Critics feeling a bit squirrelly about the Transportation Security Administration’s recent decision to allow certain small knives on planes are likely a bit steamed up at the news that an undercover investigator reportedly managed to get past Newark airport security with a fake bomb.
The key word here of course is “fake,” but it’s the thought that counts in this situation. The New York Post reports that the undercover TSA inspector went through two security screenings at Newark Airport, including a pat-down, and was cleared to board a commercial flight. Meanwhile, he had an improvised explosive device stuffed down his pants.
It was all part of a mock intrusion staged by TSA’s special ops team, a source told the paper. The fake “bomber” was one of four people who posed as ticketed passengers and went through security checkpoints.
“This episode once again demonstrates how Newark Airport is the Ground Zero of TSA failures,” said the source. “He did have a simulated IED in his pants,” added the source. “They did not find it.”
One TSA inspector was stopped at a checkpoint, a woman “carrying a simulated IED inside her carry-on that was inside a child’s doll,” the source said.
The TSA is staying mum on this and any other undercover operations.
“TSA regularly conducts covert testing of security layers. Regardless of the tests’ outcome, TSA officers are provided with immediate on-the-spot feedback so they receive the maximum training value that the drills offer,” a statement said. “Due to the security-sensitive nature of the tests, TSA does not publicly share details about how they are conducted, what specifically is tested or the outcomes.”