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.