Undercover DHS Tests Find Security Failures at US Airports
An internal investigation of the TSA revealed security failures at dozens of the nation’s airports, where undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials.
The series of tests were conducted by Homeland Security Red Teams who pose as passengers, setting out to beat the system, reported ABC News.
According to ABC News, "TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests, with Red Team members repeatedly able to get potential weapons through checkpoints."
"In one test an undercover agent was stopped after setting off an alarm at a magnetometer, but TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow-on pat down," the report said.
This is not the first time the TSA has had trouble spotting Red Team agents, said ABC News. A similar episode played out in 2013, when an undercover investigator with a fake bomb hidden on his body passed through a metal detector, went through a pat-down at New Jersey's Newark Liberty Airport, and was never caught.
More recently, the DHS inspector general’s office concluded a series of undercover tests targeting checked baggage screening at airports across the country.
That review found “vulnerabilities” throughout the system, attributing them to human error and technological failures, according to a three-paragraph summary of the review released in September.
In addition, the review determined that despite spending $540 million for checked baggage screening equipment and another $11 million for training since a previous review in 2009, the TSA failed to make any noticeable improvements in that time.