TSA Rolls Out Intelligence Gathering Scheme at Airports

October 4, 2011

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4 airports to try risk-based security screening – Yahoo! News.

ATLANTA (AP) — A select group of travelers may find it easier Tuesday getting through security checkpoints at four major U.S. airports in return for voluntarily providing more personal information to the federal government as part of a new pilot program.

The “PreCheck” program is the first big attempt by President Barack Obama’s administration to move away from a one-size-fits-all security approach and toward a more risk-based, intelligence-driven model. It comes after complaints about full-body pat downs and intensive searches of children and the elderly.

“By learning more about travelers through information they voluntarily provide, and combining that information with our other layers of security, we can focus more resources on higher-risk and unknown passengers,” John Pistole, head of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, said in prepared remarks before the official announcement.

The voluntary test program covers travelers enrolled in Delta Air Lines’ frequent-flier program or three other government-trusted traveler programs — called Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI — involving people who travel regularly through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County airports. It also covers selected travelers enrolled in American Airlines’ frequent-flier program, or the three other government programs, who travel regularly through Miami International and Dallas-Fort Worth International airports.

TSA fires 28 over improper luggage screening at Honolulu airport – CNN.com

September 30, 2011

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TSA fires 28 over improper luggage screening at Honolulu airport – CNN.com.

The Transportation Security Administration fired 28 of its employees — in addition to three who resigned or retired — following a probe that revealed bags were allowed onto planes at Hawaii’s Honolulu International Airport without being properly screened, the agency said Sunday.

Another 15 people were suspended, the TSA reported in a statement.

The moves come after the agency “completed the adjudication process” it had announced in June, months after the allegations first surfaced. All those terminated or suspended “have the right to appeal the decision,” according to the TSA.

The firing is believed to be one of, if not the biggest, such action in the agency’s history, with officials previously stating that it underscores they will not tolerate employees who compromise security.

In March, Honolulu’s KITV 4 News reported that TSA officers assigned to a morning shift regularly allowed checked bags to be loaded onto flights on nine daily departures without being screened for explosives. Sources told the TV station that such lapses occurred for as long as four months and involved thousands of checked bags. CNN confirmed the investigation.

TSA officers are required to screen 100% of all checked bags before they are stored in the cargo holds of passenger aircraft.

In June, agency officials said they did not know exactly how many bags were allowed onto flights without being inspected but said the lapse took place during the last four months of 2010. The TSA said after it became aware of the problem, it took steps to ensure that every bag is properly screened at the airport.

A TSA official said in June that in addition to rank-and-file screeners and some supervisors, the airport’s federal security director and assistant federal security director for screening had also received letters proposing that they lose their jobs.

“TSA holds its workforce to the highest ethical standards, and we will not tolerate employees who in any way compromise the security of the traveling public,” TSA Administrator John Pistole said then in a statement.

The TSA said it uses closed-circuit TV, random inspections, covert tests and peer and management oversight to check on the integrity of the system.

D’Iberville murder suspect is TSA official – San Antonio Express-News

September 30, 2011

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D’Iberville murder suspect is TSA official – San Antonio Express-News.

D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Authorities say a man accused of killing a co-worker at her new residence in D’Iberville is a management-level official for the Transportation Security Administration.

TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz tells The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/othRI6 ) 45-year-old Ruben Orlando Benitez of Jackson is the TSA’s assistant federal security director for screening in Mississippi.

Benitez is accused in the fatal stabbing of 43-yeaer-old Stacey Wright, found dead at her apartment Sunday morning.

Wright had worked with Benitez several years at the Jackson-Evers International Airport.

D’Iberville Police Chief Wayne Payne said evidence indicates Benitez stabbed Wright on Saturday night during an argument.

Benitez was booked at the Harrison County jail on a murder charge Tuesday night. He is held on a $3 million bond.

It was unclear whether Benitez has an attorney.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/article/D-Iberville-murder-suspect-is-TSA-official-2183069.php#ixzz1ZTCVYE9P

Traveling through Boston? TSA has some questions

August 2, 2011

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Starting Tuesday, many travelers moving through Boston Logan International Airport will see a new level of security imposed by the Transportation Security Administration.

Behavior Detection Officers (BDOs) started on-the-job training for a pilot program that enhances the agency’s already-existing behavior detection program.

BDOs will ask a few questions and look for anomalies in every traveler passing through Logan’s Terminal A, TSA spokesperson Greg Soule told msnbc.com. “Officers are trained to look for specific behaviors that would indicate if an individual is acting suspicious and has a fear of discovery,” he said.

The pilot program, Soule said, is “modeled after a number of behavior-detection programs used by other security and law-enforcement agencies, but tailored to TSA’s specific mission.”

More at MSNBC.com


New TSA ‘Theft’ Leaves Teens Bag $100 Lighter

August 2, 2011

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They’re stealing again — this time, from a kid!

An allegedly sticky-fingered screener for the Transportation Security Administration is being investigated after $100 went missing from a 16-year-old honor student’s gym bag before he boarded a July 21 flight at JFK Airport, The Post has learned.

Rodeen Dunn, the mother of the Brooklyn student, Chris Dunn, called the alleged theft of his cash — a gift from his grandma — “disgusting and a violation of my son’s trust.”

The incident occurred shortly after 5:15 a.m., after Chris went through screening to board a JetBlue flight to Los Angeles.

More at : NYPost.com