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Tag: TSA

Putin Urges NSA Leaker Snowden to Leave Russia As Soon As Possible

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hopes the diplomatic nightmare surrounding NSA leaker Edward Snowden is soon over.

The USA Today reports that Putin wants Snowden to leave the country at the “earliest opportunity.”

“As soon as there is an opportunity for him to move elsewhere, I hope he will do that. He is familiar with the conditions of granting political asylum, and judging by the latest statements, is shifting his position. The situation is not clear now,” Putin said.

Snowden has been in legal limbo in the transit area of Moscow’s main international airport.

TSA Draw Criticism for New Policy That Would Allow Knives, Golf Clubs on Planes

tsa.gov

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The announcement by the Transportation Security Administration last week that knives and other prohibited items will be permitted in airline cabs has incensed some travelers, lawmakers, aviation professionals and TSA employees, CNN reports. 

“I am aware of the argument that anything can be made into a weapon, but knives make it easy,” Nikki Stern, who lost her husband in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, told CNN. “The rules are so enormously confusing for the passenger and so arbitrarily applied.”

The new rule would allow knives with blades 2.36 inches or shorter on airline cabins, but blades cannot be fixed or locked into place.

Passengers also will be permitted to carry sports equipment such as two golf clubs, toy bats, ski poles, hockey sticks and pool cues.

The rules are to go into effect April 25.

Husband Kills TSA Baggage Inspector in Murder Suicide at Cleveland Airport Parking Lot

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A bagage inspector for the Transportation Security Administration was fatally shot by her husband Sunday morning in a murder-suicide at the Cleveland airport, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

The shooting took place in the employee parking lot of the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, the paper reported.

The paper identified the TSA worker as Kimberly Alkahder, 20. Her husband, who shot himself,  was  identified as Ahmad Alkahder, 28. The couple was estranged.

 

 

Report: Homeland Security Employees Are Disproportionately Affected by Low Morale

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security is plagued with low morale, much more so than other federal agencies, according to a Department of Homeland Security report.

The report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office urges the DHS to determine the reason for low morale and solve the problem.

“GAO found that despite having broad performance metrics in place to track and assess DHS employee morale on an agencywide level, DHS does not have specific metrics within the action plans that are consistently clear and measurable,” the GAO report concluded.

The report examined four agencies within DHS: ICE, TSA, Border Protection and the Coast Guard.

Job satisfaction, according to the report, is being affected by perceptions of low pay and unfairness of performance evaluations.

Two TSA Officers Indicted on Charges of Smuggling Cocaine Through Atlanta Airport

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Two Transportation Security Administration  officers were indicted Tuesday on charges of conspiring and attempting to smuggle cocaine through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

Richard C. Cook II, 27, of Henry County, Ga. and Timothy G. Gregory, 25, of DeKalb County, Ga. were indicted by a grand jury on multiple drug counts.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Our nation’s well-being depends, in part, on the security of its airports,” Atlanta U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement. “Moreover, the citizens of this district are entitled to law enforcement officers who obey the laws that they have sworn to enforce. The crimes with which Cook and Gregory are charged created a breach in the security of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and betrayed the trust of millions of passengers who travel through this airport each year.”

 

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Angry Ex-TSA Worker Gropes TSA Supervisor

House Votes Down Proposal to Downgrade TSA Uniforms

tsa.gov

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Can a uniform itself lead to abuse of power? If the uniform in question belongs to TSA airport screeners, the House says “No”.

Thursday the House voted down a proposal that would have stripped Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport screeners of badges, shields and police-like uniforms, reports The Hill. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) had proposed the uniform downgrade in response to complaints of abuses by undertrained TSA agents who appeared dangerously similar to trained police, especially to vulnerable travelers.

The House voted against her amendment 131-282. Those against Blackburn’s proposal seemed to agree that there is power in uniform, but of a positive nature.

Rep. David Price (D-Ga.) asked, “Why would we do this? What an insult to these people.”

“What is a badge? It is a dignity that is allowed to those who are on the front lines of the nation’s security.” confirmed Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas).

Though Blackburn’s main concern was reported abuses by uniformed TSA agents, she said TSA had spent more than $1 million in taxpayer money on badges alone since 2009.

To read more click here.

32 Guns Found at U.S. Airports in a Week

tsa photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After Sept. 11, 2001, it’s still amazing to find how common it is for people to bring guns to airports.

On occasion, ticklethewire.com likes to check in to see just how many folks still bring guns.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, 30 loaded guns and two unloaded ones were discovered at airport checkpoints during the week of May 11 to May 17.

A TSA blog also noted that there were seven incidents in a week in which drugs were found on passengers using imaging technology.

“We’re not looking for drugs, but finding these nonmetallic items in areas where explosives could also be hidden is a testament that the technology works,” the TSA blog said. “In addition to these discoveries, there was also a passenger at Anchorage who attempted to sneak in a tube of toothpaste by placing it in her groin area. This was an attempt to get it through after we had already caught it in her bag earlier. If you’re not familiar with why toothpaste is prohibited, you can read about our liquid policies here.”

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