TSA fails undercover probe nationwide

10 November, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Dustin Murphy
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The Transportation Security Administration fails an overwhelming amount of undercover tests, with screening checkpoints unable to stop potentially deadly materials from making it onto planes around 80 percent of the time.

According to the study, TSA screeners, equipment, and procedures failed more than half the time.

Despite the seemingly strenuous security screening at US airports, the TSA overwhelmingly fails to detect illicit objects and substances - approximately 80 percent of the time, according to a new report.

Undercover tests conducted by the Department of Homeland Security revealed "vulnerabilities" at security checkpoints across USA airports.

The program started in July and has slowly expanded across the country to 280 airports in response to what the Department of Homeland Security calls increased threats to aviation security.

Undercover operatives from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General (OIG) were able to smuggle contraband through US airports at a high rate, according to a new report shared with a Congressional committee.


"We found that briefing disturbing", House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said at a hearing following Wednesday's briefing to discuss the details of the tests conducted by Office of the Inspector General. CBS said it was "more than 70 percent", while ABC reported the number 80 percent was "in the ballpark". Eight undisclosed recommendations have been made to TSA to improve checkpoint security. But the head of the TSA says that "requires funding" the agency doesn't have.

Just two years ago, testing found a 95 percent failure rate.

"We take the OIG's findings very seriously and are implementing measures that will improve screening effectiveness at checkpoints", said TSA administrator David Pekoske.

Pekoske said TSA continues to embrace developments in technology, including use of CT scanners that provide a three-dimensional image in the Phoenix and Boston airports.

Frank Cilluffo, former director of the Homeland Security advisory council, told CBS News that as long as terrorism is a threat at airports, "the TSA can not be complacent".

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