Undercover operation reveals gaps in TSA screenings

Undercover operation reveals gaps in TSA screenings

Undercover tests meant to judge the effectiveness of security checkpoints when it came to detecting potentially harmful objects at multiple airports ended with startling results, prompting members of Congress to decry the "broken" TSA.

The House Homeland Security Committee was told Wednesday that DHS investigators found that undercover officers were able to pass TSA checkpoints over 70 percent of the time with mock knives, guns, and explosives, CBS News reported.

CBS reports that whether the failure percentage is closer to 70 or 80, that it still represents an improvement than the 95 percent failure rate from just two years ago.

Word of those security lapses has some travelers at RDU International Airport anxious.

After a classified briefing to the House Committee on Homeland Security, several members of Congress admonished the failures of the TSA as "disturbing".

It's unclear exactly how often workers failed to spot the weapons because the number was revealed in closed session.

The DHS did not publicly release the rate at which the TSA failed, but one insider told ABC News that an 80-percent failure rate was "in the ballpark".

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McCaul called America's aviation sector the "crown jewel of terrorist targets" and said, "America's enemies only have to be right once, while we have to be right 100 percent".

The agency is asking for more money to roll out new cat scan type of screeners to better check carry-on bag for weapons.

However, that investment in CT technology requires funding above what TSA now has, Pekoske said.

"We continue to work with our partners across the global aviation community to collaborate, innovate, and implement new security practices in the face of evolving threats", Pekoske said in a statement.

What did the TSA say?

"Instead the administration seems hell-bent on squandering billions on a boondoggle border wall that would do nothing to make the nation more secure".

According to ABCNews.com, government officials have offered at least eight recommendations to the TSA to improve checkpoint security, but no details were provided about which specific measures would be taken to improve.

Pekoske also acknowledged that poor morale at the TSA is likely a factor.

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