The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is usually given media attention for its intensive screening practices and controversial body scanners at airport check-in stations. But this is the first time we’ve actually heard about TSA agents going undercover and trying to find out just how easy it really is to bypass security.
This undercover mission took place at Charlotte, N.C.’s Douglas Airport where the agents were testing out JetBlue’s security. The point of the mission was to see if an unaccompanied package could be snuck onto a plane without having to go through the entire security process.
The agents succeeded with great ease. The only thing that they needed was a corrupt ticket agent and $100. The TSA agent simply told the ticket agent, who is now fired, that he needed to get the package to Boston and would give him $100 for helping.
Apparently, seeing the $100 was more important than the threat of what could be in the package, so the ticket agent pulled up a passenger at random and grouped the questionable package along with his possessions. The package then went through the basic luggage scanning and was set to be on its way to board the plane.
“That’s really alarming,” Anthony Amore, a former high-ranking TSA official at Logan Airport told a local Boston CBS station. “When you have multiple layers in place you hope that they all stand in the way of a terrorist or someone who wishes us harm. In this instance, many of the layers were cast aside and we were left with this one layer of checked baggage screening.”
After seeing that there are other ways that terrorists can manage to sneak explosives onto planes, the TSA will investigate how to secure the airports at all angles and not just at the front door where the regular passengers board.