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Tag: Airports

TSA Warns Local Police about More Invasive Physical Pat-Downs at Airports

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA is beginning to conduct more invasive physical pat-downs at airports nationwide, but it’s not entirely clear what that will entail.

But the agency informed local police of the new procedures because of suspicions that passengers will complain about “abnormal” federal frisking, Bloomberg reports.

Bloomberg wrote:

The decision to alert local and airport police raises a question of just how intimate the agency’s employees may get. On its website, the TSA says employees “use the back of the hands for pat-downs over sensitive areas of the body. In limited cases, additional screening involving a sensitive area pat-down with the front of the hand may be needed to determine that a threat does not exist.”

Now, security screeners will use the front of their hands on a passenger in a private screening area if one of the prior screening methods indicates the presence of explosives, according to a “security notice” Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) sent its U.S. members following a March 1 conference call with TSA officials

“Due to this change, TSA asked FSDs [field security directors] to contact airport law enforcement and brief them on the procedures in case they are notified that a passenger believes a [TSA employee] has subjected them to an abnormal screening practice,” ACI wrote.

President Trump to Issue New Travel Ban Order That Removes Iraqis from List

airport-people-walkingBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump is expected to sign a new executive order Monday to replace his previous U.S. travel ban, which was blocked by courts.

Reuters reports that Iraq will be removed from the list of countries targeted in the travel ban.

The order would impose a 90-day ban on travel from the U.S. to six Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Iraq was removed from the original order because of new vetting procedures and its work helping the U.S. combat ISIS.

The new order also isn’t expected to impact tens of thousands of legal permanent residents who are green card holders.

President Trump’s Federal Hiring Freeze Could Hurt TSA

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has pledged to make airports and planes safer, but his federal hiring freeze could impact TSA’s ability to adequately staff airport security lines.

“It’s our understanding that there is a hiring freeze for TSA and other departments inside of Homeland Security,” J. David Cox, the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), said at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Thursday, The Hill reports. 

Trump signed an order last week freezing the hiring of federal employees, except for military personnel.

“I think some type of correspondence should go out to the administration in terms of maybe looking at that freeze in this area,” said Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) “Making sure that the traveling public is safe should not be something that’s curtailed. I really think that’s something that needs to be addressed.”

Cox said the TSA has lots a lot of security officers.

The TSA still has “5,000 less transportation security officers today than… several years ago,” Cox said. “So we have less people doing more screening. That 5,000 that’s been lost needs to be returned.”

Border Agents Defy Judges’ Orders on Trump’s Travel Ban

Protesters at Detroit Metro Airport rally against Trump’s executive order. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Patrol agents ignored the orders of federal judges who said Donald Trump’s travel bans are unenforceable, members of congress and civil rights attorneys said.

Muslims from the seven countries on the travel-ban list were still being detained Sunday, two days after three judges ordered a temporary halt to the deportation of people who had arrived with valid visas in the U.S., the Guardian reports. 

On Sunday, four Democratic members of the House of Representatives visited Dulles airport in Virginia after it was discovered that people had been detained and weren’t allowed to see lawyers.

“We have a constitutional crisis today,” representative Don Beyer wrote on Twitter. “Four members of Congress asked CBP officials to enforce a federal court order and were turned away.”

Representative Jamie Raskin also tweeted, “As far as I know no attorney has been allowed to see any arriving passenger subject to Trumps exec order at Dulles today.”

He added: “CBP appears to be saying people in their custody not ‘detained’ technically & Dulles international arrivals areas not in the United States.”

Homeland Security has declined to comment.

Protests were launched across the country to protest the ban on travel from the seven Muslim-majority countries.

Homeland Security Tries to Alleviate Chaos Around Muslim Travel Ban

Protest at Detroit Metro Airport over President Trump's travel ban. Photo by Steve Neavling.

Protest at Detroit Metro Airport over President Trump’s travel ban. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security was caught in a tough position this weekend after President Trump signed an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The department, which is in charge of enforcing the refugee ban, said it’s obeying the court orders that temporarily halt parts of the plan, NBC News reports.

“We are committed to ensuring that all individuals affected by the executive orders, including those affected by the court orders, are being provided all rights afforded under the law,” the statement said.

Trump’s executive order caused chaos at airports as Muslims were detained and thousands protested.

“Prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety,” the department said in a statement.

The White House did little to clear up the confusion, initially saying the executive order applies to green card holders or permanent residents. White House officials changed course over the weekend, suggesting that green card holders and permanent U.S. citizens will not be detained.

Trump’s choice for Homeland Security Adviser Could Impact Travelers Using TSA’s PreCheck

airport lineBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’ choice for homeland security adviser could impact travelers who use the TSA’s PreCheck process.

Thomas P. Bossert, a former aide to former President George W. Bush, has expressed skepticism about the PreCheck process, saying more stringent background checks and longer wait times may be necessary, the Palm Beach Daily News reports. 

“Tom brings enormous depth and breadth of knowledge and experience to protecting the homeland to our senior White House team,” Trump said in a news release. “He has a handle on the complexity of homeland security, counter terrorism, and cyber security challenges. He will be an invaluable asset to our administration.”

In op-eds, Bossert said the TSA “is not an intelligence agency. It is historically a consumer of intelligence gathered and analyzed by others.”

More people are using PreCheck to alleviate long waits at airports, with more than 4 million people signed up.

However, some observers have criticized the system as lax and may have holes in the background checks process.

“There is no screening algorithm and no database check that can accurately predict human behavior — especially on the scale of millions,” former TSA administrator Kip Hawley said last week in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times.

Other Stories of Interest

Dozens of Firearms Discovered at Airports Nationwide During Holiday Travel Break

Firearms discovered by the TSA during the holiday travel period. Photo via TSA.

Firearms discovered by the TSA during the holiday travel period. Photo via TSA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

During the busy holiday travel break, the TSA found 80 firearms in carry-on bags at airports nationwide.

Of the 80 firearms, 65 were loaded, according to a weekly TSA blog. A round was chambered in 26 of the guns.

TSA officials also found four tubes of gun powder in a checked bag at Sioux Falls.

Officials also found grenades in checked bags at New Bern and Raleigh-Durham. Two swords were discovered in a carry-on in Atlanta.

Despite the TSA’s constant reminders about banned items, travelers continue to try to carry firearms and other weapons in carry-on bags.

Travelers are permitted to bring firearms in their checked baggage if they declare them with the airline.

Other Stories of Interest

Corpse And Post-Apocalyptic Gas Mask Among Bizarre Discoveries at Airports

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

From a corpse to a post-apocalyptic gas mask, the TSA has found some bizarre items from travelers in 2016.

Here is the top 10 list compiled by TSA:

10) Hand Grenade Trailer Hitch Cover: San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP) 

9) Hello Kitty Firearm: Bradley International Airport (BDL) 

8) Negan’s Bat Lucille: Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) 

7) Golden Hand Grenade: Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) 

6) Replica Suicide Vest: Richmond International Airport (RIC) 

5) Bladed Dragon Claw: Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) 

4) Dead Seahorses in Brandy Bottle: Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) 

3) Five-Bladed Flogger: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) 

2) Post-Apocalyptic Bullet Adorned Gas Mask: Miami International Airport (MIA) 

1) Movie Prop Corpse: Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) 

Other Stories of Interest