Latest terminal dump @ JFK: Toothpaste is da bomb

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    This was found in a baggage room, so it must have been in checked luggage.

    I'm beginning to wonder if almost anything wrapped in duct tape won't cause a terminal dump these days?

    Reuters: New York's JFK airport terminal briefly evacuated over package

    Authorities temporarily evacuated a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Sunday to investigate a suspicious package, which turned out to be a tube of toothpaste wrapped in duct tape, officials said. The package was found shortly after 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) in the baggage room area of Concourse B in Terminal 4, said Chris Valens, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
     
  2. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    When I had a black soft side bag that I checked I put two duct tape "stripes" on the sides so I could spot it amongst the dozens of other similar bags. No wonder it got searched and pilfered so often. In addition to water, toothpaste and snow globes, TSA is also protecting America from duct tape.
     
  3. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

  4. Oh man. There are going to be so many people getting knives confiscated because they didn't get the memo on this. I already saw one guy have to go back and check a knife because he didn't know the change wasn't immediate. A bumper crop of knives is coming to ebay!
     
  5. RB

    RB Founding Member

    So Pistole blinked. Another loss for reasonable screening.
     
  6. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Probably just delayed. The FAs make a good procedural point:
     
  7. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    And the passenger concourse was evacuated because....? (nevermind)
     
  8. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    Some bag rooms are underneath the concourse areas, if that is the case, and they have a suspicion of a possible destructive device, then the evacuation would be a normal precaution.
     
  9. RB

    RB Founding Member

    How much of a threat is something the size of a tube of toothpaste? That is more of an anti-person weapon than anything else.
     
  10. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Remember, according to the TSA you can pack enough "sheet explosives" into your collar stays to bring down an aircraft.
     
  11. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    If I recall correctly, Israel, which has a higher threat level than the US by far, does not "evacuate the terminal" every time they come across a "suspicious item" that may (or may not) be a **B-O-M-B**. They put it in an explosion-proof container and evacuate the potential danger, not the whole friggin' airport. Shouldn't the US do something like this, or does TSA (Too Stoopit for Arby's) just like all this useless drama? ...oh... wait... security THEATRE! Now I understand!:rolleyes:
    (Correct me if my reasoning is flawed here, OK?)
     
    KrazyKat likes this.
  12. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    So I guess I'll just shelter-in-place for the rest of my life.
    So the protocol is pretty much "run away!"
    The oh-so-consistent protocol is to not remove the device but instead all airport activity. Got it.
     
  13. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Yeah, but what TSA knows about airport security wouldn't start to fill a thimble.
     
  14. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Without the never ending drama, people would quickly & properly conclude that TSA itself is useless.
     
    Caradoc likes this.
  15. FaustsAccountant

    FaustsAccountant Original Member


    But super duper terrifyingly scary dangerous bottles of water, apple sauce, cupcakes and such are collected in large amounts in plastic/cardboard bins right next to the checkpoint where your brethren stand and passengers pass by.

    OK. Sure.
     
    Monica47 likes this.
  16. FaustsAccountant

    FaustsAccountant Original Member

    That's because it's not a "collar" it's a "thread matrix."
    'Shirt collars' are not dangerous, 'thread matrixes' are.

    Of course you would have never known this useless you passed the 3 classes it takes to get the DIP-loma



    (How many burn points do I get for this? :p)
     
  17. RB

    RB Founding Member

    As good an explanation as TSA's explanation of how tossing potentially dangerous items in common garbage no longer make them a concern.
     
  18. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I understand, and concur that a tube that size is not large enough to bring down a concourse, but there is no description of what else is in the bag, or whether it is the only item that alarmed. Also, in some locations, the response protocols do not take into account the size of a suspected item, they are written a certain way and must be followed - not saying that is proper or smart, just that the situation exists in some locations. Personally, the response should be consistent with the size of the possible item - an 8 oz tube is not going to create a gigantor explosion, and has a lesser distance that needs to be cleared out.



    While I would love to have bomb containers be a part of our security system, I am not certain that it will be anything we see anytime soon. There is a certain system to use with them, and I currently do not see that system coming into play here. Great idea, though! (and it does change the dynamic of the following protocols if this system is in play).


    I will simply say, that with the system we have in place at every airport I have worked at, yes with some exceptions. As mentioned by DeafBlonde above, the bomb container system would be nice, but that is not in play here at this moment, and I do not see any indicators that it will be in the near future.

    I do have one question though, would you rather have the TSOs with minimal training on safe handling and disarmament protocols handling these suspected devices with passengers standing around them, or would you rather have the TSOs back the passengers away, and have those folks trained for handling suspected devices come in and do their jobs? Either way there is the chance that a real device will be handled and a detonation will occur, but I would venture that the odds of TSOs (with a little bit of training on how to handle explosive devices) detonating these devices would be infinitely higher than the odds of TSSEs/EOD techs (with years of training and experience with these devices) detonating the device.
     
  19. RB

    RB Founding Member

    If the Clerks surround the device like they do passengers who ask simple questions then I see no down side if it went off.
     
  20. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    In that case, it's probably a good idea to have the straightforward orders - especially since the average TSA employee is too ignorant to tell the difference between 3 oz and 100ml, or 3 fl oz and 3 oz in weight. But it's not like they'll be consistent in applying even the straightforward orders, given that the TSA still hasn't stopped harassing people with cameras...

    Can't have changes in procedure that result in less circus. It makes the TSA less "visible," and people might begin to realize just how stupid the policies and procedures are, and how stupid and/or evil the ones who carry them out are.
     

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