Friday, October 19, 2007

Most fake bombs missed by screeners

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I am no fan of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). It's not that I don't think airline security is a good idea — of course it is. But my personal experience, and that of everyone I talk to, is that the current restrictions in place on ordinary travelers do little if anything to make us any safer. Instead, rules such as no more than 3 oz. of liquids in your carry-on luggage and removing your shoes for screening seem more like attempts at making the public feel safer by having us experience these “safety” restrictions firsthand.

So I'm not really surprised to read in USA Today that while the TSA screeners are busy throwing out your 6 oz. bottle of shampoo, they're missing the real safety threats:
Security screeners at two of the nation's busiest airports failed to find fake bombs hidden on undercover agents posing as passengers in more than 60% of tests last year, according to a classified report obtained by USA TODAY.

Screeners at Los Angeles International Airport missed about 75% of simulated explosives and bomb parts that Transportation Security Administration testers hid under their clothes or in carry-on bags at checkpoints, the TSA report shows.

Among the “explosives” missed by the TSA screeners:

• Detonator and explosives hidden in briefcase lining

• Inert explosives inside CD players

• Fake dynamite and timer in toiletry kit

• Phony plastic explosive and battery inside hollowed-out book

But remember, they pulled me aside for my granola bar! You can read more here.

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