NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — At least seven people who said they worked for a TV crew were arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport Thursday, after they allegedly tried to film themselves going through a security checkpoint with a fake explosive device.

The Transportation Security Administration said Port Authority police arrested the group after officers detected a suspicious item in a carry-on bag. 

A preliminary investigation indicated that the defendants were all in collaboration and claimed to work for a television network, the TSA said. Some members of the group tried deliberately to carry through the security checkpoint a carry-on bag that with something inside that had “all the makings of an improvised explosive device,” the TSA said.

CBS News obtained photos of the device, which appeared to be composed of wires and portions of a vacuum cleaner.

Newark Airport Device

A television crew allegedly tried to film themselves while attempting to pass this device through security at Newark Liberty International Airport. (Credit: CBS News)

Newark Airport Device

A television crew allegedly tried to film themselves while attempting to pass this device through security at Newark Liberty International Airport. (Credit: CBS News)

The group covertly filmed the encounter, the TSA said.

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The group did not make it past the checkpoint, because TSA officers caught the item inside the roller bag, the TSA said.

The TSA believes the group wanted to figure out if they could get through the security checkpoint with the item while filming themselves doing so. They did not, and they were arrested on multiple charges and fines by the TSA, the agency said.

Sources told CBS2 the crew was associated with the CNBC show “Staten Island Hustle.” Endemol Shine North America, the production company behind the program, released a statement late Thursday.

“We are looking into the details of what happened as a matter of priority and are in contact with relevant authorities on the ground,” an Endemol Shine North America representative said in the statement. “While this process is ongoing we are unable to comment further but in the meantime, we sincerely apologize for any disruption caused.”

CNBC declined to comment late Thursday.

Comments (43)
  1. Rusty Humphries did this in the 1990s as a radio shock jock, not as a “journalist,” at DFW Airport. This comment feature doesn’t seem to work right, so sorry if this is repeated. Proof is listed at his Wikipedia article.

  2. Almost certainly a ‘hit’ on the Trump Administration. “Look How Trump Will Let You Die!” the headline would have screamed. That’s why they did it and why they wern’t interested in working with the agency to produce it. Criminal conspiracy to destabilize the American government. It also would have served as a training film for any hostile actor looking to try it for real. Throw in supporting terrorism charges as well!

  3. Will David says:

    looks like they got caught trying to make TSA look bad and to give the impression that airline travel isn’t safe. Press criminal charges to the max against each and every one. since they were fimling it covertly, they should be charged as well for that. throw the book at them..and fine their employer if it can be proved they were aware of their actions

  4. Arrest them and let them sit in jail. They could have shutdown the entire airport for their prank.

  5. Bob Johnson says:

    You can rest assured if the TSA had not found the fake bomb, CBS would have had a field day clamoring about how TSA does a bad job. THIS is what happens when you make money off the news, no different than hoodlums tagging your fence or stealing a car for “kicks”…It’s wrong, there’s no two ways about i.

  6. “Relevent authorities on the ground…”. Where else would they be???

  7. Troy Dynes says:

    It looks like a clock to me.

  8. I think TSA has their own team that goes to different airports doing this, as training. Why couldn’t this “news crew” coordinate with them at least. This isn’t funny. If I did it, I would go to jail. So, what makes a news crew think it’s ok for them to do it? We are the news….we are important, we can do things you can’t and not get in trouble, we are watching out for you! Bull.

    1. Plus, what if TSA wasn’t playing around that day. What if they just pulled out their weapons and cut the new crew down.

    2. If the “news crew” would have gotten special written permission from TSA or Homeland Security before doing this, it might have been alright. However, I don’t think either organization would agree to having bad publicity in the event it were to be allowed to go through the checkpoint.

    3. tomkay1012 says:

      Yes they do and during the obama dark days, they were able to defeat the system. But, the media would only briefly mention the TSA failure.

  9. Much the same way they try to pass fake news in the public domain for libertard consumption?

  10. When the first person was being arrested it probably seemed like a good idea to the other six to rush up to TSA and say, “It’s okay, she’s with us, we’re the media.”

  11. It looks like a belt sander with a dust collector.

    1. That was a perfect description of Hillary Clinton.

  12. Not too smart. Lock them up as suspected terrorists!

  13. Prosecute the bums to the fullest extent of the law.

  14. I’d love to hear a few of the names… Any of them named Mohammed? Middle Eastern descent? News crew,aye? You’re going with that?

    1. Probably some amateur news team from CNN or NBC.

  15. Stu Pedasso says:

    At least it wasn’t Al Jazeera.

  16. Vox Veritas says:

    Throw the book at these fake news criminals!!!

  17. So now if you are a television production company, it is Okay to install fear and panic to the public knowing that you will only get a small fine. Other networks are going to follow suit for publicity and ratings to see what other acts of fear they can do. Looks like we will have a slew of new television reality shows to see in the near future like find the b0mber, and terr0rize to win.
    These production companies need to be fined for more then just a slap on the wrist. travelers delays, flight reschedules, police involvement using tax dollars, public distress, and flight ban on the members involved in this should be what is required.

  18. Cliff Forbes says:

    They should have had clock boy along.

  19. BallBounces says:

    Now they can do insider reporting on the workings of the justice system.

  20. The right thing to do would have been to contact TSA / Police/DHS and set the thing up right. Which everyone knows that so I got to ask, what kind of idiot would do this to themselves when it could have easily been avoided? ….. This is CBS, I wouldn’t put it past anyone that this whole thing is a hoax to say. .”Look, we are the TSA, we are saving you, we are even catching the fake stuff” Because a MULTITUDE of people have already got items through TSA. I myself unintentionally flew across the country with a knife in my bag left from a camping trip. the Airport on the return trip found it. I don’t believe ANY OF IT anymore. Second, if it’s not an explosive, and it’s fake, it’s no different than a toy or replica.

  21. Pat Roy says:

    I think you all missed the boat on this one. They wanted to fail. These are big government libs. They want you to think the TSA is great and you are safe because of big government.

  22. Hey now they can all report from GITMO lol

    1. John Ruppe says:

      Great. They can report Fake News on the fake bomb.

  23. Felony charges for all of them. What are they going to try next? Smuggle loaded firearms into a local Police station? Going to prison for a year or so each ought to teach them a lesson. Oh, yes, having a felony on your record will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

  24. This is the state of journalism today, run by complete idiots.

  25. Really a childish stupid stunt that shows no respect for the law. They need to be fired while the courts throw the book at them.

    Wonder if their senior editor knew about it/approved it. If so that slug also needs to feel the full extent of the law.

  26. Tom Moses says:

    They should have the book thrown at them and spend time behind bars.
    These morons should have realised the seriousness of their crime. Obviously there college education in women’s studies and diversityness didn’t prepare them for the real world…

  27. CNBC marketing hype. They will be free and fines all paid and cleared.

  28. David Lee says:

    Everyone involved should have their FCC broadcast license revoked. They all seem to have forgotten to report the news, not make the news.

    1. Jack Camarda says:

      People aren’t licensed by the FCC. Only terrestrial signals that can be received without subscription. CNBC needs no license, only the good sense to hire smarter people.

  29. Geary Carson says:

    each one of them should be placed on a no-fly list. they could have smuggled benign parts on someone else and assembled a REAL bomb in flight. Perfect ruse…they could be actual terrorists.

  30. stinkin says:

    a little prison time would be cause for thought

  31. Time for some terrorism charges.

  32. CNBC is a subsidiary of Comcast. Comcast employed Chelsea Clinton for a while & stuck her at NBC news. Why is this relevant? Hmmmm………………….

  33. Peter Famato says:

    The authorities should put them in jail for a few years to test the security of the prison system.

  34. Judy Wilson says:

    Just because you are a journalist doesn’t mean you can break the law. I know that surprises the media.

  35. Very poor taste. Imagine how many people could have missed flights, business meetings, loved ones, funerals, because this tv crew wanted to play BOMB in an airport security check point. Dangerous and illegal. Some jail time would be in order.

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