An undercover inspector carrying a fake bomb was cleared to board a commercial flight at Newark Liberty International Airport even though he passed through two screenings and a pat-down by Transportation Security Administration personnel, The New York Post
The inspector was part of a TSA’s special operation that sent a four-person “Red Team” through the airport's terminal B on Feb. 25 posing as ticketed passengers. Terminal B handles American Airlines, JetBlue, and Delta flights.
According to the Post, the undercover inspector was carrying a fake improvised explosive device (IED) in his pants and managed to get through a magnetometer and physical screening without it being discovered.
The mock IED’s makeup wasn’t reported, but the Post noted that it was small enough to be stashed away in pants and, if real, powerful enough to blow a hole in a jet's fuselage.
According to the Post, only one member of the Red Team was stopped at a security checkpoint — a female agent carrying a simulated IED inside a child’s doll in a carry-on bag. Wires were sticking out of the doll, making it obviously suspicious.
The team also targeted another terminal at Newark on the same day, but those results were not announced.
The TSA told the Post it would not provide details about its undercover operations, except to say it regularly holds training exercises and that it gives officers “immediate on-the-spot feedback so they receive the maximum training value that the drills offer.”
Newark airport has had a history of security trouble, even though there are 1,400 screeners and supervisors. Last year alone, 52 screeners were fired and another 19 disciplined for security lapses and thefts.
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