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Terminal Dump at MAF after US Soldier attempts to bring bomb thru TSA checkpoint

Terminal Dump at MAF after US Soldier attempts to bring bomb thru TSA checkpoint

Old Dec 31, 11, 3:33 pm
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Terminal Dump at MAF after US Soldier attempts to bring bomb thru TSA checkpoint

Here's the link to articles:

Houston Chronicle:
Associated Press article: Soldier tries to take bombs on plane in Midland

Updated 03:15 p.m., Saturday, December 31, 2011


and

Odessa American:
2:27 p.m.: Explosives found at airport, military man in custody

December 31, 2011 10:38 AM


A short quote from the second article:
Midland International Airport was evacuated for about an hour Saturday morning after Transportation Security Administration officials found military-grade explosives in a serviceman’s carry-on bag.
and

The suspect has identified himself to investigating officials as active military and was in the Permian Basin to visit his family, Rackow said. The suspect and his family were on their way back to his base in North Carolina and he has been cooperative with FBI investigators, who were in charge of the case, Rackow said.
I used the word "bomb" in the subject line because that is the word that the AP and/or Houston Chronicle used.

Last edited by RatherBeOnATrain; Dec 31, 11 at 3:42 pm Reason: Corrected URL
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Old Dec 31, 11, 4:08 pm
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A bomb, or explosive material?

It probably doesn't matter to the aiuthorities, but there is a big difference.

Two major questions, however.

1. If they caught the material before he made it through security, why was it necessary to close the terminal and do a search?

2. Did he transport the material on his original flight fr0m North Carolina?
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Old Dec 31, 11, 5:54 pm
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He should have waited until active-duty military personnel become exempt from screening.

With luck he may just have killed that proposal stone dead ^ .
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Old Dec 31, 11, 6:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Wally Bird View Post
He should have waited until active-duty military personnel become exempt from screening.

With luck he may just have killed that proposal stone dead ^ .
Here's hoping (tho not waiting for the TSA to post this as a self-promoting "big catch" on the TSA website where TSO's actually did their job )

Now with that being said, if it happened as described, the pax is a moron
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Old Dec 31, 11, 6:05 pm
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?? Wonder if he thought he was already exempt from screening somehow because he's military? Did I miss it or was he in uniform?
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Old Dec 31, 11, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
?? Wonder if he thought he was already exempt from screening somehow because he's military? Did I miss it or was he in uniform?
Yes, he in the uniform and yes, he is in military. I don't blame him and he didn't have to carry his explosives at all. He didn't have any his suspicious package.

Wasn't he allowed to fly? Lucky that he didn't get arrested for that. he was cooperative with FBI while they were investigation during this incident.
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Old Dec 31, 11, 7:51 pm
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Sounded like high-grade military stuff (C4's ??) but likely just tiny amount (based on photos of disposal container used to transport) in wraps, enough to cause major damage if set off at 30,000 ft. - otherwise, they would've establish a 30 ft. safety zone but did a terminal dumb instead, having everyone go across the parking lot, as far as they could or whatever

TSA blogger finally got something pretty good to brag about - sadly, it might just be a poor choice of wartime souvenir from our trusted solider, which - some believed should be exempt from screening, hmmm.
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Old Dec 31, 11, 8:22 pm
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I'm not aware of any laws/proposals that say military should be exempt from screening; I have only seen some fast track like proposals (shoes on, jacket on), much like the trusted traveller tests.

Could you provide some links, I'd love to get up-to-date on those as I am out-of-the-loop with my travels the last three weeks

Happy New Year.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 2:06 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingHoustonian View Post
I'm not aware of any laws/proposals that say military should be exempt from screening; I have only seen some fast track like proposals (shoes on, jacket on), much like the trusted traveller tests.

Could you provide some links, I'd love to get up-to-date on those as I am out-of-the-loop with my travels the last three weeks

Happy New Year.
As far as I know, no such law or proposal exist. Congress has passed a bill that provides quicker screening for military in uniform and their family, but they will still be screened. Last I read the bill was sent to Obama, but I am not sure on its status, if it is signed into law or not.

And currently, TSA is only testing an ID reader for military at 1 or 2 airports (cant remember exactly how many and where), but nothing is in the works to have them exempt either.

With that said, I agree with the law proposed by Congress, and hope Obama signs it.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 2:17 am
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Originally Posted by N830MH View Post
Yes, he in the uniform and yes, he is in military. I don't blame him and he didn't have to carry his explosives at all. He didn't have any his suspicious package.

Wasn't he allowed to fly? Lucky that he didn't get arrested for that. he was cooperative with FBI while they were investigation during this incident.
I think being arrested is one of his smaller worries. I am sure that right now every part of his life is being investigated and looked at - he basically has no private life as of now. The FBI will be looking for any ties he might have to possible terrorist groups.

However, I suspect this was not related to terrorism (could be wrong). And if not, most likely all the years this man spent in the military are now down the drain. No retirement/pension if he is discharged because of this. No medical benefits former military personal currently enjoy. All those years of service wasted, and all to most likely keep what he more than likely considered a "parting gift", a souvenir, from his time in service.

And once out of the military, to part in such a way, what type of job will he be able to get with this on his record? At least being sent to jail will put a roof over his head and feed him and provide medical care. Seriously. This guys life is ruined.

But in a sense what he did is not that uncommon, just more extreme, I would say. More than a few times I have found military who have taken ammo with them as a souvenir, a gift to themselves. A little ammo is not really a big thing to steal. Wrong, certainly. But this is something altogether different.

So, yeah, he better be cooperating with the FBI. I'm sure he is hoping that they don't throw the book at him, so to speak.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 2:22 am
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Originally Posted by Allan38103 View Post
A bomb, or explosive material?

It probably doesn't matter to the aiuthorities, but there is a big difference.
You are correct. There is a big difference, and if all this man had were explosives, no functioning IED, I would consider it a more serious threat.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 2:23 am
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Originally Posted by Allan38103 View Post
1. If they caught the material before he made it through security, why was it necessary to close the terminal and do a search?

2. Did he transport the material on his original flight from North Carolina?
To answer question 2 first, I do not know. Perhaps we will find out?

As to question 1, see my post just above.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 7:54 am
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USA Today.com also picked up the AP story.

I find myself in the unenviable position of agreeing with SATTSO. Based on the limited amount of info in these stories, I think this is probably a case of a soldier trying to take home a little souvenir of his service in the form of explosive materials, and being too dumb to know that the checkpoint would probably discover them.

Of course, I feel obligated to point out that the AIT didn't discover the explosives, nor did an invasive rubdown, nor did even the ETD swabs (which I support as a primary search methodology) - it was initially detected by the carry-on x-ray scanner and subsequently identified by visual inspection. This part of the system, it seems, not only works exactly the way it's supposed to, but also seems to have done the job that $1.4 billion worth of AIT is supposed to do (and thus far hasn't).

Fortunately, this guy probably posed no threat to the aircraft and was simply trying to smuggle something prohibited home with him. It is possible that the guy truly did intend to blow something up and simply hadn't attached the detonating equipment to the explosives yet. It's also possible that he wasn't carrying explosives at all, but was carrying something else wrapped in used explosives wrappers. However, nothing is conclusive as yet, so I'll withhold judgment on whether this a Good Catch or the first truly Big Catch.

No matter what actually happened, I think the guy was obviously an idiot, because trying to bring explosives wrappers onto a plane with him, no matter what was inside the wrappers and no matter what he intended to do with the wrappers and their contents, was just plain, old-fashioned stupidity.

This is one of the few incidents where TSA seems to have done their job correctly.

That's one. Only about 700,999,999 to go for 2012 to be a banner year for TSA.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by Allan38103 View Post
A bomb, or explosive material?

It probably doesn't matter to the aiuthorities, but there is a big difference.

Two major questions, however.

1. If they caught the material before he made it through security, why was it necessary to close the terminal and do a search?

2. Did he transport the material on his original flight fr0m North Carolina?
1. When explosives are found, it seems only prudent to me to search the terminal to be sure he had no confederates with other explosives. This is still a knee-jerk reaction to 9/11, wherein the bad guys acted in concert on 4 separate flights to attack multiple targets, but even so, it's not a bad thing to evacuate the terminal till it's determined that there was only one explosives package present.

2. That's a scary thought; it would mean that TSA in his origin airport completely failed to detect the explosives. On the other hand, he could have originally traveled by other means, such as bus, car, train, or MAC.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by SATTSO View Post
I think being arrested is one of his smaller worries. I am sure that right now every part of his life is being investigated and looked at - he basically has no private life as of now. The FBI will be looking for any ties he might have to possible terrorist groups.

However, I suspect this was not related to terrorism (could be wrong). And if not, most likely all the years this man spent in the military are now down the drain. No retirement/pension if he is discharged because of this. No medical benefits former military personal currently enjoy. All those years of service wasted, and all to most likely keep what he more than likely considered a "parting gift", a souvenir, from his time in service.

.

If he worked for the TSA the press release would tell us that he would simply be "retrained"
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