Posts Tagged ‘TSA’

‘In a case highlighting the infiltration of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) by transnational criminal organizations, twelve current and former TSA officers and airport staff were indicted for allegedly trafficking over 20 tons of cocaine — worth over $100 million — into the U.S. over an 18-years timeframe.

Last Wednesday, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against the twelve defendants, who are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

From 1988 to 2016 the conspirators allegedly smuggled about 40,000 pounds, or twenty tons, of cocaine through Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and into the United States, according to the DOJ.’

Read more: TSA Busted In Massive $100 Million, 40,000 Lb Cocaine Smuggling Conspiracy


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‘In a very classic sense, it is a strategy for acquiring more power.

Problem. Reaction. Solution.

Though the TSA has never been effective at catching or reducing terrorism, it has become very good at inconveniencing Americans.

Rifling through their things, herding them through x-ray machines reminiscent of Nazi policies, forcing people to withstand increasingly long lines, with many people even losing out on flights. All in the name of security.’

Read more: TSA Long Lines Part Of Scheme to Move Americans to Mandatory ‘Biometic Background Pre-Check System’

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Imagine my surprise

Denver TSA agents targeted ‘attractive’ passengers for pat-downs -authorities

| 14 April 2015 | The Transportation Security Administration has fired two screeners at Denver’s international airport who schemed to conduct pat-down searches on attractive male passengers, officials said on Tuesday. The sackings follow a number of controversies over the screening of passengers at U.S. airports since 2010, when the agency adopted heightened security measures including full body imaging and pat downs. In November, a TSA employee tipped off the agency that a male screener at the airport told her he groped male passengers he found attractive, according to a Denver police report.

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‘The TSA allowed convicted terrorist bomber Sara Jane Olson to pass through expedited screening at a Minn. airport, despite knowing her criminal background.

The incident occurred at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport back in 2014, according to a TSA Inspector General Report and a KMSP-TV investigation which confirmed Olson as the “notorious convicted felon” described in the report.

A TSA agent recognized Olson, who served seven years in prison for planting bombs under police cars, but when he notified his supervisor he was told to “take no further action and allow the traveler through the TSA Pre-Check lane.”’

Read more: TSA Allows Convicted Bomber Through Expedited Screening

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TSA Issues Secret Warning on ‘Catastrophic’ Threat to Aviation

| 26 Feb 2015 | The Transportation Security Administration said it is unlikely to detect and unable to extinguish what an FBI report called “the greatest potential incendiary threat to aviation,” according to a classified document obtained by The Intercept. Yet despite that warning, sources said TSA is not adequately preparing to respond to the threat. Thermite — a mixture of rust and aluminum powder — could be used against a commercial aircraft, TSA warned in a Dec. 2014 document, marked secret. “The ignition of a thermite-based incendiary device on an aircraft at altitude could result in catastrophic damage and the death of every person onboard,” the advisory said.

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‘The ability to travel in the United States is about to become more restrictive as the TSA announces it will soon be enforcing new identification standards in American airports.

Beginning in 2016, passengers attempting to pass through a federal TSA checkpoint will be subject to the requirements of the REAL ID Act. To that end, the TSA will put higher scrutiny on travelers’ identities, and will only accept a federal passport or a “REAL-ID” card, which is issued by the states to meet federal requirements. Passengers will not be allowed to fly through an American airport without submitting to the advanced federal specifications.’

Read more: New regulations say passengers cannot fly without biometric ID card

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‘A TSA agent convicted of stealing more than $800,000 worth of goods from travelers said this type of theft is “commonplace” among airport security. Almost 400 TSA officers have been fired for stealing from passengers since 2003.

Pythias Brown, a former Transportation Security Administration officer at Newark Liberty International Airport, spent four years stealing everything he could from luggage and security checkpoints, including clothing, laptops, cameras, Nintendo Wiis, video games and cash.

Speaking publicly for the first time after being released after three years in prison, Brown told ABC News that he used the X-ray scanners to locate the most valuable items to snatch.’

Read more: Ex-TSA agent: We steal from travelers all the time

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A clip from a new Discovery Channel special envisages a day in the near future where the TSA will deploy mind reading technology to catch terrorists and police will subject suspects to memory scans in order to determine guilt.

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TSA rolls out ‘detention pods’ that trap passengers inside

18 Nov 2013 Not content with the tight security in place at many of the nations airports, the TSA is now funding the roll-out of exit pods at major airport terminals across the country. The pods temporarily detain passengers before they are allowed to leave. Travelers are forced through the pods as the leave the airport terminal before a robotic voice gives instructions to wait inside the pod until a green light is shown and the door opens.

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TSA agent killed in LAX shooting, suspect ID’d

As Paul CIAnCIA….how crazy is that….I guess we’re not talking about NSA surveillance or food stamp cuts any more, right?]

A Transportation Security Administration agent was killed and several more people wounded when a gunman opened fire on Friday morning at Los Angeles International Airport.

The FBI has identified the shooting suspect as 23-year-old Paul CIAnCIA. According to law enforcement officials, Ciancia was apprehended on the scene after opening fire at an airport security checkpoint. The TSA officer killed in the attack has been identified as 39-year-old Gerardo I. Hernandez.

Ciancia reportedly suffered a non-lethal gunshot wound and is being treated in a local hospital.

Personal details about Ciancia are still emerging. According to public records obtained by Yahoo News, Ciancia has a known address in Pennsville, N.J., about 15 miles from Wilmington, Del. The AP said Ciancia had contacted his brother by text message on Friday saying he was considering suicide. Additional reports indicate when Ciancia was detained by law enforcement he was carrying literature critical of the federal government and the TSA. Ciancia’s father reached out to law enforcement officials in New Jersey who subsequently reached out to their counterparts in Los Angeles. Police in Los Angeles reportedly made an unsuccessful attempt to make contact with Ciancia before the shooting took place.

Ciancia entered LAX on Friday wearing fatigues and carrying a bag containing a handwritten note that said he “wanted to kill TSA and pigs,” an official, who was briefed on the investigation and requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, told the AP.

The TSA confirmed the death of Hernandez in a statement obtained by Yahoo News: “Earlier this morning, a shooting occurred at Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport. Multiple Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) were shot, one fatally. Additional details will be addressed by the FBI and local law enforcement who are investigating the shooting.”

A spokesperson for the American Federation of Government Employees told Yahoo News that it is the first time a TSA officer has been killed in the line of duty in the agency’s 12 year history. According to the spokesperson, the TSA officer was a “behavior detection officer” who was charged with spotting suspicious behavior in the airport.

LAX airport police Chief Patrick Gannon said at a press conference that police tracked the suspect “through the airport and engaged him in gunfire in Terminal 3” and were able to take him into custody.

Eyewitness Nick Pugh told local affiliate KNBC-TV he “heard a total of maybe eight to 10 shots fired in maybe two bursts. Everyone dropped to the floor and started crawling along the crowd.” And Tory Belecci, another eyewitness, said the suspect appeared to be carrying a rifle, possibly an assault rifle.

Gannon added, “We believe, at this point, that there was a lone shooter, that he was the only person armed in this incident.”

Jim Featherstone, acting Los Angeles fire chief, said during the press conference that officials had treated seven patients and transported six to area hospitals.

Authorities declined to provide any information during the press conference on the identities or conditions of those wounded.

The UCLA Medical Center released a statement saying it is currently treating three injured individuals from the incident. One arrived in critical condition and two were listed in fair condition, the hospital said.

President Barack Obama commented briefly on the shooting, telling reporters, “Obviously we’ve been monitoring and we’re concerned about it, but we’ll let law enforcement officials address this.”

During the press conference, Gannon said authorities had run through the “exact” scenario that played out at LAX on Friday, which helped them to respond effectively to the situation when it unfolded for real.

Officials said the authorities now have full control of security at LAX.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced a full ground stop until the incident has been officially resolved. Executive Director of Los Angeles World Airports Gina Marie Lindsey said in a Friday afternoon press conference that the ground stop is set to be removed at 4:00pm PST.

Access to the airport had been temporarily shutdown on Century Boulevard, the main road leading into LAX. In addition, all flights are reportedly delayed. The delays resulted in images of thousands of travelers stranded at LAX, caught in limbo as their scheduled flights were either delayed or cancelled entirely.

Another eyewitness, Brian Adamick, 43, told the Los Angeles Times that one TSA officer who was shot did not appear to be seriously injured. “I got shot, I’m fine,” the unnamed TSA agent reportedly told Adamick and other witnesses on the scene. Remarkably, the agent reportedly reassured witnesses by saying he had been shot before and that the wound was not life-threatening.

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Source: CNS News

The impending sequester did not prevent the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from acting in late February to seal a $50-million deal to purchase new uniforms for its agents–uniforms that will be partly manufactured in Mexico.

Soon after this new investment in TSA uniforms, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned Americans that the lines are already lengthening at airports due to the sequester.

“We are already seeing the effect on the ports of entry, the big airports for example,” Napolitano told Politico on Monday. “Some of them had very long lines this weekend.”

Look people, I don’t mean to scare, I mean to inform,” Napolitiano said.”If you’re traveling, get to the airport earlier than you otherwise would. There’s only so much we can do with personnel and please don’t yell at the customs officers, the TSA officers. They aren’t responsible for sequester.”

On Feb. 27, the agency announced that on Feb. 22 it had awarded a one-year contract to VF Imagewear, Inc., which owns the Lee brand and Wrangler Hero, to provide the uniforms. “This contract will address the requirements of the TSA, Office of Security Operations, TSA Uniform Program,” the award states.

The TSA employs 50,000 security officers, inspectors, air marshals and managers. That means that the uniform contract will pay the equivalent of $1,000 per TSA employee over the course of the year.

This is not the first time VF Imagewear has been commissioned to make TSA uniforms. The company secured a $98 million contract in 2010 that expired on Feb. 17, 2013.

The latest contract will run until Feb. 17, 2014, with a one-year optional transitional period. By next year, the DHS hopes to have TSA and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) secure their uniforms with a single combined contract.

TSA’s new $50-million one-year uniform contract was announced just two days before the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, took effect.  The cuts, according to CBO, amount to $44 billion in reduced spending in fiscal 2013.

napolitano Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. (AP Photo)

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said the sequester will force furloughs at the TSA, and has warned of increased waiting times at airports.

The TSA provides uniforms to new employees, but requires its employees to buy their own replacements.

“You will be measured for your new uniforms at your first orientation session,” the fact sheet says. “TSA will provide your initial uniform issue consisting of 3 long sleeve shirts, 3 short sleeve shirts, 2 pairs of trousers, 2 ties, and one belt, sweater, socks, and jacket.”

The TSA says its officers are responsible for providing their own black leather shoes with non-slip soles to wear with their uniform.  The TSA may authorize an annual uniform allowance for officers to assist with uniform replacement expenses but officers will be responsible for cleaning, maintaining, and replacing worn uniforms.

In a statement to CNSNews.com, the TSA said the uniforms will be “manufactured in the U.S. and Mexico.”

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the TSA is required to procure uniforms made in the United States. However, uniform products made in Mexico, Canada or Chile must also be considered due to the North American Free Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Chilean Free Trade Agreement.

“TSA’s contract with VF Imagewear for TSO uniforms, which has some manufacturing facilities in Mexico, complies with the law,” the TSA said.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) has called on the TSA to make its uniforms in America.  According to Speier, VF Imagewear in the past has sewn the TSA uniforms in Mexico, representing roughly 40% of the total cost of producing the uniforms and 80% of the labor.

“Make it in America is a common sense policy,” Speier said in 2011. “When it comes to U.S. government contracts, we have a right to demand that taxpayer dollars are used to create American jobs, not foreign ones.”

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‘Government employees are set to be bombarded with radiation on a daily basis if a plan to move x-ray firing TSA body scanners into office buildings goes ahead.

When the TSA announced last month that it was ending its contract with Rapiscan, makers of the controversial backscatter x-ray body scanners, the mainstream media uniformly announced that the federal agency was “removing” the scanners from use altogether.

However, it was blatantly clear that this would never be the case. The TSA is already under strict scrutiny from Congress over the mothballing of £14 million worth of body scanners. All in all, the 250 backscatter scanners the agency now has are worth a combined total of $40 million.’

Read more: TSA Naked X-Ray Scanners To Be Used In Office Buildings

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Photo: TSA

A company that supplies controversial passenger-screening machines for U.S. airports is under suspicion for possibly manipulating tests on privacy software designed to prevent the machines from producing graphic body images.

The Transportation Security Administration sent a letter Nov. 9 to the parent company of Rapiscan, the maker of backscatter machines, requesting information about the testing of the software to determine if there was malfeasance.

The machines use backscatter radiation to detect objects concealed beneath clothes. But after complaints from privacy groups and others that the machines produce graphic images of passenger’s bodies, the government ordered the machines be outfitted with privacy software by June to replace the invasive images with more generic ones that simply show a chalk-like outline of a body.

While L-3 Communications, the maker of another brand of scanners used in airports, successfully developed the privacy software for its machines, Rapiscan was having problems with its software, according to Bloomberg.

The testing of the software, done earlier this year to determine if it met privacy requirements, was conducted by a third party, so it’s not immediately clear how Rapiscan might have manipulated the tests.

At a hearing on Thursday before the House Transportation Security Subcommittee, Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) asked John Sanders, assistant administrator for TSA’s office of security capabilities, this very question. Sanders replied obliquely that “before [a test] gets underway, we might believe the system is on one configuration when it’s not in that configuration.”

Sanders said that TSA has no evidence yet that the vendor did manipulate the tests, but is looking into the matter.

“At this point we don’t know what has occurred,” Sanders said. “We are in contact with the vendor. We are working with them to get to the bottom of it.”

The vendor has denied any wrongdoing.

“At no time did Rapiscan falsify test data or any information related to this technology or the test,” Peter Kant, an executive vice president with the company, told Bloomberg.

DHS has spent about $90 million replacing traditional magnetometers with the controversial body-scanning machines.

Rapiscan has a contract to produce 500 machines for the TSA at a cost of about $180,000 each. The company could be fined and barred from participating in government contracts, or employees could face prison terms if it is found to have defrauded the government.

It’s not the first time Rapiscan has been at the center of testing problems with the machines. The company previously had problems with a “calculation error” in safety tests that showed the machines were emitting radiation levels that were 10 times higher than expected.

It turned out the company’s technicians weren’t following protocol in conducting the tests. They were supposed to test radiation levels of machines in the field 10 times in a row, and then divide the results by 10 to produce an average radiation measurement. But the testers failed to divide the results by 10, producing false numbers.

A recent Wired.com three-part series examined the constitutionality, effectiveness and health concerns of the scanners, which were never tested on mice or other biological equivalents to determine the scanners’ health risks to humans.

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While waiting in the Columbus OH airport for our flight to Oakland, I couldnt help but notice the two TSA women that were “testing” any and all liquids that people had in their hands. Now remember that this is inside the terminal, well beyond the security check and purchased inside the terminal…just people waiting to get on the plane. My wife and son came back from a coffee shop just around the corner, then we were approached. I asked them what they were doing. One of the TSA ladies said that they were checking for explosive chemicals (as we are drinking them).I said “really..inside the terminal? You have got to be kidding me”. I asked them if they wanted to swab us all. She responded with something like, yes sometimes we need to do that. I then asked if she wanted a urin sample…none the less, the TSA is way out of control. I understand that my ranting to one of these $11.00 per hour TSA goons probably does nothing, but you have to say something. Whats next…perhaps the TSA will come to your home prior to your drive to the airport? The police state of the US is OUT OF CONTROL!

RELATED POSTS: Columbus Ohio Airport Video Shows TSA’s Bizarre New Security Policy

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‘What would have likely been a routine flight out of a Florida airport this weekend ended with a woman being sent to the emergency room after TSA agents insisted on groping a traumatized rape victim in a security pat-down that put her in the hospital.

A user of the online Web forum FlyerTalk.com writes that his wife was admitted to the ER for treatment after agents with the Transportation Security Administration cited an “anomaly” in her bra as a reason to subject her to an intrusive closed-door screening on Sunday at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The woman, described by her husband as the victim of brutal rape, was reportedly being transferred to a psychiatric ward for further treatment after what the man says was a “horrific experience.”’

Read more: TSA Harassment Sends Rape Victim to Emergency Room

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