Disturbing' Undercover Probe Found TSA Screeners Missing Many Test Weapons


Homeland Security investigators found that, more than 70 percent of the time, undercover officers were able to get through TSA checkpoints with mock knives, guns and explosives, the House Homeland Security Committee was told Wednesday.

An undercover operation revealed TSA screenings at airports fail most of the time.

According to an unreleased and classified report, recent undercover tests conducted by the Department of Homeland Security at several US airport security checkpoints found that the federally employed screeners and their equipment failed to identify risky materials more than half of the time, unnamed sources tell ABC News. In that test, operatives successfully smuggled both fake weapons and fake explosives through airport security.

The Transportation Security Administration said it agrees with the report and is committed to Department of Homeland Security recommendations, though are no specifics on what those entail.

This high threat is why the new test results, finding "vulnerabilities" in TSA screening, some say, are alarming.

ABC News first reported inspectors' findings and while the exact rate of failure has not yet been released to the public, when asked if the number was somewhere around 80 percent, an unnamed source replied, "You are in the ballpark".

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Screeners did not detect 95 percent of test items in that investigation.

"We found that briefing disturbing", House Homeland Security Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX) said following the hearing, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The DHS recommendations are classified.

"We take the OIG's findings very seriously and are implementing measures that will improve screening effectiveness at checkpoints", said TSA Administrator David Pekoske in a statement.

Pekoske said TSA continues to embrace developments in technology, including use of CT scanners that provide a three-dimensional image in the Phoenix and Boston airports.

US President Donald Trump sent a letter to Congress on Monday requesting $5.9 billion in new funding for the Pentagon while reiterating a plea for $1.6 billion in new funding for the border wall, Government Executive reports.