Airport Non-Security

This is not exactly the sort of thing that buffs up your confidence in homeland security:

“The report states that a man with a Middle Eastern name and a ticket for a Delta Airlines flight to Atlanta shook his head when screeners asked if he had a laptop computer in his baggage, but an X-ray machine operator detected a laptop.

A search of the man’s baggage revealed a clock with a 9-volt battery taped to it and a copy of the Quran, the report said. A screener examined the man’s shoes and determined that the “entire soles of both shoes were gutted out.”

No explosive material was detected, the report states. A police officer was summoned and questioned the man, examined his identification, shoes and the clock, then cleared him for travel, according to the report.

A TSA screener disagreed with the officer, saying “the shoes had been tampered with and there were all the components of (a bomb) except the explosive itself,” the report says.

The officer retorted, “I thought y’all were trained in this stuff,” TSA officials reported.

The report says the TSA screener notified Delta Airlines and talked again with the officer, who said he had been unable to check the passenger’s criminal background because of computer problems.

The incident gained enough attention at higher levels of the TSA that the FBI was asked to investigate. The TSA issued a statement saying its screeners “acted in accordance with their training and protocols.”

FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett in Atlanta said agents there investigated the passenger.

“It was looked at and deemed a non-event,” Emmett said, declining to give further details.”

A man “with a Middle Eastern name” who lied to the screeners, had a clock with a 9 volt battery taped to it in his luggage and had gutted out shoes, was allowed to get on a plane and the FBI called it a “non-event?” What, what, what?!?!?

Perhaps he had a legitimate reason for lying to the screeners and getting on a plane with Richard Reid style footwear and “all the components of (a bomb) except the explosive itself”…It’s just hard to come up with what that reason might be.

It’s also hard to believe they let this guy get on the plane. It’s bad enough that they hassle everyone who gets on a plane with these obtrustive, invasive security measures, but then when they find someone incredibly suspicious, they let the guy get on the plane anyway. Isn’t the point of all these irritating security measures supposed to be to stop potentially dangerous people from getting on the plane in the first place? If this guy was just waved through, you’ve almost got to wonder if they’re just going through the motions.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin for the story.

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