Transportation Security Administration screeners allowed banned weapons and mock explosives through airport security checkpoints 95 percent of the time, according to the agency’s own undercover testing.
ABC News reported the results on Monday, but Ars could not independently confirm them. According to ABC News, a Homeland Security Inspector General report showed that agents failed to detect weapons and explosives in 67 out of 70 undercover operations. The report said:
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was apparently so frustrated by the findings he sought a detailed briefing on them last week at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, according to sources. US officials insisted changes have already been made at airports to address vulnerabilities identified by the latest tests.
It’s been a bad past two days when it comes to the government’s anti-terror strategy. The ABC News revelation came a day after a Senate impasse Sunday allowed parts of three terrorism-fighting aspects of the USA Patriot Act to expire, including the bulk telephone metadata program that Edward Snowden disclosed. Lawmakers are trying to broker a deal to the legislation that is needed, according to Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) because terrorists “want to kill us all.”
Meanwhile, in the airport screening undercover operation, ABC News said that the alarm rang when an undercover agent set off a magnetometer. During a follow-up pat down, however, a fake explosive device fastened to his body was not discovered.