TSA Screeners Disciplined After Major Security Breach At JFK

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Several Transportation Security Administration agents are facing discipline and extra training after a serious breach of security at John F. Kennedy International Airport involving box cutters – the same weapons used by the 9/11 hijackers.

The incident happened Saturday night at JFK on a flight to the Dominican Republic. Sources told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello that TSA screeners failed to spot three box cutters in a passenger’s carry-on.

The man brought the box cutters right onto the JetBlue plane. When he put his case in the overhead bin, the box cutters fell out, and a flight attendant called security.

Due to the security breach, Port Authority police had to bring the canine unit onto the plane to sniff for explosives – and every passenger had to be rescreened by security personnel.

On its official blog, the TSA likes to highlight good work by its screeners, who have found box cutters hidden in books, knives in belt buckles, and ammunition in decks of cards.

Passengers wonder how something as obvious as box cutters in the pocket of a carry-on could get through security.

“How could they miss it? They have like three people watching the monitors! How is that possible?” traveler Ria Evelya said.

“I think security should be better,” David Caba said. “They should fix security.”

The former head of security for the Israeli carrier El Al Airlines said heads should roll for the breach.

“Somebody failed – send him home, we don’t need him,” security consultant Isaac Yeffet said. “Are we willing to wait until tragedy happens and say, ‘oh, sorry’?”

The TSA, though, said screener Ahmir Wilkerson and two other workers won’t be fired, releasing the following statement: “TSA takes this matter very seriously…appropriate disciplinary action and remedial training will occur.”

The passenger told police that he uses box cutters at work and forgot they were in his bag. Security checked his story and allowed him back onto the flight.

More from Tony Aiello
  • Russell Rego

    How come TSA employees get re-trained when they cause security breaches, but airline employees get fired when they report security breaches? After this video depicting a major security breach at EWR Terminal C was reported, all three employees involved in capturing the evidence were fired. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxnBJpKI_BU

  • Saint Clotilde

    Just let everyone take their own firearms on board and I’ll bet no one, to include any potential terrorist, will be making any suspicious moves.

  • don'tFLYt

    hey,, wasn’t that the same guy we saw climbing out of the back of the tomato truck from Mexico?

  • don'tFLY

    TSA employees get additional training.. On how to remove valuables from luggage without being detected and where the cameras are located. without proof.. there is no crime… just make the victims file claim forms that they learn about after the fact.
    and make them prove the item stolen was really in there in the first place.

    fly the friendly skys….have a nice trip… and leave your valuables with us.

  • Little Nicky

    Sure, make me throw away my unopen container of toothpaste, for god sakes I coulda squirted into some pilots eyes for sure :)

  • teremist

    Check his green card, and then fire him.

  • sk

    Most people would never want to admit taht they need help from ELAL. Israeli airport security is the most secure.. most of the planned terroris attacks/box cutters would never had made it on an ELAL flight! but who want to get help from anything to do with israel?

    • Eric

      The major difference is that ELAL profiles. It works, and they are the pefect example of it……But the US would/could never allow profiling

  • Holly

    Not surprised. I’ve gone through security at JFK twice in the past month and both times I was less than impressed with the competency of that security team.

  • McGarrett

    The TSA rep says it’s not such a big deal because “There have been a number of additional security layers that have been implemented on aircraft that would prevent someone from causing harm with boxcutters.”

    Among those additional layers are “flight crews trained in self-defense and a more vigilant traveling public who have demonstrated a willingness to intervene.”

    So now they depend on passengers subde the terrorisits on the plane… yeah, thats a real good plan……

  • Aris_A

    Since we aren’t getting any security – only molestation, forced pornographic picture-taking, and verbal abuse from undereducated thugs – can we please have our liberty back? TSA, get out of my pants if you are too incompetent even to use an X-ray bag scanner.

  • Ralph D

    TSA inspectors are probably doing their best – but – more and better training is needed.

  • Mr.G

    There is one way to solve this problem. No carry-on bags any more. Check your bags and just get on the plane. The only things you can bring on are your pocket book, medication, laptop or phone with a see thru bag. Case close

    • Eric

      How does that stop the underware bomber? The shoe bomber?

      • steveo

        Or even worse, The Pen|s bomber!

    • V

      Mr. G stands for Mr. Government? TSA and the government keeps taking our freedoms. Next “No flights for you”.

  • Frank Smith

    You ever see these goons working at JFK? Straight off the streets! What makes us think that they care? I have seen the riding the Airtrain, very unprofessional acting.

  • William Bettis

    Happens all the time take it from one who knows by personally witnessing it.

  • Mr. Armenia

    It seems some of the bloggers here are being racial about the security screeners. Everyone is not prefect but they the TSA needs to hire more qualified people and not high school dropouts.

  • Gregg

    Until we get some high paid ,experienced professionals working our airport security – we will never be safe !

  • GB

    “Maybe real military men dedicated to the country oughta be out screening instead of unsightful watered down cops who get a kick with authority listed over their names.” Are you kidding? Many TSA employees are veterans and many of those who are not are dedicated to our country. What is your point, that because they work for TSA they are nor real Americans? .

    • Brad

      I guess your for a socialist goverment too. If they put military men in airports, why don’t they just put them on the road to. Hell lets just give up are rights and let the goverment controlle everything

  • JR

    TSA is a joke! Nothing but a horse and pony show. These people have no experience in security and/or law enforcement. Everything they do is for show. This is a job for trained law enforcement officers. Put all th ecops hanging out at airports to work doing this security, and maie it real, true security.

  • Concerned

    Lucky guy in the picture, to be the face of the mishap, think he wants his face with this story, shoulda put the real face of the person who let it pass but no someone who actually looks like he doing his job. And yeah I said looks, C’mon we’ve all been through these screening and some of them do look like they’re uneducated and just willing to let trouble pass. Maybe real military men dedicated to the country oughta be out screening instead of unsightful watered down cops who get a kick with authority listed over their names.

  • Otto H.Petersen sen.

    If the TSA ask you, do you have…? You should ask, why, do you need it? I have to go many times through the TSA inspection a Kennedy, at JetBlue and also International. Every time there is something missing, candies, books, often little things I find out much later. TSA workers are no quality employees. They mostly come from welfare and from surroundings where stealing and robbing are accepted occupations, and it is very hard to get away from that when so many “Goodies” are there just for the taking.

  • Scared flyer

    The TSA are unqualified moron’s, all they do is laugh and joke around instead of actually doing there job. They really make me feel safe!…

  • HUGO

    Security checked his story? You mean if he didn’t use a box cutter at work he would have been denied? How stupid!

  • nobama

    If I was the flight attendant, I would have ignored the dropped box cutter, unless the man was Middle Eastern. I think she just wanted a break from that long flight to the DR.

    • Concerned

      Joke is stupid and moronic,

  • aws

    The same fine people who are responsible for rummaging through our luggage looking for things they’d like to take home for themselves.

  • Vincent

    Security theatre at it’s finest.

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