Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

August 17, 2006

TSA finds explosives residue at WV airport

Filed under: Aviation Security — by Christian Beckner on August 17, 2006

From a release sent out a few minutes ago by TSA:

Two Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security officers discovered explosive residues on two containers of liquid in a carry-on bag brought by a passenger at the Huntington Tri-State Airport (HTS). At 9:15 a.m. this morning Transportation Security Officer (TSO) Joshua Messinger and TSO Clifford Barker discovered the residues while screening bottles filled with liquid substances. Last week, TSA banned liquids and gels on commercial aircraft.

….The officers noticed the prohibited liquids inside a traveler’s carry-on bag during screening at the checkpoint. The bag was opened and the contents tested with an Explosives Trace Detector. The item tested positive for explosives and a retest confirmed the results. At that point, local law enforcement was notified and an explosives detection canine team arrived to provide further confirmation of the presence of explosive material.

TSA proceeded to evacuate the airport after these explosives residues were detected, reopening it later in the morning. This incident shows that for all of the aviation screening system’s imperfection, it can be effective at locating and identifying suspicious items moving through the checkpoint, probably to the point that it acts as a deterrent against aviation-related terror plots.

More on this story from the Charleston (WV) Gazette:

Airport Manager Larry Salyers said Thursday afternoon that the woman was 28 years old and originally from Pakistan. He said the woman lives in the Tri-State area with her husband and used to live in Jackson, Mich.

The woman bought a one-way ticket on Wednesday from Huntington to Detroit via Charlotte, N.C., Salyers said. She was traveling alone, he said.

The FBI is questioning the woman this afternoon but she has not been arrested, according to the AP.

Update (8/18): The explosives residue turned out to be from cosmetics. Even so, I think TSA acted exactly as it should have in the course of this incident.

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1 Comment »

Trackback by Blue Star Chronicles

August 18, 2006 @ 12:32 am

Pakistani Woman found with Liquid Explosives at Airport…

WSAZ

The Transportation Security Administration reports that two containers of liquid in a passenger’s carry-on bag tested postive for explosive residue around 9:15 this morning. A second test was confirmed at 11:25. TSA is waiting for further t…

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