The Face of Terror


Cecilia Beaman says Transportation Security Administration screeners at Los Angeles International Airport told her they considered her a terrorist and threatened her with a $500 fine. Beaman, principal at Pacific Middle School in Des Moines, had accompanied 37 students to a band competition and trip to Disneyland. During the stay, she made sandwiches for the children. She packed two of the knives she used in her checked baggage. But she couldn't find the other, and she thought she had lost it. The screeners found the 5.5-inch bread knife, which has a rounded tip, in her carry-on baggage. The 57-year-old grandmother says screeners took information from her driver's license, seized and photographed the knife and told her she would go on a terrorist watch list. But they refused to provide her with any documentation of her violation or a copy of the photograph of the knife. "They said 'no' and they said it's a national security issue. And I said what about my constitutional rights? And they said 'not at this point … you don't have any,'" she told a local TV station.