Brush Dagger(OGG), Knives Concealed in Air Filter (IAH), Credit Card Knife (ABQ), Lipstick Knife (SAT), Comb Knife (DTW), Knife in Shoe (IAD), Belt Buckle Knife (EWR), Stun Gun Cell Phone (JAN), Comb Knife (CHS), Lip Stick Stun Gun (LAS), Key Knife (IAD), Razor Concealed in Cell Phone (TPA), Credit Card Knife (BWI), Lipstick Stun Gun (STL), Stun Gun Cell Phone (LAX), Knife in Shoe (SAN), Cell Phone Stun Gun (DEN)

Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Cigarette Pack Stun Gun (MCO), Brush Dagger(OGG), Knives Concealed in Air Filter (IAH), Credit Card Knife (ABQ), Lipstick Knife (SAT), Comb Knife (DTW), Knife in Shoe (IAD), Belt Buckle Knife (EWR), Stun Gun Cell Phone (JAN), Comb Knife (CHS), Lip Stick Stun Gun (LAS), Key Knife (IAD), Razor Concealed in Cell Phone (TPA), Credit Card Knife (BWI), Lipstick Stun Gun (STL), Stun Gun Cell Phone (LAX), Knife in Shoe (SAN), Cell Phone Stun Gun (DEN).

Miscellaneous Items - Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Compound Bow in Carry-on (PHX), Finger Spikes (BHM), Bang Stick (KOA), BB Machine Gun (EWR), Novelty Bomb (PHX), Stun Knuckles (DEN), Gun Clock (SEA)

Miscellaneous Items - Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Compound Bow in Carry-on (PHX), Finger Spikes (BHM), Bang Stick (KOA), BB Machine Gun (EWR), Novelty Bomb (PHX), Stun Knuckles (DEN), Gun Clock (SEA).

You can also read more about important steps TSA has taken to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to security, and towards a more risk-based security posture in our year-end blog post, TSA Reflects on 2013.

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Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

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Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hey I've got a novel idea, why don't you brag about how many terrorist you've caught, and prosecuted.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The important information is how many terrorists were caught, I did not see that figure. Out of people with fire arms, very low percentage, I suspect all use firearms in their daily work and thus do not think them a problem. I for one, would like to see a CITIZEN MARSHALL PROGRAM, where joe and jane blow citizen could get certified to bring their fire arm on board. The more guns, the better the chances of survivial. Is the goal safety? Or is the goal Tyranny? If the goal is safety, then CITIZEN MARSHALL PROGRAMS will be embraced. If the goal is Tyranny, then it will not. The percentages are so low for firearms and problems, and the price is so high, it is like one million dollars per find or more.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am impressed to see how many Americans have two mosquitoes playing ping pong in their heads. The rational is that if you take any type of arms from the people's hands then people can't use them. How is that so difficult to understand? If there are no guns.. not even the bad guys can use them cause there aren't any. There would be no need to defend yourselves from a gun bearing person.. People don't see the effort here.. Times change.. That constitutional right to bear arms must be modified if not abolished. Is not 1787 anymore. Think of all the new laws that have been created or modified to accommodate the changes a nation goes through as the time goes by. If you disagree then try and live as if it was 1787. Another thing.. TSA stands for Transportation Security Administration.. Their job is to make sure that travelers can reach their destination secure manner. They are not an anti-terrorist agency.

Submitted by Mike on

Why confiscate all those "inert" devices? I understand the guns and knives and tasers and all, but training aids and memorabilia? This country is turning into a nanny state at a very rapid pace!!! It must be the presidents fault, what else could it be?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Mike, it's the fault of the President (Bush and Obama), the Congress, the American public, but most importantly, it's the fault of the Secretaries of the DHS, TSA Administrators, and their employees for these ridiculous confiscation of our private property under duress.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It breaks my heart that every day Americans throw their rights to the side and allow organizations like the TSA to treat them like terrorists in their own country. I would rather be free than be safe. I am sickened that my fellow Americans continue to allow this.

I have refused to fly in airports since the TSA has maintained a presence there. When security checkpoints are required for all MLB games (by 2015, per CBS DFW), I will also refuse to support these venues.

Shame on you, TSA. Shame on any Americans who allow their rights to be ripped from their grasp. Shame on America. What was once a free, beautiful, and great country is no longer, and for that I am truly disgusted and saddened.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Also in 2013, someone got access to documents written by your department that flat out say there is no current threat to airplanes via explosives and that with the cockpit doors locked that would be impossible anyway. So all of these procedures are worthless. It doesn't matter how many guns you brag about seizing, your department has admitted you don't need to be doing this. Get back to us when you're ready to acknowledge that.

Submitted by Anonymous on

That is not a compound bow, it's a take-down recurve bow. Compounds are the ones with cams on the end and strings that pass back and forth between the cams.

Judging by what I can see on the limbs and the upside-down bag, it's a Hoyt bow.

Submitted by RB on

Blogger Bob said:

"TSA had a busy year in 2013, screening 638,705,790 passengers in 2013 (over 1,700,000 per day), which is 1,123,668 more passengers than last year.

RB said:

TSA screeners have contact with about 1.6 million travelers each day, 584 million travelers each year, and in 10 years 5,840,000,000 travelers. While even one death is unfortunate to call this loss a great risk is just silly TSA spin.

The math tells the truth! 1 death in 10 years/total travelers = 0.00000000017. If anything the risk to TSA employees is miniscule. They face far greater odds of injury or death just getting to an airport.

Guess I need to revise my numbers. The risk of death at the checkpoint for a TSA employee is even lower than I stated.

What is smaller than miniscule?

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "Why are firearms detected with naked body scanners "more notable" than other firearms detections? Safe, reliable, and noninvasive metal detectors would just as surely have detected every single one of these firearms."

One reason they are a bit more notable is the firearm is not in a bag where it can not be accessed without the approval of local LEOs.

Grateful to TSA sez - "
I'm a grateful, grateful U.S. citizen. THANK YOU!"

Thank you for the kind comments, we certainly appreciate them!

Another Anon sez - "I'd like to know how many passengers carrying this contraband are in custody as threats to public safety"

That call is entirely up to the local LEOs contacted to handle these situations.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Eric on

Some very interesting posts on this blog. As I see it, yes the security process is invasive and unpleasant but it is necessary. If I’m going to be trapped in a metal box at 20,000 ft. with a few hundred strangers for a few hours, I’d prefer that they not be armed. Why no detectors at a mall or movie theater? Because you can hide, run, escape etc. but stuck in a plane my options are extremely limited on where I can go and what I can do. Additionally if you have a problem with the way things are (which I do, often) write your Congressman or Senator, you did elect them after all.

Submitted by Anonymous on

West, why not answer any of the more critical questions?

Also, you said comments are approved within 48 hours. I'm still waiting for one of mine from 3 days ago to make an appearance. It followed blog guidelines.

Why does your team, West, refuse to correct errors in your posts, including mislabeled items and missing links? The holiday travel post from December is still missing links.

It doesn't take much time, West, to approve on average 3 comments per day, so a quick correction with appropriate annotation won't take any time away from the team's "other duties."

*screen shot because blotter team can't be trusted*

Submitted by Anonymous on

West, you entirely missed the point of the first question you "answered." That wasn't intentional, was it?

He asked why a gun found by an AIT is more "notable" than one found by a walk through metal detector, not the x-ray baggage machine.

You work at an airport. You know the equipment that is used. So, please answer the commenter's question.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Blogger GSOLTSO said...
Anon sez - "Why are firearms detected with naked body scanners "more notable" than other firearms detections? Safe, reliable, and noninvasive metal detectors would just as surely have detected every single one of these firearms."

One reason they are a bit more notable is the firearm is not in a bag where it can not be accessed without the approval of local LEOs.

So, are you saying that the metal detectors wouldn't have detected these guns? Because if that's not what you're saying, then a find with the metal detector is just as notable. And if it is what you're saying, you're being disingenuous at best.

Submitted by Anonymous on

i would like to know how many terrorists that tsa didnt catch. for all those that say that the tsa did not catch any then this is a case of using statistics to your advantage. if there werent any that came through then there werent any to catch....
i would like to know if tsa's job is to protect passengerws or ensure that a plane is not used as a weapon.

Submitted by Anonymous on

all that talking and I still have not gotten an answer to a simple question: if all active duty can go through pre-check, and if anyone can pay $85 to get background checked to go through pre-check, then why can't military retirees?? and why can't folks with an active DoD background investigation?? it makes no sense.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "My 11 year old son had a cast on his arm to treat a broken hand and your screeners forced him to stick his arm into the baggage x-ray machine."

Passengers are expressly forbidden to stick any part of their person inside the baggage xray machines (the same goes for the employees and anyone else around the machine). The only thing that I can think of that could have happened with an xray type of machine is the use of a Cast-Scope. I am uncertain how many of these are left in service at the moment, but some information on the type of technology can be found here:

http://www.tek8.com/castscope.html

Anon sez - "Six hundred million searches and approximately a thousand, mostly legal firearms were confiscated. What particularized threat, other than possessing these items, did the owners of the weapons pose other than breaking the rule? People travel, they should be able to take their legal weapons."

Any passenger flying can take their legal firearms with them as long as they follow the procedures outlined here:

http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition

Passengers are also strongly encouraged to know and abide by the local gun laws at both their departure point and final destination to avoid any complications.

Anon sez - "Why didn't you mention that it is legal to travel with firearms as long as they're declared? Concealed carry is on the rise, because let's face it - and the TSA knows this - we live in a dangerous world, so why not do the public a service and mention that they can avoid the embarrassment (not to mention arrest and prosecution) by just declaring their firearms properly?"

See the above response, there is also a declaration on each of the weekly updates indicating that firearms are legal to be transported as long as they are in compliance with the regulations.

Anon sez - "Shut down the NSA!"

I think you may be on the wrong page.

Don Cochran sez - "Are small knifes on key chains allowed to be carried on board?"

No. Knives are not allowed in the carryon bags or on the passengers person.

Susan Richert sez - "IOW, not one item was mentioned in Bob's self-praising article that would not have been found by a metal detector."

There were items found that were identified as "non-metallic", which would not have been found by metal detectors.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "He asked why a gun found by an AIT is more "notable" than one found by a walk through metal detector, not the x-ray baggage machine."

Actually the question originally posed was "Why are firearms detected with naked body scanners "more notable" than other firearms detections?" - and I answered that too narrowly.

Any firearm discovery on a person is a "more notable" discovery than one in a bag (including those found during the metal detector process), because the firearm is not in an enviornment where it is considered controlled (like when one is found inside a bag). It is considered a more threatening situation because it is accessible by the person instead of lying static inside a bag waiting on the LEO to arrive and take control of the item.


Wintermute sez - "So, are you saying that the metal detectors wouldn't have detected these guns? Because if that's not what you're saying, then a find with the metal detector is just as notable. And if it is what you're saying, you're being disingenuous at best."

Not what I was saying at all. I was just answering the first question more specifically than I should have (evidently). Firearms discovered with the WTMD are just as notable as those discovered with AIT. The only reason those are more notable than one discovered in a bag is that the weapon itself is accessible to the individual.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

" Firearms discovered with the WTMD are just as notable as those discovered with AIT. The only reason those are more notable than one discovered in a bag is that the weapon itself is accessible to the individual."

Then can you explain why all of the descriptions of "more notable" firearms finds involving a gun carried on a person's body -- every single one of which would have been detected by safe, efficient, and non-invasive metal detectors -- emphasize the use of naked body scanners in their detection?

(Submitted at 10:00 am Central time, 1/28/14)

Submitted by Anonymous on

"I guess we'll try one more time. AIT--metal yes, ceramic/plastic yes. Metal detector--metal yes, ceramic/plastic NO. The rest of us that read this blog didn't think it was that hard of a concept."

Well then we'll try this one more time - AIT - detects metal firearm only on certain parts of the body; Metal detector - detects firearm wherever it is on the body.

I would tell you where the AIT misses, but that would just give TSA the excuse they need to censor the post, and you (or someone with ill intent) can easily find it on the internet.

Screenshot

Submitted by Anonymous on

I, like many other Americans, very much DISLIKE going through TSA screening procedures. But I don't know what the alternative is.

For all that cry foul about the TSA and want them "abolished" or disbanded, what alternative solutions do you offer? Would you prefer nothing more than a ticket agent enforcing rules/regs? Go back to private security who doesn't worry about accountability as long as money keeps coming in from the airport? Even if you could agree with these propositions, you would all be screaming for someone's head to roll when something bad happened.

So as I said, what's the better alternative? In order to prevent determined terrorists, you have to try and think like one. The screening of children and senior citizens is unfortunate, but we have to remain vigilant since we know terrorists will use less-familiar tactics to achieve their goals. A senior who is desperate and/or bitter or an unwitting child can be easy targets for terrorists as they know we get very upset about their screening. These tactics have been seen in other parts of the world. Americans need to realize a terrible event could happen at any moment and it will always be someone's fault in the eyes of Joe Citizen, no matter how strict or loose the screening gets.

To the TSA employees of our nation: you have a difficult and mostly thankless job to carry out every day. While the TSA as a whole may not be the best defense, at least you folks keep coming to work to at least try and do something instead of standing idle because Americans are whining about some sacrifice in the name of security.

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
"I guess we'll try one more time. AIT--metal yes, ceramic/plastic yes. Metal detector--metal yes, ceramic/plastic NO. The rest of us that read this blog didn't think it was that hard of a concept."

Well then we'll try this one more time - AIT - detects metal firearm only on certain parts of the body; Metal detector - detects firearm wherever it is on the body.

I would tell you where the AIT misses, but that would just give TSA the excuse they need to censor the post, and you (or someone with ill intent) can easily find it on the internet.

Screenshot

January 28, 2014 at 11:41 AM

............................

TSA has proven in Red Team testing that Whole Body Strip Search machines are inferior to the proven WTMD technology.

Case in point:


Marty!


Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Security Theatre: An undercover TSA agent was able to slip through the full-body scanners at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with a handgun stashed in her undies… And not just once, but five times.

I think the real question is why is TSA risking our safety with these flawed devices? Who benefits from TSA's continuing purchases of these useless scanners?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Anonymous wrote:

"i would like to know if tsa's job is to protect passengerws or ensure that a plane is not used as a weapon."

The only job of the TSA is to make certain that weapons, explosives and incendiaries (WEI) don't get on a plane. That's it.

screen shot/DHS OIG

Submitted by Anonymous on

We need to have pictures of the people who try to smuggle these things in their carry-on. Anyone who knowingly travels with items they know are forbidden should be put on blast because they clearly have disturbance issues.

Submitted by Tommy S on

Well I for one think TSA is doing a great job. Shame on those of you who are complaining about being pat down and having to do the body scan, or it takes too long, suck it up. As long as I get from here to there safely and I can get back to my love ones and have my loves ones make it back to me, I’ll walk in there naked if I had to. Stop complaining and start thanking those men and women for putting up with all the crap they have to put up with. The second something goes wrong, then it’s a different story. TSA didn’t do there job. They do the crappy job so you can be safe, just like our military and law enforcement they put their lives on the line so you don’t have to. Be thankful we live in such a great country that someone else is willing to stand up for your safety.

Thank you TSA Keep up the good work!!!

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Five bazillion passengers unlawfully screened and zero terrorist caught!" is little more than a poorly rationalized talking point.

How does one "catch" a terrorist? No, really. Think about it-- To be a terrorist, you have to engage in terrorist activity. Now go one further. How does any organization prove somebody is a terrorist when a physical act of terrorism hasn't been commited?

Maybe by the stuff you carry along? Or to put more of a point on the question: How low do you want the bar to be set in order to declare the person who forgot his pistol "a terrorist"?

Yeah, I didn't think so. All these anons complaining about the lack of terrorist caught are demanding somebody else prove a negative. That debate fail, people. So short of actually catching somebody in the act of terrorism, the tinfoil hats posting here are never going to get their wish... Unless they want the criteria to prove terrorist intent substantial lowered beyond what it already is.

So yes, you get a patdown and have to abandon the nine you forgot (are you kidding?) in your bag, as opposed to being accused of terrorism for your negligence. I'm really feeling for you. Swear.

Submitted by Wintermute on

GSOLTSO said...

"There were items found that were identified as "non-metallic", which would not have been found by metal detectors."

Were any of those items actually a threat to aviation? Or just merely "against the rules?"

Submitted by Anonymous on

Susan Richart said...
"The only job of the TSA is to make certain that weapons, explosives and incendiaries (WEI) don't get on a plane. That's it."

well if that is the only job of the tsa then i understand why each week the tsa puts out what they find at the checkpoints. guns, knives, etc are weapons so they are doing their jobs. as per your defintion then tsa's job is not to catch terrorists, it is to stop weapons, explosives and incendiaries (WEI)from getting on planes. sure seems like they are doing their jobs and letting the public know what they are finding. i feel that this message needs to be sporead as there obviously is a HUGE misunderstanding of what it is that the tsa is suppose to do.
*i would like to use the same magic statement that Susan uses to get this posted

Submitted by Anonymous on

A bus is another method of transportation!! you don't have to fly if you don't want to be screened by TSA!!

Submitted by RB on

TSA has proven in Red Team testing that Whole Body Strip Search machines are inferior to the proven WTMD technology.

Case in point:


Marty!


Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Security Theatre: An undercover TSA agent was able to slip through the full-body scanners at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with a handgun stashed in her undies… And not just once, but five times.

I think the real question is why is TSA risking our safety with these flawed devices? Who benefits from TSA's continuing purchases of these useless scanners?

January 28, 2014 at 2:11 PM

...................
Sorry, messed up the link. Here is a correct link to the story of TSA missing a handgun at DFW, not just once but five times.


Undercover TSA Agent Makes It Through Full-Body Scanners With Gun In Her Undies

The fact remains that this TSA test would have failed had a WTMD been used to screen this person.

Strip Search Machines offer no enhanced security benefits.

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
A bus is another method of transportation!! you don't have to fly if you don't want to be screened by TSA!!

January 29, 2014 at 8:13 AM

............................
Anon, you do realize that TSA can abuse people who ride buses don't you?

Submitted by Anonymous on

rb said:
"The fact remains that this TSA test would have failed had a WTMD been used to screen this person.

Strip Search Machines offer no enhanced security benefits."

will the wtmd detect a firearm created with a 3d printer using plastic material?
did i correctly see an article where the british government is doubling the amount of body scanners used so that they can keep ahead of the ever evolving threat that their country is facing?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"But I don't know what the alternative is. "

WTMDs, X-raying bags, professional staff, no shoe carnival, no liquids nonsense, no naked body scanners, no pat-downs without cause.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The TSAnonymous who said anyone who complains should "take a bus" failed to remember the vipr ("vipper") teams that lurk in train, bus, and subway stations, denying people access to public transportation unless they submit to unnecessary, invasive inspections.

Also, the TSA employee forgot basic geography, time, and business. One cannot take a bus to HI, parts of AK, Europe, Asia, or Australia. It is impractical to say someone should take a three-day bus trip across the US to attend a business meeting, much less a bus to S. America.

It's a big world out there, and we have the right to travel in the US without being molested or having our privacy violated.

screen shot

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am given a steel knife with my meal in First class that would have been taken away if I tried to carry it on. Weird!

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
rb said:
"The fact remains that this TSA test would have failed had a WTMD been used to screen this person.

Strip Search Machines offer no enhanced security benefits."

will the wtmd detect a firearm created with a 3d printer using plastic material?
did i correctly see an article where the british government is doubling the amount of body scanners used so that they can keep ahead of the ever evolving threat that their country is facing?

January 29, 2014 at 10:50 AM

....................
The article I linked to shows us that knowing how to place a gun on a persons body so it is undetectable when being scanned by a Strip Search Machine is possible. As of now there are hundreds of thousands metal handguns out there. That tells me that a WTMD gives all of us the best chance of finding a handgun, not the flawed Strip Search Machines.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Quote from a TSA employee, "TSA was not created to catch terrorists."

Good thing, because they've never caught one!

Submitted by Anonymous on

"did i correctly see an article where the british government is doubling the amount of body scanners used so that they can keep ahead of the ever evolving threat that their country is facing?"

Yes, British airports are increasing the number of scanners being used. However, I believe that not everyone goes through them. Selection for AIT is random.

screen shot

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said...
"A bus is another method of transportation!! you don't have to fly if you don't want to be screened by TSA!!"

A bus is also not as safe, not viable in many situations, and not immune to TSA encroachments on our fourth amendment rights.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said...

"will the wtmd detect a firearm created with a 3d printer using plastic material?"

Depends. Many still use metal firing mechanisms. Some, do not. But how big of a threat is this, really? Has anyone done a risk assessment? Rhetorical question, because it's very obvious from many of the brain-dead policies that no one within TSA has an inkling as to what risk analysis is.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It's so funny how people say "well they have'nt caught a terrorist". A person is not a terrorist until they commit a terroist act. Just because they were caught with the firearm and their response is always the same. How do we know for sure they were'nt purposely bringing it on the aircraft to commit a terrorist attcak. Know one will ever know but I do know that there has'nt been one terroist attcack on an aircraft in the U.S. There has been several attempts with two succecfull attacks coming from the Black Widows. Aviation is a prime target and always will be. If you have nothing to hide then why should you care if you have to go through screnning.

Submitted by Anonymous on
"...you would all be screaming for someone's head to roll when something bad happened."

We have seen that argument here several times before, and it has no credibility because, well, you don't actually know how everybody else thinks.

"well if that is the only job of the tsa then i understand why each week the tsa puts out what they find at the checkpoints. guns, knives, etc are weapons so they are doing their jobs."

The problem is not that TSA is finding guns. The problem is that (a) they are attempting to use invasive, flawed naked body scanners to find guns and (b) TSA's blog is not posting photos of the bottles of shampoo and such that they also confiscate in the name of security. TSA overreach is the problem!

"As long as I get from here to there safely and I can get back to my love ones and have my loves ones make it back to me, I’ll walk in there naked if I had to."

Why are you volunteering to walk through the checkpoint naked? Are you a terror risk? Or do you really mean that you think others ought to walk through the checkpoint naked if that's what it takes for you to be "safe"? Where do you draw the line on the appropriateness of security procedures? Would you accept body cavity searches to avoid the risk of ingested weapons and explosives making it on to the plane? And do you have proof that current procedures have any positive impact on safety?

"A bus is another method of transportation!! you don't have to fly if you don't want to be screened by TSA!!"

You don't have to fly if you are scared of an event that is less likely to occur than you drowning in your bathtub.
Submitted by Anonymous on

Everyone wants to talk about how these items were carried by lw abiding people, but in a sense, isn't against the law to carry into a airport? I'm sure that people just forgot to remove thier knives and guns and other weapons and maybe they were just forgetful. But let me ask this, what would you say to someone sitting next to you and you noticed a gun or a large knife or something worse in their luggage? You don't have to like the process, but it sure beats the alternative. But I have a suggestion for anyone that doesn't seem to like the security that they receive, start your own private airline and don't screen anyone that wants to fly. Let anyone you want on the plane with whatever they want. It would be interesting to see how many people would want to use that airline. Nothing is perfect nothing. And the service isn't always the best nor is the consistancy. But it sure beats a repeat of 9/11.

Submitted by Anonymous on

West, several of the comments from Jan 29 & 30 took more than 48 hours to be "approved"," despite two blog posts being put up during that time.

Since your team didn't write one of the posts, there should have been time to approve comments.

Screen shot taken. Got an answer?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I would just like to point out, that no airport I have gone through in the past 2 years are using the body scanners that are viewed in a seperate room. All you have to do is turn around and see that the screen itself shows a cartoon image and where the TSA needs to search. For that alone, people should just drop the naked scanner excuse...they are phased out. As for children and the elderly....has it been over a year since you folks have flown? TSA has deemed children and people over 75 as low risk and aren't searched as often as people dramatically exclaim. Also the majority of the flying public gets to go through pre-check now...where you get to keep your shoes/jackets/etc on. The TSA is constantly trying to evolve and change because of the backlash from the public...who would probably have a whole different outlook if they worked one day in that field. It's a known fact that a terrorist would use a child/elderly/animal and has in the past. Would you prefer the TSA wait until that actually happens on American soil so that you will feel better about it? Or would you prefer that they do these screening functions to try and deter people from even trying? I can guarantee you that they probably enjoy patting down passengers about as much as you enjoy being patted down. I; for one, would prefer my family fly on a plane where there was TSA screening, than go on a plane where they haven't. And my last tangent for those calling for private screening....i've been through SFO, it's the exact same rules and regulations as TSA...just a different name and uniform, so if you think by having a private company do security you will be getting something different...you will be mistaken. Big shocker...they get the same complaints from the same kind of people who are complaining about TSA.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The TSA does indeed take and store naked pictures of passengers. They simply don't display it at the scanner. The cookie cutter image is a plugin that could be turned off by anyone with the right permissions.

The TSA does not send most passengers through precheck.

If terrorists use the elderly and children to commit terrorism, then why does the TSA let children and the elderly through with shoes and jackets on?

The rants and ramblings by TSAnonymous employees are quite circular in their logic.

*screenshot*

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"I would just like to point out, that no airport I have gone through in the past 2 years are using the body scanners that are viewed in a seperate room. All you have to do is turn around and see that the screen itself shows a cartoon image and where the TSA needs to search. For that alone, people should just drop the naked scanner excuse...they are phased out. "

Actually, as has been pointed out repeatedly, the current scanners use software to display the image they do, but, behind the scenes, is every bit as invasive as the old ones. And, per their request for proposal, they are able to store and transmit the underlying image. So, maybe a little critical thought before posting your misinformation?

Submitted by Anonymous on

It's not an x-ray....it cannot produce an x-ray image of an individual. It uses radio wave technology.

Submitted by Anonymous on

As this blog is read by TSA , I have a Question...Why is it that the Secured and Soft areas of an airport, have such a poor record of securing and delivering our baggage.Tens of thousands of bags are Lost/Stolen each year.
Just say'n...something is wrong ,and it needs to be looked into.
It is a poor reflection on security as a whole!!
Peace Always gb

Submitted by Anonymous on

will the metal detector detect explosives? i belive that the tsa is only searching for explosives, incindiaries, and weapons so will explosives be detected with a metal detector? if it does not then technology is needed to detect these items on people otherwise they are not doing what they are suppose to be doing.

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