TSA

But if He'd Hidden It in His Crotch, They'd Have Found It

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This story seems to have gotten lost in the Christmas holiday:

Houston businessman Farid Seif says it was a startling discovery. He didn't intend to bring a loaded gun on a flight out of Houston and can't understand how TSA screeners didn't catch it.

Nearing the height of last year's Christmas travel season, TSA screeners at Bush Intercontinental Airport somehow missed a loaded pistol, one that was tucked away inside a carry-on computer bag. "I mean, this is not a small gun," Seif said. "It's a .40 caliber gun."

Seif says it was an accident which he didn't realize until he arrived at his destination. He says he carries the glock for protection but forgot to remove it from his bag. He reported the incident as soon as he landed, shocked at the security lapse.

"There's nothing else in there. How can you miss it? You cannot miss it," Seif said. 

Oh, but they can.

Authorities tell ABC News the incident is not uncommon, but how often it occurs is a closely guarded government secret. Experts say every year since the September 11 attacks, federal agencies have conducted random, covert tests of airport security.

A person briefed on the latest tests tells ABC News the failure rate approaches 70 percent at some major airports. Two weeks ago, TSA's new director said every test gun, bomb part or knife got past screeners at some airports. 

NEXT: Briefly Noted: Civic Art Theft

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  1. How often it happens is also a closely guarded personal secret if you don’t want to be in the position of openly to a felony…

  2. How cool would it have been if a Muslim extremist tried to hijack that flight, and Farid had shot the bastard?

    1. That would have been amazing. Until, of course, the flight landed and Farid was arrested and charged with illegally carrying a concealed weapon and manslaughter.

      1. Don’t forget the hate crimes.

      2. Except for the part where he probably wouldn’t have realized he could shoot the bastard until sometime after the incident…

        “Oh shit y’all, I had a gun THE WHOLE TIME!”

  3. Imagine a job where your fuck ups are kept secret.

    1. How can they be expected to do a good job without union protection? If they had some seniority rules in place then it would ensure only the most experienced screamers were working.

    2. Classifying this information is in express violation of EO 13526, which prohibits classifying information in order to:
      “(1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; [or]
      (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency[.]”

  4. Nobody was shot with Mr. Seif’s gun. The system is working.

  5. So what is the point of the TSA again?

  6. The most shocking thing about this article isn’t that people can get guns past security, but that Mr. Seif didn’t end up in jail after being cavity searched and interrogated for hours when he reported what had happened.

    1. I’m sure this will be a “lesson learned” from the “after-action review”, which TSA will incorporate into their “standard operating procedure” to ensure a more-thorough “after-the-fact punishment of others” for TSA errors and fuck ups.

      Better “after-the-fact-actions” will keep us safe!!!

      1. Wouldn’t it be easier to just explicitly grant government employees titles of nobility and allow them to have whipping boys?

  7. TSA should adopt as its motto a line from “True Grit”:

    “I can do nothin’ for you, son.”

  8. He reported the incident as soon as he landed, shocked at the security lapse.

    Did he actually think the TSA would fire discipline not promote somebody?

    What a dope. He’ll be lucky if doesn’t spend the next five years in the clink.

    1. That was my reaction.

      While the admonition “never talk to the police because you can’t know what they will construe as an admission of wrongdoing” is not altogether obvious to everyone, I would think that “never talk to the police when you have done something that wil almost certainly be contrued wrongdoing” would be.

    2. If they don’t charge this guy, other gun packers may come forward to make TSA look bad, and we can’t have that.

      1. +1

    3. If he accidentally got some contraband through customs would he report that?

      If I was dumb enough to accidentally fly with an unchecked loaded pistol I would quietly mail it to myself back home

  9. My God!

    1. GEEZ!!! Did NOBODY get this reference?

  10. Memo:
    Screw the running shoes, fake tits, coffee thermos ideas; Make a bomb look like a bomb and they’ll never catch it.

  11. When you’re looking for dangerous shit like conditioner and shoe polish, it’s easy to miss a .40 caliber handgun. Have sympathy.

  12. In TSA’s defense, you can understand why they would let a guy as American as Farid Seif pass through security without much scrutiny.

    1. Government, In my libertopia?

      It’s more likely than you think.

  13. The TSA reminds me of “Of Mice and Men”. It’s a whole department of Lenny’s with a few George’s covering up all the bad things they dun.

    1. And no ban on bunnies yet….pretty telling.

      1. Lenny-Tell me again George…tell me about the TSA…and the part where I get to tend to the pat downs…I won’t pat em down so hard that I kill em…and how you’ll confiscate the cell phone videos if I git in trouble like I always dun…and how we’ll throw away the water bottles and the shampoo…

        George-You always forget about the guns ya crazy bastard.

        Lenny-Oh ya George…I can remember George…

  14. Last year my parents went to Hamburg, and went through security at JFK and then CDG in Paris. My old man had a box cutter, very much like the 9/11 fucks used, in his carry on the whole time. He missed it when packing. He found it while unpacking in the hotel in Hamburg. Meanwhile, my 67 year old aunt ( who looks like an aging Italian movie star, lol), who was traveling with them, was selected for enhanced screening.

    My dad advocates an El-Al style security process, it makes sense to me as well, but I’m wondering how other members of the Reason community feel about that sort of security screening process, as compared to the current TSA procedures?

    1. I love Italian cinema, but am not familiar with lol. Which films was she in?

      1. My aunt is one of those ladies, how can i explain… Picture an obvious blonde dye job, gigantic sunglasses, layers of carefully applied makeup, a pink mink purse, and gold jewelry covering her from fingers to neck. She has her own ideas about glamour. She still pretty much looks great though.

      2. What you did. It is there, and I saw it.

    2. My dad advocates an El-Al style security process, it makes sense to me as well, but I’m wondering how other members of the Reason community feel about that sort of security screening process, as compared to the current TSA procedures?

      When we get Al-Qaeda or the latest Muslim terrorist organization, or hell, any ethnically based separatist group make it one of their primary goals to hijack American planes for the purposes of ransom/crashing/murder, then the “El-Al comes to America” argument will make sense.

      1. Nonsense, we’ll do something about terrorism when they try to crash planes into the Twin Towers or something inconceivable like that.

        1. The constant threat of Rectal posting here is more terrifying than any terrorist organization.

          1. you sure missed me when I was gone. You weren’t jerking off every time you posted as me, were you?

        2. False choice much?

          1. Fascinating coward, what are the “alternatives”?

            1. More Air Marshals, sealed cockpits, armed pilots, create a shrapnel proof booth with a miniaturized version of the EC-130H’s remote explosive detonator and put travelers who need extra screening in it.

              People with bombs=Abstract expressionist artwork.

              People without bombs=enjoy your flight.

              Just some ideas that don’t involve TSA security theater or El Al PsyOps.

              1. #1 More Air Marshals, sealed cockpits, armed pilots = The # of AM is classified. How do you determine we need more? Cockpits are already sealed and pilots are armed if they choose to be. Since a lot of them ar ex-military, I assume many of them are carrying.

                #2 EC-130H’s remote explosive detonator + travelers who need extra screening = modern art- can the TSA get a NEA grant?

                El Al security rates all passengers by interview/conversation cues. The argument is we have too many passengers in the US to follow the procedure and would need to select, ergo profile

                1. Classified so as not to “tip off the terrorists.” According to CNN, Air Marshals covered approximately less that 1% of all US air travel. If there are approximately 28,000 flights per day and if we were to assume that all of these flights took place at the same time, then we could reasonably infer that there are 280 or fewer Air Marshals employed. But since we know not all flights happen at the same time, it is highly likely there are far fewer than 280. Personally, I think 1 Air Marshal per flight is a reasonable number, not to say there should be 28,000 Air Marshals, but a number of them that could cover all of the flights.

                  I concede that cockpits are, by federal law sealed, but pilots are required, at their own time and expense, to make a trip to New Mexico to attend the FFDO training for the government’s approval to carry a firearm on the plane. The class only holds 50 people session, which is one week. According to the TSA, approximately 10% of all pilots currently care, which could more accurately be called “some” rather than “many.”

                  Why shouldn’t the TSA get an NEA grant? Keep it all in the abbreviated family, so to speak. Better the Blue Shirts than some talentless, parasitic hack that contributes nothing but crap to society…wait a second, who am I talking about again?

                  True. El Al rigorously trains their personnel to notice your immediate reactions to certain questions. As you have to show up to an El Al flight 3-4 hours in advance, they have plenty of time to vet you before letting you on the plane, if they decide to. I don’t think profiling is necessarily a bad thing per se or that the American public wouldn’t meekly submit to sitting in an airport for 3+ hours. I just don’t think there enough smart Blue Shirts to conduct the kind of interviews El Al employees do.

                  1. “they have plenty of time to vet you before letting you on the plane, if they decide to.” El Al interviews everyone. IIRC, they grade you with a sticker #’ed 1 to 5 and If you are a 3 or less you get further scrutiny. Americans don’t have the military training Israeli’s receive and I think they are naturally on alert because of their history.

                    1. I thought the El-Al screeners had to be college students/grads and go through a seven month training program in what amounts to soft interrogation techniques (just going by what I’ve heard/read, never flown El-Al). The criteria to be a Blue Shirt appears to be “ambulatory” and “98.6 degree body temperature.”

                    2. I’m not sure about their training but it involves psyc profiling. The US has to decide if they care more about people’s feelings or safety.

    3. I basically support not having any screening at all. Frankly, the cost savings could pay for every al-queda member to blow up an airliner and still have money left over.

      The El-Al process is time consuming and probably more irritating than having my balls groped.

  15. So the TSA isn’t even security theater, it’s just another WPA-style government jobs program.

    1. You sound surprised.

    2. Nawh.

      The WPA occasionally left something worth having behind them.

      Oh wait, I forgot about the naked picture of hot people. Maybe the TSA is like the WPA.

    3. They’re just taking Keynes’ advice that a government should hire the unemployed to dig holes and fill them back up. That’s also probably what Janet Napalatano means by “the system is working”

      1. Two a comin’, two a goin’, one a shittin’, and one a hoein’.
        — Anonymous Depression Era Wit

  16. And may I just say that this guy, Farid Seif, is one brave son of a gun. He reported it afterwards! He could have just left! He could have easily been arrested after the fact and I believe he is lucky they didn’t try to go after him in an attempt to save face. Big ups to an honest citizen who took a big risk. He must have just been so angry, all the bullshit you go through at the airport, all the waiting and the indignity for nothing.

    1. I would have just chuckled and walked out of the airport.

  17. Fortunately, the new small-government Republican Congress will summon Mr Napolitano to the Capitol for a sternly worded admonishment.

  18. A Glock is made largely out of synthetic polymers, with only a few metal parts. That taken together with the fact that the guy was unaware and therefore calm, is why he was able to pass by The Sturmabteilung (TSA) so easily.

    1. A Glock is made largely out of synthetic polymers, with only a few metal parts.

      No. Completely wrong. All the important parts of a Glock are steel. The “OMG PLASTIC GUNS!” hysteria of 20 years ago remains bullshit.

      1. You’ve missed the point. They don’t look like guns on an X-ray because of the polymer parts. I happen to own a couple of Glocks.

        1. If you follow the link, the video shows what the gun looks like on an X-ray. The frame is a slightly different color than the slide, but the shape is obviously that of a gun.

          1. Oh well, I guess The Sturmabteilung (TSA) was too busy looking at X-Rays of young women to notice something like the silhouette of a .40 Glock.

            1. we like them boys too

          1. He could have broken it down.

            1. Do you think people often break down loaded guns? Do you think a loaded magazine, full of solid metal bullets, might show up recognizably?

              1. Another nitpicker!

                Falsum in uno, falsum in omnibus! Is that how you argue?

                1. He could have broken it down, but the context of the article heavily suggests that he did not. People don’t carry around disassembled pistols “for protection.” Neither do most people, even journalists, consider disassembled weapons to be “loaded.”

                  It’s not nitpicking if it dismantles your entire argument. Take it like a man.

                  1. My only “mistake” was in giving TSA some credit. I thought the guy might have broken the gun down for cleaning or transportation purposes, it is done.

                    Turns out they can miss a fully loaded assembled one.

                    Falsum in uno, falsum in omnibus

                    A special version of this fallacy is known as falsum in uno, falsum in omnibus, essentially “false in something, false in everything”. This is a combination of a false dichotomy and an ad hominem attack, because it attempts to disregard everything the person is saying by the claim that they’re either presenting the truth or presenting falsehoods. It ignores the possibility that the individual is wrong about one thing but right about others. The fact that someone has been proven wrong about claims they made is a potential reason to suspect other claims they make, but not a logical reason to disregard them entirely.

                    1. You know what’s not a fallacy? The fact that you were utterly fucking wrong. The more you dig in your heels, the more embarrassing it gets.

                    2. You imagine I’m embarrassed thou wart encrusted lump of flesh?

                      This must be the first time you were right about anything in your entire life!

                      Gloat while you can monkey boy!

                    3. All you need to do now in order to back up your accusation of fallacy is to show where I actually did any of what’s in that description. You suggested that he might have broken it down; I offered justification as to why that was a ridiculous idea. There was neither a personal attack on you (that will follow) nor an attempt to expand your mistakes into arguments against anything else you said.

                      Now you look like a whiner (because of your whining about nitpicking) and an ignoramus (because of your ignorance about applying logical fallacies). Before you compound your error by accusing me of ad hominem, note that this section is completely divorced from any actual argument. These insults are entirely gratuitous.

                    4. Yeah, well you were a bad Poet!

                      Do you think people often break down loaded guns? Do you think a loaded magazine, full of solid metal bullets, might show up recognizably?

                      You assume I know nothing about guns.

                    5. I am an execrable poet. Show some respect.

                      I asked those questions because they illustrate the ridiculousness of your original proposal (that he had disassembled the weapon). The fact that they were rhetorical questions ought to show that I assumed you knew at least enough about guns to both answer them and to understand what those answers do to your argument.

                    6. The truth is, I only skimmed the article before posting, and I thought, how could this possibly happen?

                      Then my ideas were immediately pounced upon by Warty!

                      The real circumstances turned out to be more asinine than I imagined!

                      I can remember, long before 9/11, returning from Moscow to Kennedy and watching a Russian couple sticking a one gallon bottle of Vodka into a carry on. Later, by chance, I saw the bag with the outline of the bottle clearly displayed on the overhead X-Ray screen. The sight produced no reaction from custom’s officers or security.

                    7. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!

                      You don’t sound more intelligent the more you whine, Van.

                      Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!! Bitch…

                    8. But you, with this post, have demonstrated your intelligence, and your maturity.

            1. A schooner is a sailboat, stupid-head.

              1. Wow, a lotta Mallrats references around here lately.

                1. I made one yesterday, too. And I haven’t even seen that movie in like, eight years.

          2. And here I thought I could smuggle one of them thangs all this time. Guess it only works if you are unaware of what you are doing.

            1. “Guess it only works if you are unaware of what you are doing.”

              It works because you are dealing with the TSA. They fail to find almost all the fake bomb parts and guns whenever they are tested. And the people who are testing them aren’t oblivious of what they are doing. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone who was wearing a t-shirt that read I HAVE A GUN IN MY CARRY-ON made it through because the shirt disappears on the scanner image. They’re the govt version of a production line.

          3. A hairdrier. I got rid of my hairdrier 19. Not a fan. I prefer my leafblower 97B by CZ.

        2. They damned well ought to look enough like guns to the people who ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT STUFF FOR A LIVING

      2. “The “OMG PLASTIC GUNS!” hysteria of 20 years ago remains bullshit.”

        This was the worst part of Die Hard 2 IMO.

      1. What is this, the day of the nitpickers?

    2. Around 85 percent of a Glock’s weight is invested in steel. The slide and barrel on my Glock 17 were more heavily built than those on my comparable SIG P226.

      Do you believe in cop-killer bullets as well?

      1. Yes. Cops use killer bullets all of the time.

      2. You failed to notice that I own two Glocks even though Senator Kennedy disapproved.

  19. I’m wondering how other members of the Reason community feel about that sort of security screening process, as compared to the current TSA procedures?

    Personally, I think if you’re too much of a cowering pussy to accept an infinitesimal additional risk, you should stay home.

    But I’m depraved and maniacal.

    1. It’s true that the increased risk is tiny, there are thousands and thousands of flights all over the world each day, and another large scale, coordinated, attack on flights would be(hopefully? presumably? maybe?) thwarted by intelligence (can’t believe i said that, don’t hurt me).

      But its hard for the average person to be rational in the face of that particular kind of terror. I dont know what really compares to falling 30000 feet to the earth, enclosed in giant metal inferno of death.

      I mean, thats why terrorists go for airplanes, because a lot of people are already afraid to fly.

      Personally though, when i get on a plane, I worry more about mechanical failure than terrorists. I’d rather be shot or exploded, than live through an airplane hurtling toward the earth, knowing what was in store. I am totally a cowering pussy when it comes to airplanes.

      1. I worry more about mechanical failure than terrorists. I’d rather be shot or exploded, than live through an airplane hurtling toward the earth, knowing what was in store. I am totally a cowering pussy when it comes to airplanes.

        Seconded. Boats still exist, right?

        1. “”Seconded. Boats still exist, right?””

          You saw Jaws, right? 😉

      2. I’d rather be shot or exploded, than live through an airplane hurtling toward the earth,

        Don’t worry, you won’t live through it.

    2. TSA screening procedures are entirely psychological, not practical. That’s why they hire unimaginative procedure followers at TSA.

      Just follow orders and you’ll be safe.

    3. “…I’m depraved and maniacal”?
      I wish

      1. Rectal, your inane snark always gives you away.

        1. I still love you. Lol

  20. Oh, c’mon folks it was a Glock – the invisible plastic gun that Sen. Kennedy warned us about years ago.

    Either that or it is an admission just how ugly a Glock is – that even a TSA screener won’t look at it.

  21. just another WPA-style government jobs program.

    Why can’t they just limit themselves to sweeping sidewalks, and doing trail maintenance in the National Parks, then?

  22. The “OMG PLASTIC GUNS!” hysteria of 20 years ago remains bullshit.

    But- but- teh moooovieeez!!!11

  23. In the end, there will be no carry-on allowed, unless you are willing to have it opened for search. And then, we will all be perfectly safe from Glocks.

    1. “In the end, there will be no carry-on allowed, unless you are willing to have it opened for search.”

      Isn’t this already the case? I’ve had my bag opened several times because the x-ray screener didn’t recognize coffee beans or a pocketwatch.

  24. Joke time –
    Three nights ago, I was at a bar,
    A duck walks into a bar, bartender says, “whadya have”
    Duck says, “I’ll have the grapes”
    Bartender says, “We don’t have grapes, please leave”
    Two nights ago, the scene repeated
    A duck walked into the bar, bartender says, “whadya have”
    Duck says, “I’ll have the grapes”
    Bartender says, “Listen, I told you yesterday, no grapes, this is bar, now get out!” The duck leaves…
    Last night,
    the duck walks into a bar,
    the bartender says, “Look for two nights you’ve come in here asking for grapes, if you ask for grapes again, I’ll nail your feet to the floor. Now is there something I can get for you?”
    The Duck says, “I’ll have Nails”
    Bartender says, “Nails!…Nails? You sonofa…Look this is a bar we don’t have nails!”

    The Duck pauses, says, “In that case, I’ll have the grapes!!”

    HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!

  25. This just occurred to me, regarding aviation safety, risk and probability; I’m pretty sure I’ve heard this from “reputable” sources:

    If you think about all the money this country spends on Presidential security and protection, the single most cost-effective way to ensure he lives out his term of office would be to forbid him from flying in helicopters.
    But do we?

  26. failure rate approaches 70 percent

    I like the guy justifying it by saying the rent-a-cops are doing the best they can, but they get tired.

    Why are humans looking at the x-rays, anyway? Finding guns and knives in baggage shouldn’t be too difficult of an image processing problem.

    1. You can’t unionize computers.

      1. Would if we could.

  27. I happen to own a couple of Glocks.

    What would Nelson Muntz say?

    1. Oh yeah, Mr Smarty? Well what would you use to act out rap videos in your basement?

        1. Obviously Mac-10s, dipshit. Jesus. You must be some sort of stupid person or something.

          1. Does the phrase “I didn’t even have to use my A-K” mean nothing to you people.

  28. The TSA will be defeated. With sarcasm.

  29. He reported the incident as soon as he landed, shocked at the security lapse.

    I was expecting a punch line right after this sentence, where the guy gets arrested or detained for carrying the gun on the plane and having the complete lack of common sense to notify the authorities of their security lapse …

    Maybe if he’d filmed himself telling the TSA, and then posted it on YouTube, we could’ve have our RBNP TM (Radley Balko Nut Punch) this am …

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