Airport Screeners Miss Bombs

Investigators smuggle in explosives in undercover test
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2007 8:29 PM CST
Airport screeners didn't fare well in a recent test.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Airport screeners fared poorly in an undercover test in which government investigators smuggled liquid explosives and detonators past checkpoints, the AP reports. As a troubling bonus, the investigators learned how to make the explosives on the internet and bought the parts for less than $150, showing that would-be terrorists could cheaply and fairly easily wreak havoc in the skies, the AP says.

The TSA says the checkpoints represent just one layer of security at airports. At a contentious House hearing, meanwhile, TSA chief Kip Hawley denied that his agency tipped off screeners to undercover investigators, even though an agency e-mail seemed to indicate otherwise. Lawmakers were skeptical. “If screeners still fail tests that they know are being conducted, heaven help us when al-Qaeda next probes for weaknesses,”  said one.