Tribute to the Military

Monday, July 10, 2006

Man allowed to board aircraft appeared to have bomb components

Hat tip to: Doug Hagmann, Director, Northeast Intelligence Network.

According to a Houston Chronicle article, ' HPD, airport security at odds over incident,' on June 26th, a man was allowed to board a Delta Airlines flight after being stopped at the airport security screening area with what appeared to be suspected bomb components. The man was allowed to board a Delta Airlines plane with what was described as "hollowed out shoes, a computer in his carry-on luggage that he originally denied having, and a clock with a 9-volt battery taped to it." Apparently a screener examined the man's shoes and determined that the "entire soles of both shoes were gutted out." Upon further examination, no explosive material was detected, the paper said.

A police officer was dispatched to the airport security screening area and questioned the man. The officer then cleared the man for travel saying that he had no probable cause to hold the man. A Transportation Security Agency (TSA) screener disagreed with the officer and indicted that man's shoes were tampered with and he had components of (a bomb) except for the explosives. To make matters worst, the officer apparently was not able to check the man's criminal background because of computer problems. The official position of Houston police department is. "Our job is not to be the gatekeepers," a police spokesman said. "That burden falls squarely on the airline and TSA to make that final decision."

The FBI was ultimately called and cleared the man of any wrongdoing, adding that "no federal laws were broken and the man did not pose any risk to the aircraft or its passengers." The FBI termed the incident as a "non-event." Source: 'HPD, airport security at odds over incident'

According Northeast Intelligence Network report, 'Incredible Incident at Houston's Hobby Airport' , "Investigators from the Northeast Intelligence Network have been investigating the incident and have tentatively identified the passenger who indeed has an Arabic name, identified the security officers involved and confirmed the contents of the carry-on luggage through the law enforcement sensitive report. Although no one is "officially" talking, our investigation into the incident continues. Federal officials have yet to respond to Northeast Intelligence Network's inquiries for further information pertaining to the suspicious incident... Source: 'Incredible Incident at Houston's Hobby Airport'

Complacency has once again returned to law enforcement authorities and public safety officials. In 03/2006, TSA revised regulations regarding what is allowed in a passenger's carry-on luggage. TSA now allows: Safety Razors (including disposable razors), Scissors - plastic or metal with blunt tips, and Scissors - metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than four inches in length. You may find the revised list of allowed and prohibited articles at the TSA website: Prohibited Items List (English) (Word 281KB) (Revised 3-2-2006): Printable Prohibited Items Brochure (PDF 402KB)

I checked the list and other documents on the TSA website. As you would know it, hollowed out shoes, batteries tapes to clocks and other paraphernalia that this man had in his possession were not on the prohibited list. All he did wrong was to deny having a computer in his possession.

One has to wonder why the man hollowed out his shoes and allegedly lied about his computer. A battery taped to his clock was rather odd, but, was not illegal. Was the man probing airport security, a confused traveler, or was he perhaps a hard headed individual with a bad attitude?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know why the battery was out - I would not want my alarm clock beeping buzzing or otherwise making a noise during a flight... I would remove batteries from all devices except electronic watches and possibly walkman/mp3 players, etc. that were going to be used during the flight. I have found my shoes to have hollowed out heels only once. They were soft, but wore out fast - not likely a normal shoe.
Not knowing about the laptop? Hold on suspicion of stolen property or some other charges to be determined... Lying about your luggage should be a chargeable offence these days...