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February 25, 2014
5:21 pm

Last week, I was in the Netherlands where I participated in @tomic 2014, an international table-top exercise conducted from February 18-20 that focused on international efforts to prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism. As we have seen from seizures of weapon-grade nuclear material in Georgia in 2010 and Moldova in 2011, such materials remain in illegal circulation on the black market, where they are vulnerable to smugglers and potential terrorists. To combat this threat, nations must work together, build capabilities and enhance communications through exercises such as @tomic 2014.

The U.S. delegation to @tomic 2014 was led by the Department of State (DOS) and included representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS, along with DOS, helped design and facilitate @tomic 2014, which involved fictitious but realistic nuclear security scenarios, including smuggling and the threat of terrorism, on a global scale. 

Altogether, 31 nations and several international organizations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, International Criminal Police Organization, European Police Office, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Institute, and the European Commission, participated in this exercise, with additional nations observing. During the course of three days, over 200 international participants had the opportunity to practice working together in an exercise to respond to nuclear threats. 

One of the major goals of this Dutch-led exercise was to enhance knowledge and awareness of how nuclear forensics can be used in nuclear smuggling cases. Nuclear forensics helps to determine the possible source of smuggled material, gauge the extent of global smuggling networks, and help refine investigative priorities. As a result, nuclear forensics is playing an increasingly valuable role internationally in nuclear smuggling cases.

@tomic 2014 is one of three events leading up to the Nuclear Security Summit 2014 that will also be hosted by the Netherlands in The Hague on March 24-25 with the expected participation of almost 60 world leaders.  The exercise supported key goals of enhancing and sustaining nuclear security for the future, and advancing regional and international cooperation to enable an effective global nuclear security community.  

Preventing a nuclear or radiological terrorist attack against the United States is the mission of the nuclear experts, law enforcement, and military personnel who make up the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office at DHS and collaborating with our international partners in these types of exercises and events are vital in our efforts to help build global counter nuclear smuggling capabilities.

February 12, 2014
12:51 pm

Posted by Suzanne Spaulding, Acting Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate

As technology evolves, the majority of our nation’s critical infrastructure will continue to rely heavily on cyber-dependent systems to make operations more efficient and bring essential services to their customers. These systems operate everything from power plants to pipelines and hospitals to highways, which we often take for granted until they stop working. 

Today, the Department of Homeland Security announced the creation of the Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community C³ [pronounced C-Cubed] Voluntary Program. This program is an innovative public-private partnership designed to help align critical infrastructure owners and operators with existing resources that will assist their efforts to adopt the Cybersecurity Framework and manage their cyber risks.

Last year, President Obama signed Executive Order (EO) 13636: Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, which has changed the way we approach critial infrastructure cybersecurity, and released Presidential Policy Directive (PPD)-21, which aims to increase the overall resilience of our Nation’s critical infrastructure. Together, the EO and PPD drive action toward a whole of community approach to risk management, security and resilience.

The Cybersecurity Framework—developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in collaboration with industry—consists of standards, guidelines, and best practices to promote the protection of critical infrastructure through cyber risk management. In support of these goals, the program seeks to be flexible, allowing organizations to participate in the C³ Voluntary Program in different ways.

The C³ Voluntary Program emphasizes three C’s:

  • Converging critical infrastructure community resources to support cybersecurity risk management and resilience through use of the Framework;
  • Connecting critical infrastructure stakeholders to the national resilience effort through cybersecurity resilience advocacy, engagement and awareness; and
  • Coordinating critical infrastructure cross sector efforts to maximize national cybersecurity resilience. 

The primary goals of the C³ Voluntary Program are to support industry in increasing cyber resilience, to increase awareness and use of the Cybersecurity Framework, and encourage organizations to manage cybersecurity as part of an all hazards approach to enterprise risk management.

Both the private sector and government have a role to play in strengthening our nation’s critical infrastructure security and resilience, including cybersecurity, and it is imperative that we as a country take coordinated actions to achieve this goal. We encourage companies and organizations to join the C³ Voluntary Program and take advantage of technical assistance and tools and resources available to ensure a more resilient critical infrastructure for a more resilient Nation.

Learn more about the C³ Voluntary Program by visiting: www.dhs.gov/ccubedvp.

February 7, 2014
6:49 pm

Secretary Johnson delivers a speech at the Wilson Center.

This morning, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson delivered his first major address since being sworn in on December 23, 2013. During an event at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., Secretary Johnson outlined his priorities for the Department and elaborated on his first seven weeks as Secretary before an audience of DHS leadership and employees, the Aspen Security Group, friends of the Wilson Center, members of the media, and others in attendance.

 Secretary Johnson delivers remarks at the Wilson Center.

Secretary Johnson discussed the complex, diverse missions of the Department including our continued vigilance in detecting and countering threats of all kinds.

During his remarks, Secretary Johnson also discussed the creation of this Department in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, and how the Department has grown in its service to this Nation and its people. He said, “In my opinion the creation of a Department of Homeland Security in 2003 was long overdue.  Many other nations who face threats similar to ours had Ministries of the Interior or a Home Office with the similar basic missions of bridging national and domestic security, counterterrorism, and border and port security.  Perhaps because our own nation was protected by two big oceans from many of the world’s hot spots, we thought that one department of the United States government, devoted to the mission of “homeland security,” was unnecessary.  That thinking obviously changed on 9/11.

“Further, consider where all the 22 components of Homeland Security existed before the creation of the Department in 2003 -- scattered across the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Justice, Treasury, Transportation, Defense, Health and Human Services, and the General Services Administration, including departments that do not have national security or law enforcement as their core mission.

“In just seven weeks in office as Secretary, I have already seen the wisdom of combining a number of these capabilities within one department of government: when I convene a meeting to discuss how the latest terrorist threats might penetrate the homeland, the participants include DHS’ Intelligence and Analysis Office, Customs and Border Protection, TSA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Citizenship & Immigration Services, the Coast Guard and DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate.  Put another way, with the creation of DHS, a terrorist searching for weaknesses along our air, land and sea borders or ports of entry is now met with one federal response – from me.”

After his remarks, Secretary Johnson also participated in a conversation with Jane Harman, President and CEO of the Wilson Center.

Secretary Johnson participates in a conversation at the Wilson Center.

Watch the full video of today’s event at the Wilson Center here:

 

You can also read the full text of the Secretary’s remarks here. And to learn more about the Department of Homeland Security and Secretary Jeh Johnson, please visit here.

 

February 7, 2014
8:25 am

This morning, Secretary Jeh Johnson will deliver his first major address as Secretary of Homeland Security during an event held at The Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C. Secretary Johnson will discuss his priorities for the Department during his remarks, as well as reflect on his tenure as Secretary thus far.

You can watch Secretary Johnson’s address live right here, beginning at 11:30 AM Eastern. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter using #dhslive.

If a feed is not visible here, you can also view the live webcast by visiting The Wilson Center’s website here.

Be sure to check back here after the speech for a full recap, photos, videos and more.

January 30, 2014
4:31 pm

Secretary Jeh Johnson visited MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. yesterday to tour security operations for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Secretary Jeh Johnson visited MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. yesterday to tour security operations for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Secretary Johnson met with federal, state and local law enforcement officials, including Federal Coordinator Andrew McLees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, Deputy Federal Coordinator James Mottola of the U.S. Secret Service and Alternate Deputy Federal Coordinator Frank Westfall of the National Protection and Programs Directorate. The Secretary was briefed on security operations at and around the stadium, including the assets deployed by DHS to support the security efforts of the National Football League (NFL) and state and local law enforcement.

DHS has worked closely with our federal, state and local partners over the past year in the planning and preparation for the security of Super Bowl XLVIII. DHS is providing support from across the entire Department, including the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard and ICE.

Secretary Johnson met with federal, state and local law enforcement officials, including Federal Coordinator Andrew McLees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, Deputy Federal Coordinator James Mottola of the U.S. Secret Service and Alternate Deputy Federal Coordinator Frank Westfall of the National Protection and Programs Directorate. The Secretary was briefed on security operations at and around the stadium, including the assets deployed by DHS to support the security efforts of the National Football League (NFL) and state and local law enforcement.

DHS is also continuing our partnership with the NFL through the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign, first launched at Super Bowl XLV, to help keep fans, employees and players safe.

Securing the Super Bowl is a shared responsibility and we are proud to support the work of our federal, state and local partners. You can read more about how we are supporting security efforts for the Super Bowl here

Secretary Johnson also traveled to New York City, where he joined officials from the NFL, New Jersey State Police, New York City Police Department and other law enforcement partners in a media availability to discuss efforts to ensure the security of this weekend’s events.

DHS is also continuing our partnership with the NFL through the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign, first launched at Super Bowl XLV, to help keep fans, employees and players safe.

Securing the Super Bowl is a shared responsibility and we are proud to support the work of our federal, state and local partners. You can read more about how we are supporting security efforts for the Super Bowl here.

 

January 29, 2014
3:30 pm

Posted by Federal Coordinator Andrew McLees: Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations - Newark

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proud to support the State of New Jersey, the National Football League and our federal, state and local partners as they work to keep Super Bowl XLVIII fans safe before, during and after this weekend’s big game.

Today, Secretary Johnson visited MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. where he met with local law enforcement officials and was briefed on security operations at and around the Stadium, including the assets deployed by DHS to support state and local law enforcement security efforts.

DHS entities have worked closely with our federal, state and local partners over the past year in the planning and preparation for the Super Bowl, and providing support in the following ways:

  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams, comprised of Federal Air Marshals, surface and aviation transportation security inspectors, Behavioral Detection Officers, Transportation Security Officers, and canine teams, are helping secure transit to and from the stadium.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and non-intrusive inspection equipment scan the cargo entering the stadium for contraband such as narcotics, weapons, and explosives.
  • CBP Office of Air and Marine will enforce Air Space Security.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard will support maritime and waterways security. 
  • CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will conduct operations specifically targeting counterfeit vendors and local merchants of game-related sportswear.  This is part of a crackdown on intellectual property rights (IPR) violations and to ensure fans are getting official Super Bowl related memorabilia.
  • TSA is sending additional screeners and doubling the checkpoint lanes at Newark Liberty International Airport for the influx of fans traveling for the game. TSA will also conduct baggage screening operation at Secaucus Junction station on the day of the game 

To help keep fans safe, DHS is continuing our partnership with the NFL through the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign, first launched at Super Bowl 45. Time and time again, we see the value of this kind of public vigilance. Fans and visitors in the New York and New Jersey area will see the “If You See Something, Say Something™” message at the airport, hotels, on buses, and billboards leading up to and throughout Super Bowl weekend.  The message will also appear in the game day program, the official fan guide, and on the video board during the game.

In addition to DHS support, 13 other federal offices are assisting. These interagency partnerships – including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Defense – are essential to the safety and security of this event.

Securing an event like the Super Bowl is a shared responsibility, and we all have a role to play. As the Federal Coordinating Officer for Super Bowl XLVIII, I am proud of our work with our federal, state, local and law enforcement partners, the NFL, event staff and volunteers, as well as the public, to help ensure the safety and security of everyone who is in town for the big game.

Secretary Johnson meets with security officials (including Federal Coordinator Andrew McLees, center) at MetLife Stadium during a security briefing for Super Bowl XLVIII as DHS's "If You See Something, Say Something(TM)" messaging appears on the video boards.

Secretary Johnson meets with security officials (including Federal Coordinator Andrew McLees, center) at MetLife Stadium during a security briefing for Super Bowl XLVIII as DHS's "If You See Something, Say Something(TM)" messaging appears on the video boards.

January 28, 2014
6:09 pm

Posted by Karen Neuman, Chief Privacy Officer, and Bobbie Stempfley, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications

January 28 is Data Privacy Day, a nationwide effort to encourage everyone to protect their privacy and personal data online and educate them on how to do so. As we spend increasingly more time on the Internet at home, at work and on the go, it is essential that we know how to protect our personal information online.

Most of us use our mobile devices to check our email, read the news, and interact on social media Web sites. However, by connecting to the Internet via an unsecure network or downloading an app without knowing how our information will be used, we potentially jeopardize our personal data and put ourselves at risk to theft, fraud and abuse.

Everyone can guard against potential online risks by taking steps to protect our privacy and control our digital footprint using the following simple tips from the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect.TM Campaign:

  • Secure your devices. Keep your devices from prying eyes. Set passcodes or pass phrases (long passwords) to be sure only you can access your smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • Only connect to networks you trust. Check the Wi-Fi settings on your mobile device and make sure you only connect manually to known and secure networks.
  • Secure your accounts. Passwords are no longer the only protection from would-be hackers. Enable two-factor authentication to add another layer of security. To learn more about two-factor authentication, click here.
  • Beware what you share. When you choose to share information with anyone in your networks, they can easily forward or post it somewhere else. Avoid sharing compromising photos and information.
  • Make passwords long, strong and unique. Passwords should be different for each account, have as many characters as allowed, and include numbers, symbols, and capital and lowercase letters. 
  • Think before you app. Before downloading a mobile app, understand what information (such as your location, access to social networks, etc.) the app will access and adjust your privacy settings appropriately. 
  • Back it up. Store digital copies of your documents, photos, music and other valuable information on an external hard drive. 

Data Privacy Day is led by the National Cyber Security Alliance, a nonprofit, public-private partnership dedicated to cybersecurity education and awareness, and advised by a committee of privacy professionals. 

For more information, including additional tips to stay safe online, please visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.  

January 24, 2014
4:49 pm

Earlier today, in one of his first public speeches since becoming Secretary of Homeland Security last month, Secretary Johnson addressed the 82nd Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM). 

 Secretary Johnson addresses the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Addressing a crowded ballroom of more than 250 mayors from small and large cities across the country, the Secretary reiterated the Department of Homeland Security’s commitment to a strong local-state-federal partnership in securing communities.

Secretary Johnson addresses the U.S. Conference of Mayors

The Secretary highlighted DHS’s important collaboration with communities across the nation on a wide range of critical homeland security issues, including support for local law enforcement and first responders, information sharing, cybersecurity and the need for commonsense immigration reform. 

Secretary Johnson address the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Prior to his formal remarks, Secretary Johnson had an opportunity to personally talk with a number of mayors, including Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Laredo, TX Mayor Raul Salinas, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

January 24, 2014
3:59 pm

Earlier this morning, Secretary Jeh Johnson joined USCIS Acting Director Lori Scialabba to welcome 468 new U.S. citizens at a special Naturalization Ceremony held at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va.

Secretary Johnson presides over a naturalization ceremony

Secretary Johnson administered the Oath of Allegiance and delivered remarks to the citizenship candidates and their families and friends in attendance.

Secretary Johnson presides over a naturalization ceremony

Among the men and women participating in today’s ceremony was Staff Sergeant Oscar Roberto Chavez, an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force, who Secretary Johnson thanked for his service and recognized as a model for other candidates.

Secretary Johnson presides over a naturalization ceremony.

As Secretary Johnson underscored, the United States has a strong tradition as a welcoming nation, and DHS is committed to promoting the lawful immigration process, expediting administration of immigration services, and promoting the integration of lawful immigrants into American society.

Secreatry Johnson presides over a naturalization ceremony.

To learn more about USCIS and its programs, please visit their website and the USCIS blog: The Beacon.

 Photos courtesy of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

 

January 24, 2014
3:43 pm
Editor's Note: This blog was originally posted on the TSA Blog on January 24, 2014.
 
Posted by Bob Burns, TSA Blog Team
 
Every day, Transportation Security Officers interact with nearly two million travelers across the United States with a single goal in mind – ensuring the safety of the traveling public.

TSA had a busy year in 2013, screening 638,705,790 passengers in 2013 (over 1,700,000 per day), which is 1,123,668 more passengers than last year.

Sadly, this year marked the first incident where a TSA officer, Gerardo I. Hernandez, was killed in the line of duty at Los Angeles International Airport.

In many ways, Transportation Security Officers are the public face of our nation’s security. It is difficult work, requiring patience, stamina, and great attention to detail. It requires extensive training and constant vigilance. This year’s tragic incident reminds us that being on the frontline also comes with a great risk. It is a risk that the men and women of TSA undertake willingly knowing that in doing so they are serving a higher cause, and a noble one – protecting the men and women of the United States every day.

We wanted to share with you examples of the continued vigilance of TSA officers in protecting our nation’s transportation systems, including some of the most unusual items TSA caught at the checkpoints this year.

1,813 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging nearly five firearms per day. Of those, 1,477 (81%) were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at a total of 205 airports with Atlanta (ATL) on top of the list for the most firearms intercepted (111) in 2013.

There was a 16.5% increase (257) in firearm discoveries from last year’s total of 1,556.

Top Five Airports for Gun Catches in 2013

Some of the Loaded Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Baggage in 2013
Some of the Loaded Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Baggage in 2013
  1. (ATL) - 111 Guns Discovered
  2. (DFW) - 96 Guns Discovered
  3. (IAH) - 68 Guns Discovered
  4. (PHX) - 66 Guns Discovered
  5. (DEN) - 51 Guns Discovered
 

Here are a few of the more notable firearm incidents:

Loaded Gun (BDL)
Loaded Gun (BDL)

A loaded .380 pistol with eight rounds was discovered on the lower left leg of a passenger at Bradley Hartford (BDL) after the weapon alarmed the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT).

A loaded .45 caliber pistol with six rounds and one chambered was discovered strapped to the ankle of a Pittsburgh (PIT) passenger during a pat-down after he had opted out of AIT.

Loaded Gun (PIT)
Loaded Gun (PIT)

A .25 caliber firearm loaded with 10 rounds was discovered hidden under the lining of a carry-on bag at Cedar Rapids (CID).

A passenger at Salt Lake City (SLC) received a pat-down after an anomaly was detected during advanced imaging technology screening.

During the pat-down, officers discovered a fully loaded .22 caliber firearm inside his boot.

Loaded Gun (CID)
Loaded Gun (CID)
Using imaging technology, a .380 pistol loaded with seven rounds and one chambered was discovered in the pocket of a passenger at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW).

While resolving an alarm on checked baggage, officers at Boston Logan (BOS) discovered a fully disassembled 30-30 rifle concealed within the lining of the bag and taped to the straps. Police responded and ran a check on the serial number of the rifle, revealing that it had been stolen.

In what was believed to be an attempt to avoid declaring his firearms, a passenger at Houston (IAH) wrapped two guns in newspaper and placed them in a box of detergent powder in his checked baggage.

Seven undeclared firearms were found concealed in a checked toolbox at Miami (MIA).

A shotgun was discovered in a checked golf bag at Detroit (DTW).

An unloaded .45 caliber pistol and four magazines were hidden in a cassette deck in checked baggage.

 
Left to Right: Unassembled Rifle (BOS), Shotgun in Golf Bag (DTW), Seven Firearms in Toolbox (MIA), Guns In Detergent (IAH)
Left to Right: Unassembled Rifle (BOS), Shotgun in Golf Bag (DTW), Seven Firearms in Toolbox (MIA), Guns In Detergent (IAH)
In addition to firearms discovered this year, there were many unsafe items that passengers attempted to travel with this year including:
 
24 Pounds of Black Powder (MDW)
24 Pounds of Black Powder (MDW)

Ten canisters containing 24-pounds of black powder were discovered in checked baggage at Chicago Midway (MDW).

A live blasting cap was discovered along with an M60 fuse lighter in a passenger’s checked bag at the Manhattan Regional Airport (MHK) in Kansas.

Over nine ounces of black powder was discovered in a carry-on bag at Cleveland (CLE).

Blasting Cap and Fuse Initiator (MHK)
Blasting Cap and Fuse Initiator (MHK)

A camping stove fuel bottle with fuel was discovered in a passenger’s carry-on bag at San Francisco (SFO).

After causing an alarm in checked baggage, Officers found a 3.2 ounce flask of black powder, 22 feet of fuse, a large empty CO2 cartridge, and miscellaneous ammunition in a passenger’s bag at Anchorage (ANC).

While resolving an alarm in a checked bag at Honolulu (HNL), a TSA officer discovered two one-pound cans of black powder.

 
Left - Right / Top - Bottom: Black Powder & Fuse (ANC), Two Pounds of Black Powder (HNL), Nine Ounces of Black Powder (CLE), and Camping Stove Fuel (SFO)
Left - Right / Top - Bottom: Black Powder & Fuse (ANC), Two Pounds of Black Powder (HNL), Nine Ounces of Black Powder (CLE), and Camping Stove

 

TSA officers also find inert items that look very real. The problem with these types of items is that we don’t know if they are real, toys or replicas until we call out the explosive experts. Inert items can lead to disruption, closed terminals and checkpoints, which often result in canceled or delayed flights. Here are some of the more interesting inert items we’ve found so far this year:

 
Inert Suicide Vest (IND)
Inert Suicide Vest (IND)

 

After alarming in checked baggage, our officers discovered an inert suicide vest. The vest was a training aid used by an explosives instructor.

A passenger at Norfolk (ORF) had six inert pressure plates, 50 inert initiators, an inert land mine, inert explosives, and two initiation systems in the his bag.An inert Claymore mine was discovered in a checked bag at San Jose (SJC).

 

Inert IED (ORD)
Inert IED (ORD)

 

An inert bandolier line charge was discovered after it alarmed in checked baggage at Norfolk (ORF).

Seven inert blasting caps were discovered in checked baggage at Greenbrier County Airport (LWB).

Electric detonators and a block of inert C4 with duct tape and wires protruding were discovered in two separate incidents at Seattle (SEA) in checked baggage.
 

Inert Claymore Mine (SJU)
Inert Claymore Mine (SJU)

A gag retirement gift designed to look like an improvised explosive device was discovered on the X-ray at St. Petersburg / Clearwater (PIE).

Two inert C4 demolition explosives were discovered in the carry-on bag of a passenger at Honolulu (HNL).

An inert Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training kit was discovered at Norfolk (ORF).

Two battery-charged initiators were discovered in a carry-on bag at Minneapolis (MSP).

Inert Bazooka Round (ORD)
Inert Bazooka Round (ORD)

A WWII era inert bazooka round was discovered in a checked bag at Chicago O’Hare (ORD).

An inert 20mm artillery round was detected in the carry-on bag at San Diego (SAN).

136 inert/novelty/replica grenades were discovered this year at TSA checkpoints and checked baggage locations.

 

Just A Few of the 136 Inert/Novelty/Replica Grenades Discovered in 2013
Just A Few of the 136 Inert/Novelty/Replica Grenades Discovered in 2013
 
Left - Right / Top - Bottom: Battery Charged Initiator (MSP), IED Training Kit (ORD), Inert Blasting Caps (LWB), Inert C-4 (HNL), Gag Gift (TPA)
Left - Right / Top - Bottom: Battery Charged Initiator (MSP), IED Training Kit (ORD), Inert Blasting Caps (LWB), Inert C-4 (HNL), Gag Gift (TPA)

 

Live Smoke, Stun, and Incendiary Devices:

Smoke Grenade (IAD)
Smoke Grenade (IAD)
 
A live smoke grenade was discovered under the lining of a carry-on bag at Washington Dulles (IAD).
A live flashbang grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Portland (PDX).

A live smoke grenade was discovered in checked baggage at Washington Dulles (IAD).

 

Flash Bang Grenade (PDX)
Flash Bang Grenade (PDX)

A live “sting ball” riot control grenade was discovered in checked baggage at John Wayne (SNA).

Live smoke and flare canisters were discovered in a checked bag at Phoenix (PHX).

 

Flare Gun (HOU)
Flare Gun (HOU)

A 3-ounce Can of CS Teargas was discovered in a carry-on bag at Atlantic City (ACY).

A passenger at Houston Hobby (HOU) had a flare gun and six loose flares in his carry-on bag.

562 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags in 2013.

 
 
 
Left - Right: Smoke and Flare Canisters (PHX), Flare Gun (MDW), Teargas (ACY), Flare (JNU), Smoke Grenades (PWM)
Left - Right: Smoke and Flare Canisters (PHX), Flare Gun (MDW), Teargas (ACY), Flare (JNU), Smoke Grenades (PWM)
 
Here are a few of the more notable knife incidents:
Non-metallic Dagger (SLC)
Non-metallic Dagger (SLC)

A non-metallic dagger was discovered on a passenger at Salt Lake City (SLC) after he alarmed Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). During the pat-down, the dagger was found hanging by fishing line around his neck and under his shirt.

Tactical Spike (DSM)
Tactical Spike (DSM)

Officers at Des Moines (DSM) discovered an 8-inch non-metallic tactical spike in a passenger’s sock after he alarmed Advanced Imaging Technology.

Knife (BUR)
Knife (BUR)

A knife was discovered concealed in the lower back area of a passenger who alarmed the advanced imaging technology at Burbank (BUR).

Some Of The Throwing Knives and Stars Discovered in 2013
Some Of The Throwing Knives and Stars Discovered in 2013
Some of The Knives and Swords Discovered in 2013
Some of The Knives and Swords Discovered in 2013

The year also provided the need for travelers to surrender a few odd items:

Human Skull (FLL)
Human Skull (FLL)

While searching clay pots in a checked baggage location at Fort Lauderdale (FLL), our officers discovered human skull fragments! While the fragments weren’t a security threat, they did slow screening down a bit since the area quickly became a crime scene!

A mace was discovered in a carry-on bag at Chicago Midway (MDW). This wasn’t a plastic mace; it was solid wood and metal.

A traveler’s checked bag blew open with three foot high flames and smoke at Atlantic City (ACY) . The cause? A large leaking can of hairspray was ignited by the spark of a lighter when the bag was loaded onto the rollers. No one was injured.

 
Mace (ACY)
Mace (ACY)
There were many instances last year where travelers attempted to hide items, or the items they packed were disguised to look like other items. Our officers regularly find sword canes, credit card knives, belt buckle knives, comb/brush knives, knives hidden in shoes, knives hidden in thermoses, and knives hidden under the bag lining near the handle mechanism. But, here are a few of the instances that stood out:
 
Pen Knife (DFW)
Pen Knife (DFW)

A knife concealed within an ink pen was discovered at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW).

A multi-tool was discovered inside a computer hard drive at Birmingham (BHM).

Pen Knife (DFW)
Multi-tool In Hard Drive (BHM)

A knife was sewn into the lining of a bag at Dulles (IAD).

A bladed multi-tool was found in a package of socks at Albuquerque (ABQ).

Ammunition Hidden Under Pull Handle (ORF)
Ammunition Hidden Under Pull Handle (ORF)

Nine rounds of .45 caliber ammunition were found in the pull-handle of a carry-bag at Norfolk (ORF).

Pepper spray designed to look like a lipstick case was discovered in Phoenix (PHX).

A stun gun concealed in a cane was discovered at Los Angeles (LAX).

Pepper Spray Lipstick (PHX)
Pepper Spray Lipstick (PHX)

A knife was found in a toothbrush holder at Lihue (LIH).

A knife was discovered in the battery compartment of a laptop computer at Oakland (OAK).

A knife was discovered inside a pillow at Midland (MAF).

Knife In Knee Brace (IAH)
Knife In Knee Brace (IAH)

A lipstick knife was discovered at San Antonio (SAT).

A knife was discovered inside a passenger’s knee brace at Houston (IAH).

Two kitchen knives were discovered in an automotive air filter box wrapped in plastic with the air filter at Houston Intercontinental (IAH).

An 8-inch knife and a 6-inch knife were detected wrapped in plastic bags under a false bottom in a carry-on bag at Guam (GUM).

A stun gun disguised to look like lipstick was discovered at St. Louis (STL).

 
Some Of The Cane Swords Discovered In 2013
Some Of The Cane Swords Discovered In 2013
 
Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Cigarette Pack Stun Gun (MCO), Brush Dagger(OGG), Knives Concealed in Air Filter (IAH), Credit Card Knife (ABQ), Lipstick Knife (SAT), Comb Knife (DTW), Knife in Shoe (IAD), Belt Buckle Knife (EWR), Stun Gun Cell Phone (JAN), Comb Knife (CHS), Lip Stick Stun Gun (LAS), Key Knife (IAD), Razor Concealed in Cell Phone (TPA), Credit Card Knife (BWI), Lipstick Stun Gun (STL), Stun Gun Cell Phone (LAX), Knife in Shoe (SAN), Cell Phone Stun Gun (DEN)
Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Cigarette Pack Stun Gun (MCO), Brush Dagger(OGG), Knives Concealed in Air Filter (IAH), Credit Card Knife (ABQ), Lipstick Knife (SAT), Comb Knife (DTW), Knife in Shoe (IAD), Belt Buckle Knife (EWR), Stun Gun Cell Phone (JAN), Comb Knife (CHS), Lip Stick Stun Gun (LAS), Key Knife (IAD), Razor Concealed in Cell Phone (TPA), Credit Card Knife (BWI), Lipstick Stun Gun (STL), Stun Gun Cell Phone (LAX), Knife in Shoe (SAN), Cell Phone Stun Gun (DEN)
Miscellaneous Items - Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Compound Bow in Carry-on (PHX), Finger Spikes (BHM), Bang Stick (KOA), BB Machine Gun (EWR), Novelty Bomb (PHX), Stun Knuckles (DEN), Gun Clock (SEA)
Miscellaneous Items - Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Compound Bow in Carry-on (PHX), Finger Spikes (BHM), Bang Stick (KOA), BB Machine Gun (EWR), Novelty Bomb (PHX), Stun Knuckles (DEN), Gun Clock (SEA)

 

You can also read more about important steps TSA has taken to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to security, and towards a more risk-based security posture in our year-end blog post, TSA Reflects on 2013.

 

 

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