Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Airport screeners flunk bomb tests: TSA agents fail to find 67 of 70 fake devices

Transportation Security Administration screeners failed to find 67 of 70 fake explosives and weapons during an undercover Homeland Security test at dozens of airports.

CNN reported "red teams" with Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General's section were able to bring banned objects across the screening stations in the majority of test runs. The report from the agency is due to be written and formally presented to Congress this summer.

But the numbers don't bear well on TSA.

"The numbers in these reports never look good out of context, but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security."

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the finding was "deeply alarming," CNN reported.

"Over the past six years, we have seen TSA consume an enormous amount of government resources, but I'm not convinced we have much to show for it," Chaffetz said. "After spending over $540 million on baggage screening equipment and millions more on training, the failure rate today is higher than it was in 2007. Something is not working."

Chaffetz suggested a better and lower-cost method could utilize bomb-sniffing dogs.

"Government needs to recognize that the most effective solution is not always the most expensive one," Chaffetz said.

Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security, has told the TSA to take a "series of actions," but it's not clear what actions he ordered.

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