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So How Many Terrorists Has the TSA Actually Caught?
None—that it's publicized, at least
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2010 7:05 AM CST
TSA Transportation Security Officers, in blue uniforms, check airline passenger as they check-in at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – There's no denying that the country is in an uproar over the TSA's new heightened security procedures, raising one fairly obvious questions: Does the TSA actually catch terrorists? The answer isn't very clear-cut, writes Juliet Lapidos in Slate's Explainer column. The TSA won't cite any specific instance when it stopped a terrorist; it says that's because of national security concerns, but some argue it's actually because the organization has never actually stopped a terrorist.

What the TSA does make public are incidents like "artfully concealed prohibited items" that were confiscated (six last week), and success stories like the US Army veteran who was caught with pipe bomb materials. However, the former could include some honest mistakes ("Whoops, forgot I had that meat cleaver on me!"), and the latter is not an example of a would-be terrorist, but simply a "random nut job." It's very likely that the TSA prevents terrorist attacks simply by existing—but it's not clear if the agency is any more effective at that than the private contractors who used to handle airport security.

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Showing 3 of 29 comments
Tallen
Aug 14, 2011 11:10 AM CDT
and you whom claim Constitutional rights. Those rights are for We the People of the United states of America" the Government has decided they have no responsibility to provide them. And those whom say We the People of the United States of America, are the government, as so written in out Constitution - the Bushit govenment doesn't believe in the Constitution and has stated "It's just a piece of paper", He thought Thomas Jeferson had no rights to even write it.
Tallen
Aug 14, 2011 11:05 AM CDT
You must realize there were no bombs discovered before TSA why should there be any after. This is another example of Bushit.
joecarrsr
Nov 21, 2010 1:36 PM CST
It is not racial profiling the way Israel does their security searches at their airport.It is the actual meaning of security. It is searching for things out of the ordinary and looking for people that do not fit the norm of easy going travelers. When someone is flying with anything that is not supposed to be carried into an airport,they know it and show nervousness automatically. This is picked up as easily by highly trained security people and if you need a dog for extra security so much the better.People would rather be sniffed by a dog than groped by a human. Ask them. What they call this is Radical Terrorists profiling not racial profiling. The right people,the right training and you have the Terrorists right where you want them,in the back room of the airport caught every time.Think about this.