(National Sentinal) Fail Safe: Undercover agents with the Department of Homeland Security are able to smuggle fake weapons through Transportation Security Administration airport checkpoints in their carry-on luggage with a high success rate, according to CBS News.
DHS investigators said that in more than 70 percent of incidents undercover officers managed to smuggle mock knives, guns and explosives through TSA checkpoints, they told the House Homeland Security Committee earlier this week.
That’s better than two years ago, with the success rate hovered around a near-perfect 95 percent.
But not much better, officials noted.
“We found that briefing disturbing,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
The DHS Office of Inspector General made a series of recommendations based on the undercover findings. In a statement commenting on those eight measures, TSA said it took the “OIG findings very seriously and are implementing measures that will improve screening effectiveness at checkpoints.”
Members of Congress and the TSA are in favor of replacing old checkpoint scanners with new CT scanners.
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“In this system, we use high power algorithms to detect explosives,” said Mark Laustra of Analogic, a company developing the technology.
TSA administrator David Pekoske told Congress the CT technology is the most effective way to keep passengers safe, but the cost is a major hurdle, CBS News reported.
“To invest in the CT technology requires funding above what TSA currently has,” Pekoske said.
DHS said in a statement that its inspectors “identified vulnerabilities with TSA’s screener performance, screening equipment and associated procedures,” American Military News added.
“This agency that you run is broken badly, and it needs your attention,” Rep. Mike Rogers told TSA Administrator David Pekoske.
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