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Inspector general's report questions whether airport security is up to snuff

10 November 2017, 12:53 | Darnell Patrick

ABC News is reporting that an undercover operation by Homeland Security shows that TSA failed most tests in U.S. airports

ABC News is reporting that an undercover operation by Homeland Security shows that TSA failed most tests in U.S. airports

During a recent probe at US airports by the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration screeners failed to detect test weapons more than half of the time, according to ABC News.

The hearing was supposed to be closed but was opened to the press after members of Congress decided the findings were too urgent to be kept under wraps.

The Transportation Security Administration said it agrees with the report and is committed to Department of Homeland Security recommendations, though are no specifics on what those entail.

Though the specifics of the operation's results remain classified from a prior private briefing, CBS News reported the committee was told that more than 70 percent of the time, undercover agents were able to walk through TSA checkpoints with mock knives, guns and explosives.

According to NBCNews.com, the Department of Homeland Security sent undercover inspectors through several US airports to review the performance of TSA officers, the screening equipment and their procedures. Representative Mike Rogers (R) Alabama, said, "this agency that you run is broken badly".

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The latest tests come just two years after the DHS secretly audited the agency and found that it failed 95 percent of the time. Travelers now need to take out liquids, food, and electronics larger than a cell phone from their bags before entering security scanners at many airports, all in the goal of preventing unsafe substances and weapons from entering airports and aircraft. Pekoske said the TSA itself conducted "tens of thousands" of internal tests last year and planned a similar number this year.

In a statement, the TSA said they take the findings very seriously and are implementing measures that will improve screening and effectiveness at checkpoints.

While ABC's source did not give details about the findings, they did say that at least eight recommendations had been made to the TSA to improve checkpoint security, but it's unclear where.

Committee member Rep. William Keating, D-Mass., noted that $1.28 billion, being charged to the public through surcharges, is being taken away for deficit reduction. 'We are focused on staying ahead of a dynamic threat to aviation with continued investment in the workforce, enhanced procedures and new technologies, ' he added.



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