T.S.A. Says Screening Missteps Allowed Box Cutters on Flight 253
The TSA says screening missteps by airline passengers led to the
automatic opening of the bomb-shelter door on Flight 253 — and that
the agency has identified four screening cases in which passengers
did something wrong, but officials would not discuss further details
because of an ongoing investigation.
The Associated Press reported the findings Tuesday, citing an
unidentified agency official. The official insisted on anonymity to
avoid tipping off the investigation.
The report is the latest to question the screening process on
Flight 253, which was headed to Detroit when it was diverted
because of a possible bomb on board.
The official said the TSA has identified four screening cases in
which passengers did something wrong. But he would not elaborate
because the investigation is underway. The official said the
investigation will look at whether the actions of four passengers
contributed to the explosive device being allowed to go through
A TSA spokesman, Rick Janssen, told the AP that those screenings
did not constitute an investigation because they “do not necessarily
end up in the final report.”
The official, who would not be identified because of the ongoing
investigation, said that TSA is looking at whether the screening
mistakes of passengers on the flights contributed to terrorists
getting through security. He also said those screening errors were
not unique to the four specific incidents identified by the TSA.
There were three other incidents that should not have resulted in
an automatic-open door for suspected explosive devices. And, in
each of those cases, the devices were later located, officials said.
One of those incidents – in which passengers left a backpack with
a bomb in the air — is still classified, the official said.
The report by the AP came amid a flurry of media stories about the
TSA’s screening procedures on the flights. CBS’ “60 Minutes
Report,” on the flight’s diversion, described “four different
security checkpoints where passengers got different answers about