Published March 09, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. – An undercover Transportation Security Administration inspector reportedly brought a mock improvised explosive device stashed in his pants through two layers of security and was cleared to board a commercial flight last month.
The New York Post reports that the TSA's special operations team staged a mock intrusion at the airport on Feb. 25. The inspector brought the mock "bomb" through a magnetometer, which failed to detect the device, a source told the paper.
The other security check that failed to catch the mock device was a pat-down, according to the report.
New York Rep. Peter King called for an extensive security review at Newark Liberty Airport after a newspaper reported Friday that a simulated explosive got past screeners.
King, a Republican and former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called for an extensive security review at Newark Liberty Airport in a letter to Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole on Friday.
King called for a "top-to-bottom" review of TSA operations at Newark.
The TSA wouldn't confirm the details of the report but in statement said it regularly puts screeners through "the most difficult and isolated training scenarios to ensure officers are able to detect even the most difficult to find devices."
Since December 2011, more than 50 airport workers have faced TSA disciplinary action at Newark for various violations; a TSA agent was charged with stealing $5,000 from a traveler's jacket; a security breach at an exit area caused the evacuation of a terminal, and a non-TSA security employee pleaded guilty to using a fake identity for 20 years.
A federal report last May found that the TSA took corrective action on fewer than half of reported security breaches between January 2010 and May 2011. It also said Newark security officials had taken positive steps since 2010 to improve efforts to correct security vulnerabilities.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.