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Report: Undercover Agents Able To Thwart TSA Security

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An internal investigation into the efficacy Transportation Security Administration airport security found agents able to smuggle explodes and weapons through security checks in 95 percent of tests, ABC News reports.

The network unveils a new Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s report found undercover DHS agents, posing as would-be passengers, able to get dangerous contraband through security check points —with TSA agents failing 67 of 70 trail runs.

“In one test,” ABC News reports, “an undercover agent was stopped after setting off an alarm at a magnetometer, but TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow-on pat down.”

According to the report, DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson was “frustrated” by the results and briefed on the findings last week. Officials tell ABC that there have been changes made to the system to address the vulnerabilities.

“Upon learning the initial findings of the Office of Inspector General’s report, Secretary Johnson immediately directed TSA to implement a series of actions, several of which are now in place, to address the issues raised in the report,” DHS said in a written statement to ABC News.

The report notes that TSA has had unfortunate reviews in other DHS undercover runs. In 2013, for example, TSA failed to detect a fake bomb on an undercover agent’s body, even after a pat-down.

These undercover agents, known as Red Teams, are modeled to be “super terrorists,” who seek out weaknesses in the system to manipulate.

Still the new revelations come on the heels of another discomforting review from September which found “vulnerabilities” in the baggage check screening at airports.

“In addition, the review determined that despite spending $540 million for checked baggage screening equipment and another $11 million for training since a previous review in 2009, the TSA failed to make any noticeable improvements in that time,” ABC News reported.


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