Report: Undercover Operation Reveals TSA Failed Most Security Checkpoint Tests at U.S. Airports

TSA testing tighter security for carry-on bags at 10 U.S. airports
Brian Kersey/UPI

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) failed most undercover tests of security checkpoints conducted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to a report.

A source close to the operation told ABC News that the TSA’s failure rate was “in the ballpark” of 80 percent as tests found deficits in the TSA’s equipment, how the agency conducts screenings, and how it carries out security procedures.

The Department of Homeland Security offered eight suggestions on how to improve security at checkpoints in U.S. airports after the tests, but the recommendations are not public because the results of the tests are classified.

At the House Committee on Homeland Security briefing on the classified report, lawmakers called the TSA failures “disturbing.”

“This agency that you run is broken badly, and it needs your attention,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) told TSA Administrator David Pekoske during the hearing.

During the public portion of the hearing Wednesday, lawmakers pushed for the use of scanning equipment that would create 3D images of bags to help TSA employees better identify items that could potentially pose a threat.

TSA officials addressed the classified report in a statement, saying it would implement DHS’s recommendations.

“We take the OIG’s findings very seriously and are implementing measures that will improve screening effectiveness at checkpoints,” Pekoske said in a statement. “We are focused on staying ahead of a dynamic threat to aviation with continued investment in the workforce, enhanced procedures and new technologies.”

Other tests of airport security measures over the past few months have shown shocking failure rates. In a test conducted at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in July, the failure rate for the airport security tests hit a whopping 95 percent.

In June 2015, a report showed that airport security screeners failed to detect explosives and weapons in nearly every security test at multiple airports around the country. DHS reassigned acting TSA administrator  Melvin Carraway in light of the report.


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