Man walks onto plane with loaded handgun while other stopped over harmless liquids
December 18, 2010
TSA agents at a Houston airport failed to stop an Iranian-American with a loaded handgun passing through security and boarding a plane, yet they did stop a woman directly behind him who was carrying liquids in her hand luggage.
Businessman Farid Seif relates his story to ABC News, noting that he only realised he had forgotten to remove a loaded snub nose “baby” Glock pistol from his bag after he had landed at his international destination and unpacked in his hotel room.
“It’s just impossible to miss it, you know. I mean, this is not a small gun,” Seif told ABC News. “How can you miss it? You cannot miss it.”
“They were very embarrassed, you know,” Seif said. “And — and they should be, you know. It’s — we’re talking about total failure.”
Seif also told ABC that while his pistol “sailed past” the screener, a woman behind him was stopped for having liquids in her bag.
The incident underscores how the enhanced and invasive TSA security procedures are pure theatre and do nothing to make anyone safer.
While the agents are busy singling out the elderly and the disabled for enhanced screening, groping women’s breasts, telling people they are “God”, and locking travelers in glass boxes over liquids such as breast milk, other passengers are being allowed to waltz through security with loaded guns and even explosive material.
As the ABC report highlights, the Department of Homeland Security has classified the results of random, covert “red team tests,” where undercover agents try to see what they can get past airport security, because the results have been so shockingly bad for the past nine years:
According to one report, undercover TSA agents testing security at a Newark airport terminal on one day in 2006 found that TSA screeners failed to detect concealed bombs and guns 20 out of 22 times. A 2007 government audit leaked to USA Today revealed that undercover agents were successful slipping simulated explosives and bomb parts through Los Angeles’s LAX airport in 50 out of 70 attempts, and at Chicago’s O’Hare airport agents made 75 attempts and succeeded in getting through undetected 45 times.
Last month, TSA head John Pistole claimed that the recent enhancement of security procedures has come in light of such past failures.
“… unfortunately, [undercover testers] have been very successful over the years. And one of the findings is that we have not been thorough enough. And the concern obviously is, if that’s an Abdulmutallab — a Christmas Day bomber — who is doing it rather than an undercover agent, then that can have catastrophic results.” Pistole told George Stephanopoulos during an interview on Good Morning America.
Yet, as in depth research has shown, the introduction of naked body scanning x-ray machines will do little to curb such failures, because the machines cannot detect explosive material effectively.
The TSA has still failed to respond to a FOIA request filed by former Congressman Bob Barr demanding information on the TSA’s recent decision to curtail enhanced pat-downs and mothball body scanners so as to avoid negative publicity during the “National Opt Out day” protest last month.
If internal TSA documents prove this was the case,it will serve as concrete proof that Big Sis’s security talk is nothing more than hot air. If the scanners were so imperative to keep us safe from terrorists then why would the TSA turn them off, as well as reining in pat downs, in a vain effort to score political points?
So rest assured, while grandma is being molested by the TSA this Christmas, it is a distinct possibility that there will be someone floating past and onto your plane armed to the teeth.