TSA Fails To Report, Track, And Fix Airport Security Breaches

May 16, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - The Transportation Security Administration is failing to adequately report, track and fix airport security breaches, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

As a result, the TSA “does not have a complete understanding” of breaches at the nation’s airports, says a report from the inspector general.

Congress will hold a hearing on the inspector general’s report Wednesday.

The report, published earlier this month, was requested by New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg after a series of breaches at Newark Airport, including a knife bypassing TSA screening, passengers walking around security checkpoints and a dead dog transported without being screened for explosives.

TSA responded to those incidents with “corrective action,” according to the inspector general, but not all the problems received the same treatment.

The TSA took action to fix only 42% of the security breaches documented at Newark Airport, according to the report.

Most of the incidents examined occurred in 2010, and the report says since then efforts to fix security breach vulnerabilities have improved.

Five other large U.S. terminals were visited by inspectors for comparison but the airports’ names were withheld from the public report.

Of the six airports visited, records were found detailing efforts to fix the causes of only 53% of the breaches.

Newark was the lowest-scoring. The highest-rated airport reported corrective action in 88% of the breaches.

The inspector general also noted that while the agency did have “many programs and initiatives that report and track identified security breaches” they were “not all inclusive or centrally managed.”

This lack of comprehensive, centralized data was cited as preventing the use of information to “monitor trends or make general improvements to security.”

Problems with how incidents were categorized in reporting also were outlined in the report.

TSA workers at one airport reported “an improper bag handoff incident” in a database as a “sterile area access event” while another airport reported four similar incidents as “security breaches.”

Management at the agency concurred with the inspector general’s report.

“TSA acknowledges that it can further develop and expand its oversight programs for gathering and tracking airport security breaches,” wrote administrator John Pistole.

“TSA currently collects thousands of records of incidents and security breaches occurring at airports and other transportation facilities,” TSA spokesman David Castelveter told CNN in an e-mail. “TSA is coordinating appropriate revisions to relevant Operations Directives to develop a single definition of ‘Security Breach,’ addressing (the inspector general’s) recommendation.”

Appeared Here


New Jersey Office Of Homeland Security Riding 9/11 Hysteria – Warns State Workers And Residents About Anyone With Goosebumps, Staring, Or Yawning Suspiciously

March 16, 2012

NEW JERSEY – Infowars has obtained a document from the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness that lists banal bodily activities such as yawning, staring and goose pumps as “suspicious activity” indicative of terrorism.
DHS Terror Document Lists Yawning, Goose Bumps As Suspicious Behavior yawn 2

The document (PDF), entitled Terrorism Awareness and Prevention, is presented as a guide for both “residents and workers of New Jersey,” along with employees of federal, state and local agencies, on how to “assist in combating terrorism” by identifying “unusual or suspicious activities and behaviors.”

The guide encourages participants to “look for signs of nervousness in the people you come in contact with.” “Signs will become particularly evident in a person’s eyes, face, next and body movements.”

The document then lists examples of suspicious behavior indicative of terrorism, which include, “Exaggerated yawning when engaged in conversation,” “glances,” “cold penetrating stare,” “rigid posture,” and “goose bumps”.

Of course, any of these behaviors could be explained by a million other circumstances and the likelihood that they are indications of terrorist activity is virtually zero.

However, as we have seen from recent literature put out by the DHS or related law enforcement bodies, the standard for being characterized as a potential terrorist is getting broader and broader all the time.

Last month we reported on the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism (CAT) program, which encourages store managers and staff of numerous different businesses to report examples of suspicious activity to the authorities.

A d v e r t i s e m e n t

In a flyer handed out to Internet Cafes, workers are encouraged to report people who use cash to pay for their coffee as potential terrorists.

Expressing an interesting in protecting online privacy when surfing the web in public is also characterized as a suspicious activity.

In a flyer issued to Military Surplus stores, the purchase of storable food supplies in bulk, an increasingly popular trend amongst “preppers,” is also defined as a potential indication of terrorism.

Even more chilling, the feds have also begun to characterize perfectly legitimate political and economic beliefs as those held by terrorists, effectively denouncing them as thought crimes.

As Reuters reported in February, authorities are now treating those who “believe the United States went bankrupt by going off the gold standard” as extremists who are a potential violent threat to law enforcement.

Characterizing behavior which millions of Americans engage in every day as a potential indication of terrorism only serves to breed paranoia and distrust. If anything, it actually helps terrorists to blend in and not be identified, by increasing the chances exponentially of innocent Americans being mistaken for terrorists.

Appeared Here


Disabled 85 Year Old Grandmother Strip Searched By TSA Agents At New York JFK Airport

December 3, 2011

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – An 85-year-old Long Island grandmother says she plans to sue the TSA after a humiliating strip search on Tuesday by agents at JFK Airport.

Lenore Zimmerman, who lives in Long Beach, says she was on her way to a 1 p.m. flight to Fort Lauderdale when security whisked her to a private room and took off her clothes.

“I walk with a walker — I really look like a terrorist,” she said sarcastically. “I’m tiny. I weigh 110 pounds, 107 without clothes, and I was strip-searched.”

TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said a review of closed circuit TV footage from the airport shows “proper procedures were followed.”

But Zimmerman, whose hunched back puts her at 4-foot-11, said her ordeal began after her son, Bruce, drove her to the JetBlue terminal for the Florida flight. She lives in warm Coconut Creek during the winter.

She checked her bags, waited for a wheelchair and parted ways with her doting son — her only immediate relative.

When Zimmerman reached a security checkpoint, she asked if she could forgo the advanced image technology screening equipment, fearing it might interfere with her defibrillator.

She said she normally gets patted down. But this time, she says that two female agents escorted her to a private room and began to remove her clothes.

“I was outraged,” said Zimmerman, a retired receptionist.

As she tried to lift a lightweight walker off her lap, she says, the metal bars banged against her leg and blood trickled from a gash.

“My sock was soaked with blood,” she said. “I was bleeding like a pig.”

She says the TSA agents showed no sympathy, instead pulling down her pants and asking her to raise her arms.

“Why are you doing this?” she said she asked the agents, who did not respond.

The TSA claims the footage does not show any sign of the injury.

“Our screening procedures are conducted in a manner designed to treat all passengers with dignity, respect and courtesy,” Farbstein said.

Zimmerman says a medic arrived to treat her injury. The process took so long that she missed her 1 p.m. flight and had to catch a later one.

Her son said he was shocked when his mom called around 9 p.m. that night and described what happened.

“She was put through a hell of a day,” he said.

Zimmerman, who takes blood thinners, later had a tetanus shot for fear of infection from the walker wound.

Bruce Zimmerman, 53, said he can’t understand why the agents targeted his mom.

“She looks like a sweet, little old lady,” he said. “She’s not a disruptive person or uncooperative.”

Appeared Here


9/11 Hysteria: San Jose California Police And Post Office Overreact When Jogger Mails Package Of Calendars

December 1, 2011

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – Word to the wise: Maybe it’s not the smartest thing to jog in what looks like a gas mask and body armor, and then jam a package in a post office box.

It could touch off what happened Tuesday at the busy San Jose post office on Lundy Avenue: a full-scale police response, complete with the bomb squad and a robot.

But San Jose police said the suspicious-looking jogger seen fidgeting with a package at a drop-off box was only working out in hard-core, albeit odd-looking, exercise gear.

“The guy said he was wearing a cardio mask,” said Sgt. Jason Dwyer. “It was his cardio day, and he was trying to lose weight.”

That’s not what a post office customer thought when the man in the weird mask and vest was stuffing a package in a blue mail box about 12:30 p.m. The customer called police, and in a flash, the post office was on lockdown until 4:30 p.m., with 150 employees and customers tucked away in the back. The San Jose police bomb squad, the Fire Department’s hazardous materials unit and the postal inspector descended on a normally quiet strip of North San Jose. A robot detonated the package, which turned out, police said, to be a bunch of calendars.

“My friends kept messaging me, Is this you? Is this you?” recounted Long Hoang, who lives near the post office and is a student at Cal State East Bay in Hayward.

It was.

About 12 weeks ago, Hoang became an avid follower of the CrossFit exercise regimen, which he said, exuberantly, combines “this really creative combination of weight lifting, gymnastics and rowing.” He wears the mask to simulate high-altitude training. Hoang, who is 5 feet 4 inches, said he’s lost at least 20 pounds, and is now 142 pounds.

Many neighbors in the area frequently spot him running in his gear, doing squats and lunges at corners while he waits for the light to turn green.

As Hoang tells the story, he mistakenly received a package of calendars at his home, and thought he’d mail them back to the proper recipient while on an exercise run. The package didn’t fit the first time in the mail box, he said, so he had to fold it up and try a second time.

When Hoang later realized his actions had caused such a commotion, captured by this newspaper and many other media organizations, he called police Tuesday evening to say the suspicious man was him: a nursing student trying to get into shape.

Police said Hoang’s story checked out.

Hoang said he can’t really see what all the fuss was about.

“It was like straight out of a movie,” he said. “Some of my friends are telling me, ‘Hello? 9/11? Anthrax? Blah. Blah. Blah.’ And I’m just thinking about my finals and staying in my own little zone.”

Still, Hoang says he won’t be jogging to the post office any time soon.

Appeared Here


Dumbass Pilot Got Locked In Plane’s Bathroom And Sent Passenger With “Thick Accent” To Flight Deck For Help – Prompting An Emergency Landing, Terror Scare, And Police Response

November 19, 2011

NEW YORK – A pilot stuck in the lavatory may sound like the opening line of a joke, but it triggered a terror scare on a flight from Asheville, North Carolina, to New York on Wednesday evening.

Delta 6132 — operated by Chautauqua Airlines — was about 30 minutes from LaGuardia Airport when the pilot went to use the bathroom.

Unbeknownst to the crew, he became trapped in the lavatory because of a broken door latch.

(The sole flight attendant on the plane couldn’t help him because she had entered the flight deck when he left, per security protocols that require two people to be in the cockpit at all times.)

“After trying unsuccessfully for several minutes to open the door, a nearby passenger heard the noise of the efforts and tried to help,” said Peter Kowalchuk, a spokesman for the airline.

“When the passenger was not able to open the door from the outside, the captain told him how to notify the flight deck of his situation.”

The passenger dutifully complied, but apparently had a heavy accent, which combined with the suddenly-missing pilot spooked the first officer.

The tense conversation between the crew and air traffic control was posted on LiveATC.net, a website that shares live air traffic communications.

“The captain has disappeared in the back, and uh, I have someone with a thick foreign accent trying to access the cockpit,” the co-pilot says in the recording.

“The captain disappeared in the back, went to use the restroom. By all indications, what I’m being told is he’s stuck in the lav and someone with a thick foreign accent is giving me a password to access the cockpit and I’m not about to let him in.”

Air traffic control responds by saying: “You guys ought to declare an emergency and just get on the ground.”

But later, the pilot suddenly reappears at the controls.

“This is the captain. I’m back in the cockpit. Lavatory door malfunction,” he says.

The controller on the ground is cautious: “I just want to make sure: Was there any disturbance in the airplane?”

“Negative,” the pilot responds. “The captain — myself — was in the lavatory and the door latch broke and had to fight my way out of it with my body to get the door open.”

The first officer did the right thing in securing the flight deck when he was not able to personally confirm the status of the captain, Kowalchuk said.

“No one was ever in danger and everyone, including the good Samaritan who tried to help the (captain) as well as the crew, are to be commended for their actions,” he added.

The plane, with 14 passengers and three crew members on board, made an emergency landing at LaGuardia with the pilot at the controls.

The FBI was on hand just to make sure everything was all right.

Appeared Here


9/11 Hysteria: “Exploding Package” Turned Out To Be Lightbulb – “Suspicious Package” In Locker Contained Cookies – As Crazed Overreaction Shuts Down Ranson West Virginia Post Office For 6 Hours

November 4, 2011

RANSON, WEST VIRGINIA – A reported exploding package and spray of white powder that sent emergency units rushing to a small-town post office turned out to be just the pop of a malfunctioning fluorescent light bulb, authorities said Friday.

The white powder that workers at the U.S. Post Office in Ranson saw was most likely smoke from the damaged bulb, said Ronald Fletcher, a firefighter with Citizens Fire Co. and the designated incident spokesman.

X-rays also revealed that a suspicious package in a storage locker contained only cookies, he said.

The scare Friday morning triggered an evacuation of the building and the temporary quarantine of 15 people inside a school bus. Hazardous materials and bomb experts, State Police units, fire crews and more responded to the scene at a strip mall.

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department sent a robot into the building to test the air. It found no chemical agents or evidence of an explosion.

Despite the six-hour disruption, postal authorities said the mail would still be delivered Friday.

Postmaster Steve Parrill said about 20 people work in the Ranson branch.

Appeared Here


Crazed Scotland Police Ban “Terrorist” Dad From Mall After He Took Pictures Of His 4 Year Old Daughter Eating Ice Cream

October 11, 2011

SCOTLAND – A father taking pictures of his daughter at a shopping center near Glasgow, Scotland, says he was banned from the mall and threatened with having his camera phone confiscated in the interest of preventing terrorism when he refused to delete the photos.

Chris White, 45, says police were called last week after he took photos of his 4-year-old daughter, Hazel, eating ice cream at Braehead shopping center, and a security guard approached him and asked him to delete the pictures and then banned him from the mall, the Daily Record reports.

The security guard allegedly told White that taking photos in the shopping center is “illegal” and that security could confiscate White’s camera phone under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

“I explained I had taken two photos of my daughter eating ice cream and that she was the only person in the photo, so I didn’t see any problem,” White said.

“I also said that I wasn’t that willing to delete the photos and there seemed little point as I had actually uploaded them to Facebook.”

Police arrived on the scene shortly afterward.

White says one of the police officers was “quite intimidating,” but allowed him to keep his camera phone in exchange for offering his full details, including name, place of birth, age, employment status and address.

“Had I not had my daughter with me, and the fact that we are trying to bring our daughter up to respect and trust police officers, I may have exercised my right not to provide those details,” White said.

A spokesman for Braehead Shopping Center says security acted in good faith.

“Retail staff at an ice cream stall in Braehead became suspicious after they saw a male shopper taking photographs of a child sitting at their counter. The staff thought the man had also been taking photographs of them and they alerted one of the center’s security staff.”

The spokesman said the retail assistants were unaware that the man and child were related.

“Like most shopping centers, we have a photography policy in the mall to protect the privacy of the staff and shoppers,” a spokesman for Braehead said in a statement.

“However, it is not our intention to — and we do not — stop innocent family members from taking pictures.”

A spokesman for Braehead says the shopping center is changing its policy to allow family and friends to take photos in the mall, effective immediately.

“We wish to apologize to Mr. White for the distress we may have caused to him and his family and we will be in direct contact with him to apologize properly.”

White has set up a Facebook page in response to the incident calling for people to boycott Braehead shopping center.

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