Forget the TSA, You Can Buy Bomb-Making Materials After Airport Security


I can't vouch for the chemistry here, but independent security researcher Evan Booth has a video up at LiveLeak demonstrating the construction of a grenade with materials purchased at an airport after passing through TSA security. This is just the latest very interesting revelation from Booth, who runs Terminal Cornucopia, a site dedicated to tapping into your inner MacGyver at the airport. So far, he's built blowguns, incendiaries, and crossbows, among other items the Transportation Security Administration might wish you not acquire at the airport gift shop. The fragguccino grenade made with a coffee mug, body spray, and other goodies is a new addition.

The blurb over at LiveLeak reads:

Security researcher builds grenade in under 8 minutes using items available in airport terminal. All materials required to build this weapons were purchased in an airport AFTER the security screening.

Booth says "All of these findings have been reported to the Department of Homeland Security (TSA) to help them better detect these types of threats," so if, on your next trip, you find that thermal coffee mugs have been replaced at the airport by old-fashioned styrofoam cups, you know who to blame.

Then again, if I remember my misspent youth, you can do fascinating things with styrofoam. Or sugar. Or…

Life just can't be made "safe" by putting people in uniforms and letting them glare at you and grab your junk. We should know that by now, but this is an effective reminder.

Booth is available for conferences and events. Parties, too, I hope.

NEXT: At Least Two Dead in Libyan Capital in Clashes Between Demonstrators and Former Rebels

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  1. Booth says "All of these findings have been reported to the Department of Homeland Security (TSA) to help them better detect these types of threats," so if, on your next trip, you find that thermal coffee mugs have been replaced at the airport by old-fashioned styrofoam cups, you know who to blame.

    Goddamnit, Booth. I was just starting to like you.

    1. It's a good thing McGyver's 'Murikan.

  2. I was in JFK's JetBlue terminal a few months ago, and I had dinner and a few Sapporos at the sushi counter (inside the sterile area). There was a 10" sushi knife left unattended on the counter for the entire hour I was sitting there.

    Of course I decided against pointing it out. I really wanted my flight to leave on time.

  3. Misspent youth....

    M-80's in mailboxes.
    Unwrapped model rocket engines.
    Model rockets!!!
    A model ship + A pond + A .22 rifle = Fun!
    A spider bike + some plywood + logs laying about = Evel Kneivel!

    1. Sigh... hardware stores in NYC have to keep spray paint and Stanley knife blades under lock and key; the hardware stores of my Southern youth sold firearms, DMSO, and dynamite.

      1. Probably anhydrous ammonia, too.

    2. Back in the 80s I went through airport security with a model rocket in my carry-on. Figured the fins would be broken off if it was packed into my regular luggage. It must have been amusing to see a fourteen year old kid explaining to a security guy that it was nothing more than a painted paper tube with balsa fins and a plastic nose cone.

      Today they'd probably lock down the entire airport before locking me up for life.

      1. Hell, back in the 80s I walked through customs coming back from Italy with a bottle of wine in my hand (I was worried that it would break otherwise). I was 15 and I had bought it for my dad. No one blinked, no one questioned me, no one freaked out that a teenager was carrying an alcoholic beverage.

        1. I did the same thing with Guaro from Costa Rica when I was 16. I was over the 5 liter limit, so I let them take the excess instead of paying the tax.

          It wasn't for my dad, though.

          1. Ugh. Guaro. You should have let them take the whole thing.

            1. 5 liters of ANY liquor makes for a good summer in high school.

              Can't say I've had Guaro since, though.

              1. That's true. I spent six months down there. I'm still convinced that they have decent liquor somewhere and Guaro is what they use to keep America from annexing them.

                1. Meh, it'll cure a mean hangover.

                  My local store just started carrying Salsa Lizano and Cerveza Imperial. I'm pretty fired up about it.

                  1. I had Imperial once since they started exporting it to the states. Now I remember why I was only willing to drink it because Budweiser cost twice as much. Face it, the Ticos have many things going for them, beautiful country, beautiful people, great fishing, legal prostitution of said beautiful people, etc. BUT, their alcohol sucks. I mean it works, but it doesn't taste particularly good.

      2. You don't even have to go back to the 80s. I flew a few months before 9/11 and I had a Ka-Bar knife in my carry on. It was a small knife (1.8in blade I believe), but no one blinked. The next time I flew, I couldn't bring my freaking nail clippers with me on the plane. I know I felt so much safer.

        1. Benchmade switch-blade w/ 3 in blade... travelled all around the world just prior to 9/11. Japan was the only hiccup and they made me gate check it.

        2. Back in '87, I boarded a plane at SFO with a big-assed wok. The people at the gate found it humorous. I could have walked into the cabin mid-flight and knocked out both pilots.

          1. Guess I meant cockpit, not cabin.

            1. Do you like gladiator movies, EAP?

      3. I walked aboard planes with a 4" Buck Folding Hunter in a case on my belt. No one cared.

  4. If I didn't absolutely know better, I would almost think that all of the heavy-handed security protocols in place at our airports are just empty theatrics that don't make flying one bit safer.

    1. It's measured in Potential Plots Thwarted.

      Or PPT. Currently PPT is ?

      1. I'd be willing to let them continue claiming that PPT is inf if they would just stop the theatrics. Can't we compromise?

    2. There's no theatrics involved in the protocols. They will work perfectly to ensure that whenever statistics happen and a bad guy gets through, those that are a threat are perfectly disarmed and defenseless.

      It's for that sake that they exist. And all the theatrics happen afterwards.

      1. those that are not a threat are...


  5. Booth is available for conferences and events." Parties", too, I hope.

    Yeah. Cocktail parties! Amirite?

    1. Just don't get him to do Our American Cousin.

      1. I'm always struck by how surreal it must have seemed to America to hear that John Wilkes Booth, arguably the most famous and popular actor in the US at the time, killed Lincoln.

        That would be like Ryan Gosling assassinating Obama.

        1. Interesting. Who would play his love interest?

            1. Brilliant! When does shooting start?

              1. Brilliant! When does shooting start?

                Buh-dump ting!

                1. Thank you, I'll be here all week. Make sure to tip Hugh, your waitress.

                  1. Best Drunk History segment evar. The Winona Rider one wasn't bad, though. And teh Watergate one, too.

              2. what kind of shooting?

                1. damn...out of practice

        2. But B000sh! Don't fret it any, actors only go after Republican characters.

        3. Not quite. No mass media then, so 99% of Americans wouldn't have even known what he looked like even if he was the most famous actor of the age, though a few might have heard of him.

  6. It makes a loud bang but how much damage would it do?

    1. To the person who detonated it? Either several dozen bullet-shaped holes or a lifetime of simulated drowning effects.

      1. Ladies and Gentlemen I present: Mr. Soon To Be Spending The Rest Of His Short-Ass Life In Agonizing Pain.

    2. To the window or cockpit door it was placed against? Potentially noteworthy.

      1. Completely uneventful. It is unlikely to crack either, and neither would cause a plane to crash.

        Of course, neither would the Footsie Bomber or the Panty Bomber. It's all BS.

    3. Had the same thought. It might injure a few people who happened to be near it when it detonated, but it would be unlikely to kill anyone (though strange things occasionally happen).

  7. From a Raw Story article on Obamacare:

    MargaretEDavis ? a minute ago ?
    Can you believe this and I have been saying it all along. The Homeland Security Department has confirmed SIXTEEN CYBERATTACKS against the ACA website. And people are complaining it isn't working correctly. Most people really believed that the republicans were messing with it, now Homeland Security confirms it. These absolute POS will do anything to harm the American people thinking stuff like this will get them elected. This should be a breaking headline.

    Wreckers! Hoarders! Kulaks! Comrade Obama's Glorious Five Year Healthcare Plan has been sabotaged from day one!

    1. Wait, PJ Media assured me these "cyberattacks" were the work of the perfidious and inscrutable Chinee. But now you're telling me the Republicans are in league with them?!?

      I don't know what to believe anymore!

    2. I think that part of working correctly involves being able to withstand or quickly recover from cyber attacks. It's not as if all the commercial sites that are functional 99.9% of the time aren't also subject to attacks.

      1. Exactly. For such a high profile website, 16 attacks seems remarkably low.

    3. The Republicans? Why look for dark conspiracies when none are necessary? The site is a disaster without DoS attacks, and, of course, the government is making sure that PII is being exposed in an obviously insecure environment. No way that would attract identity thieves, right?

      1. Dark conspiracies ARE necessary for some of these people so that their word views don't collapse.

    4. Team Red can't even do social media right. I have a hard time believing they could pull off a DDoS attack.

      1. Corporations like Apple and Google have expertise in technical thingees, and the Republicans are supported solely by rich people and corporations. QED.

    5. I'm missing the part where the "cyberattacks" (aren't ancient internet terms cute?) were confirmed as being "from the Republicans". I guess I just wasn't paying attention.

      1. Here's your mistake: All enemies of the Democrats and anything they do are Republicans. Lightning strikes Obama? Republicans. Russian hackers attack a website? Republicans. Hitler? Republican.

        1. Reality is a Republican? Shit, I had no idea.

          1. Well, no, not really. But Democrats think so. That's why they won't invite reality to parties or acknowledge its existence.

            1. Yeah, the reality-based community is pretty darned small.

      2. It was probably just /b/tards

    6. Most people really believed that the republicans were messing with it, now Homeland Security confirms it.

      They traced it back to Republican operatives?

      1. Well, terrorists. You know, teabaggers.

    7. Only 16? Our lame-ass little blogs at my work get more attacks on a daily basis.

      1. Given what a mother lode of identity theft they are building there, I suspect at least a zero, likely more, got left off that "16".

    8. Seriously, the whole O-care web-site story is strictly a Sirius Cybernetics Corporation situation. (For non-Hitchhikers, look it up.) The superficial design flaws only serve as cover for the fundamental design flaws. People are so happy when they get the stupid web-site to do anything, they completely overlook the fact that it's usually not anything they actually wanted to do in the first place.

  8. Life just can't be made "safe" by putting people in uniforms and letting them glare at you and grab your junk.

    I have found that my life is made safer by not getting involved in other people's fights and by not attacking other people who have not attacked me. But what do I know?

  9. Nothing new. The purpose of the TSA, if it has a purpose, is to stop dumb terrorists. It's sort of like your deadbolt in your front door, it's only going to stop dumb burglars.

    The few times the terrorists succeed is because they do the totally unexpected. The modus operandi of the TSA is to react to known tactics. This is why we have to take our shoes off, even though no terrorist has ever killed anything with his shoe larger than a cockroach. The TSA doesn't have the chutzpah to tell us to remove our underwear, so they use nudie scanners instead. But no terrorist has ever damaged anything with his underwear other than his nuts and our noses.

    I can think of a dozen ways to smuggle an explosive onboard an aircraft. If an intelligent terrorist wanted to take down a plane in a terrorist attack, he could easily do so. Fortunately for us intelligent suicidal terrorists are few and far between.

  10. Why do I get the sense that Booth will not be available for conferences and events because he was arrested after posting a video where he created and detonated an unregistered destructive device.

    1. Clearly this domestic terrorist's way too dangerous to try to apprehend. Drones away!

  11. I suspect Booth is playing a "the worse the better" game here. He's trying to provoke the TSA into stripping all this stuff out of the sterile zone.

    And sure, why not? Its pretty clear that TSA will have to get worse before there is any kind of popular revolt.

  12. An ordinary belt - you know, that device which you remove from your pants and retrieve after scanning - can be a weapon; it can be used as a garrote or as a whip. I once saw a video of a woman pulling off her pants and whipping a policeman who had been harassing her for lacking a vending permit.

    1. I could kill you with your shoelaces, if I were feeling really motivated. "Disarmed" is only a state of mind.

  13. About halfway in, I think I know exactly how he made this. Its actually very very very easy and the main principle is learned in low level chemistry class. What this proves is the TSAs bash everyone approach simply does not work and only Israel-style behavioral profiling will detect malicious persons.

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