REPORT: US Airports Still Have Security Vulnerabilities - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

REPORT: US Airports Still Have Security Vulnerabilities

MSNBC.COM - It has been almost 10 years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and U.S. airports still are not as secure as they need to be. More than 14,000 people have found their way into sensitive areas, and about 6,000 travelers have made it past government screeners without proper scrutiny, according to a congressman who is leading an inquiry into the deficiencies.

Since November 2001, more than 25,000 security breaches have occurred at U.S. airports, despite the extra security measures put in place over the past 9 ½ years, said Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, citing government statistics. That is an average of slightly more than five security breaches a year at each of the 457 commercial airports, and "these are just the ones we know about," said Chaffetz, who is overseeing a congressional hearing Wednesday on security shortcomings. "I think it's a stunningly high number."

The Transportation Security Administration said these numbers represent "a tiny fraction of 1 percent" of the more than 5.5 billion people that have been screened across the country since 9/11. "These events were reported, investigated and remedied," agency spokesman Greg Soule said.

The 25,000 figure is misleading because a security breach is broadly defined to include instances when a checked bag was misplaced after it had gone through security screening to a person who was caught in the act of breaching security and immediately apprehended, Soule said.

Criticism of screening policies
The congressional interest comes amid the busy midyear travel season and growing criticism of some of the TSA's screening policies, like security pat-downs for children and travelers in their 90s. The TSA has defended its policies, citing terrorists' persistent interest in attacking commercial aviation. For instance, early this month, counterterror officials saw intelligence about some terrorists' renewed interest in surgically implanting bombs in humans to evade airport security like full-body imaging machines. The TSA and FBI are even testing this theory on pigs' carcasses to see how viable the threat is, said a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive security matters.

Since the 2001 attacks, the airport screening work force has been entirely revamped and billions of dollars have been spent on technology that has been deployed across the country. But despite all the enhancements, travelers have made it past security when they should not have. Most recently, a cellphone-sized stun gun was found aboard a plane operated by JetBlue Airways Corp. Officials do not believe the stun gun was intended for use in some type of attack, but the FBI is investigating how and why it was on the airplane. Earlier this month, a Nigerian American was accused of breaching three layers of airport security while getting on a cross-country flight with an expired boarding pass.

Chaffetz also worries that airports have issued more than 900,000 special credentials to workers for access to secure and restricted areas in airports, including 16,000 secure badges to Washington Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia alone, he said. >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MSNBC

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Update: Deputies identify woman seen with man arrested for gas station rape

    Update: Deputies identify woman seen with man arrested for gas station rape

    Friday, January 19 2018 2:31 AM EST2018-01-19 07:31:52 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Spokane Valley police and deputies continue to investigate the beating and sexual assault of a woman in a Spokane Valley gas station near Trent and Vista over the weekend. Investigators say responding deputies detained and arrested registered sex offender Michael Rush as he was seen leaving the bathroom, where a woman in her 40s was found beaten and strangled.

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Spokane Valley police and deputies continue to investigate the beating and sexual assault of a woman in a Spokane Valley gas station near Trent and Vista over the weekend. Investigators say responding deputies detained and arrested registered sex offender Michael Rush as he was seen leaving the bathroom, where a woman in her 40s was found beaten and strangled.

    >>
  • South Spokane shooting victim left blind, says he wants justice

    South Spokane shooting victim left blind, says he wants justice

    Thursday, January 18 2018 9:04 PM EST2018-01-19 02:04:36 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - It was a crime that sent shock waves from the South Hill all over Spokane. Two people shot just feet from their apartments. The manhunt for their killer lasted days. The 64-year-old survivor of that ambush and his family reached out to KHQ's Hayley Guenthner to share his story. Mike Troy was shot in the face but miraculously lived. His brother Gene said it's been an agonizing month. "He's never harmed anyone," Gene said. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - It was a crime that sent shock waves from the South Hill all over Spokane. Two people shot just feet from their apartments. The manhunt for their killer lasted days. The 64-year-old survivor of that ambush and his family reached out to KHQ's Hayley Guenthner to share his story. Mike Troy was shot in the face but miraculously lived. His brother Gene said it's been an agonizing month. "He's never harmed anyone," Gene said. 

    >>
  • WATCH: Oregon fisherman sues after insane boat crash caught on camera

    WATCH: Oregon fisherman sues after insane boat crash caught on camera

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 6:12 PM EST2018-01-17 23:12:55 GMT

    CLATSOP COUNTY, Ore. - A salmon fisherman who abandoned ship by leaping into the Columbia river last summer, right before another boat crashed into his, is suing the other boat driver for $372,000. The Oregonian reports that the Clatsop County sheriff's office accused Marlin Lee Larson of several crimes after the boater told investigators he couldn't see where he was driving because the dash of his boat was blocking his view when he was sitting down.

    >>

    CLATSOP COUNTY, Ore. - A salmon fisherman who abandoned ship by leaping into the Columbia river last summer, right before another boat crashed into his, is suing the other boat driver for $372,000. The Oregonian reports that the Clatsop County sheriff's office accused Marlin Lee Larson of several crimes after the boater told investigators he couldn't see where he was driving because the dash of his boat was blocking his view when he was sitting down.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/