Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
Weird weapons aren’t the only strange things turning up at TSA checkpoints
Seized stun guns
TSA checkpoint agents continue to turn up odd-looking weapons on passengers and in their bags, but stranger things are sometimes voiced by passengers themselves.
According to the TSA’s Web Blog, three passengers said some alarming things the week of May 28 that, in some cases, caused temporary checkpoint evacuations and inconvenience for other passengers. The threats all turned out not to be true, however.
A passenger at Detroit Metro Airport was asked for his boarding pass and ID, but responded: ‘Yes, and I have two bombs and three guns’ while laughing, according to TSA’s “Blogger Bob” Burns. After being asked not to say that, the passenger said ‘I do not have two bombs, only one bomb,’ according to Burns.
A passenger at Preston Smith International Airport in Lubbock, TX , said Burns, told an airline employee that they were going to blow up American Airlines. When asked what he meant by that, he replied, ‘You’re about to find out,’ according to Burns.
A passenger at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas said ‘There is a bomb in my bag,’ after being told her luggage had missed her flight, according to Burns.
Along with the bizarre statements, TSA agents continued to turn up a variety of equally bizarre weapons in passenger carry-on luggage, along with the usual weekly haul of loaded handguns and inert hand grenades.
TSA agents at Detroit Metro found a stun gun disguised to look like a smart phone and a stun gun that doubled as a kind of brass knuckle punching weapons, said Burns. Seven stun guns were found in carry-on baggage at TSA checkpoints all together the week of May 28, said Burns.
TSA agents working a checkpoint at Des Moines International Airport in Iowa discovered a knife that looked like a gun, he said.
Body scanners Newark Liberty, San Antonio Airport , Chicago O’Hare, Tampa, Phoenix Skyharbor, San Francisco, and Spokane international had incidents the week of May 28 in which body imaging scanners found drugs on passengers. Items were found everywhere from passengers’ pockets to the breast, to the groin area at the airports, said Burns. In addition to those discoveries, a passenger at Tampa had a white drawstring pouch concealed in his underwear containing several types of Narcotics. Another passenger at Chicago O’Hare had marijuana taped to his ankle, said Burns, noting that the agency isn’t looking for drugs, but finding nonmetallic items in areas where explosives could also be hidden shows the agency’s imaging technology works.