Monday, July 10, 2006

Houston police and the federal Transportation Security Administration at odds

....over who is to blame for letting a man with a middle eastern name, hollowed out shoes, and what appeared to be bomb components, board a plane last week at Hobby Airport.

The officer, who let him through, after checking him, says it is not the police's responsiblity for stopping suspicious people, but that of the TSA. Yet, they put this police officer on desk duty.

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.

Just how safe are our airports? How much has security improved since the September 11, 2001 incident? Have they gotten lax in their duties?

HT: Michelle Malkin

Linked at Conservative Cat
Third World County
Basil's Blog - Picnic 2006-07-10

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