The TSA failed to spot two AK-47 assault-rifle magazines stowed in the luggage of a suspicious Yemeni national who was preparing to fly back to his homeland from JFK Airport on a one-way ticket, sources said.
Bassam Alkhanshli, 32, was busted as he and a traveling companion, Methaq Mohammed Ali, 28, were set to board Emirates Flight 202 to Yemen at 11 p.m. Sunday, the sources said.
Alkhanshli and his pal were stopped by the TSA because they had purchased one-way tickets to Yemen — long considered a red flag by counterterrorism officials.
The Transportation Security Administration screeners then found that the two men were carrying above the $10,000 maximum in US currency. Alkhanshli had $12,000 and Ali had $14,000, sources said.
Both were then questioned by US Customs and Border Protection personnel, causing them to miss their flight, sources said.
The men were able to explain why they had the money, and the feds then cleared them to catch another flight, sources said.
But before they took off, Customs officials re-examined 10 pieces of their luggage, which had already been screened and cleared by the TSA.
This time, Customs Officer Richard Sanicola found "two 30-round AK-47 magazine clips" in one of Alkhanshli's bags.
"I did not know I was not supposed to have this," Alkhanshli told officials, according to sources.
Sanicola described the clips as "high-capacity ammunition-feeding devices," according to a criminal complaint.