TSA: Student Transporters Be on the Lookout for School Bus Thefts

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Thankfully we have TSA to warn of of the latest bogey man ...

    School Transportation News: TSA: Student Transporters Be on the Lookout for School Bus Thefts

    The site is just returning "connection refused" errors, but this is Google's entry for it:

    School Transportation News - 23 hours ago​
    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reminded student transporters to be on the lookout for suspicious persons lurking around the school buses ...
  2. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Let's ramp up the fear factor!
  3. N965VJ

    N965VJ Original Member

    You ain't seen nuthin'! Here's a writeup I did a couple of years ago on the TSA's School Transportation Security Awareness program:

    The STSA program consists of a 24-minute DVD of a simulated school bus hijacking and Web-based, self-study modules offered in both English and Spanish. The program was designed so the information can be obtained in a classroom setting or by individual self-guided study on-line.

    There is a video you can watch. I took one for the team :D and blew about 20 minutes of my life watching bad acting with a menacing soundtrack. You can scroll forward in your media player to the timeframes I’ve outlined in a few spots. Here’s a synopsis:

    Bad guy breaks into a school bus parking lot in the middle of the night to plant a radio jammer on bus #423 (he has the bus number written on a scrap of paper). Night watchman finds the jammer and the police take it away. Bus is quarantined, and later that morning the driver is scheduled on another bus #.

    6:30 Two bad guys that were milling around on someone’s front lawn get on the replacement bus # with the second batch of kids that were picked up. The lead hijacker’s name is Kamil according to the transcript. :rolleyes:

    7:40 The bus driver notices someone standing in someone’s front yard videotaping the bus as it goes by. We never see him again.
    Bus blows past another stop while parents watch.

    8:30 Kamil gives the bus driver directions to a warehouse in an accent that is a cross between Ricardo Montalban and Ricky Ricardo trying to channel Al Pacino with a mouth full of marbles.

    Parents start calling the school about the bus blowing past the stops.

    Concerned mom that noticed the strange men getting on the bus with her daughter calls the school district and ends up talking to a mechanic/dispatcher and asks him “Is that allowed?”

    Bus driver asks Kamil if she can check in via radio as to not raise suspicion. Kamil allows it, but he and his fellow hijacker don’t bother to check if the radio jammer is still on the floor under the seat. In fact they don’t even notice they’re not on the right bus # to start with. Driver calls in “Code Green, no response necessary” which is a distress call. Kamil and his gang could have bought a scanner at Radio Shack, gotten the frequencies off the internet and listened for a few days to see if this was normal procedure, but who said these guys were smart?

    13:00 Bus pulls into the warehouse where Kamil orders the kids are off the bus (somehow Kamil lost his weird accent). A bomb made out of three PVC tubes that would fit in a large duffel bag is placed in the bus. Kamil, alone with the bus driver, orders her to drive to the school.

    15:00 Bus driver: “Why are you doing this?”
    Kamil: “Revenge!” (his accent is back, kind of)

    It’s now 9:16 AM; the bus has been commandeered for just under two hours now. School principal gets a phone call that a bus has been hijacked. The school is evacuated in a fire drill. A little while later, an LEO sitting in a sitting in a squad car hears about a “possible school bus hijacking” right as the bus goes by.

    18:00 Bus is stopped by a blockade at the entrance to the school. Kamil hears an order over the bus radio to drop his weapon and come out with his hands up and exclaims “It’s working?! How?!” SWAT team boards the bus giving Kamil the bum rush.

    22:00 Actor that played the school principal is now a narrator. He offers us the following (this is a direct quote from the transcript. Oddly, the text of the narration only appeared in Spanish although everything else was in English/Spanish, so I ran it through Google Translator):

    NARRATOR: If you think there is minimum risk of security threats against school buses, consider this: Every day 25 million children travel by bus across the United States. Recent world events have shown us that international terrorism does not distinguish between civilian and military targets. In fact, some terrorist groups have shown a willingness to use children and schools as targets.

    NARRATOR: In addition to transporting children to and from school buses make frequent trips to public buildings, national monuments and other significant destinations. School buses used as terrorist weapons clearly have enormous potential to cause destruction and loss of life.

    NARRATOR: None of us like to imagine the possibility that our school buses become targets of a security threat. But the facts are unambiguous. Buses are vulnerable to attacks by hijackers, kidnappers and suicide bombers detonated explosives at a distance. The operations of buses, including school buses, have been and will continue to target those who use violence to publicize their intentions.
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    How timely, this apparently came out on the same day that California's First District Court of Appeal ruled that one of the Chowchilla school bus hijackers must be paroled ...

    KSEE 24: Court: Chowchilla Kidnapping Suspect Must Be Paroled

    Apparently TSA is once again fighting yesterday's problem today. :eek:

    For those of you too young too remember or perhaps not even conceived, let along born: 1976 bus kidnapping
  5. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    This school bus thing is not new - TSA started their fear mongering re: buses several years ago.
  6. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Yeah, I have an old article buried somewhere in my files.

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