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Sunday, July 11, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.
The Times collected 100 media reports of airport-security breaches since fall 2002, when TSA screeners took over. Screeners say that's a fraction of the incidents, and most are never disclosed.  View breaches by state:
Map of the United States: Click on a green state to read about breaches that occurred there Hawaii Washington Oregon California Nevada Arizona Colorado New Mexico Texas Arkansas Missouri Illinois Michigan Florida South Carolina North Carolina Virginia West Virginia Pennsylvania New York Massachusetts Connecticut Rhode Island New Jersey Maryland Indiana Kentucky Alabama Georgia New Hampshire Maine Utah Ohio
Airport Breach description
Burbank Airport A man slipped through a checkpoint after being told to wait for a wand search. About 350 people were evacuated from the terminal for about one hour. Airport police were unable to locate the man, but after a sweep of the building they determined there was no safety threat. [12/12/2002]
Source: Airport Security Report
Los Angeles Int'l Airport A man left the screening checkpoint before being cleared to proceed. The terminal was evacuated. The passenger in question was found during the evacuation. He was rescreened and did not pose a threat. [1/10/2004]
Source: Airport Security Report
Los Angeles Int'l Airport A man walked unnoticed past two security checkpoints and boarded a Delta Air Lines jet without a ticket. Passengers discovered the man, a convicted felon on probation for burglary, hiding in an airplane restroom. The man was apprehended by police before takeoff. [1/15/2004]
Source: Los Angeles Times
Oakland Int'l Airport A passenger pulled a martial-arts weapon from a violin case and paced the aisles with it during a flight from Oakland to Chicago. He refused to sit down when told. A flight attendant alerted the pilot, who radioed authorities. A second pilot tackled the man, and crew members restrained him until the flight landed. Chicago police took the man into custody and confiscated the nunchucks, a self-defense weapon consisting of two pieces of wood connected by a short chain. Bail was set at $200,000, and the man was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated battery and resisting arrest. [10/23/2003]
Source: Airport Security Report
San Diego Int'l Airport Screeners confiscated a pair of scissors from a carry-on bag but missed a Swiss Army knife that showed up on X-ray. About 1,000 people were evacuated and rescreened. Officials did not say whether the item was found. [4/02/2004]
Source: Airport Security Report
San Francisco Int'l Airport A woman with two carry-on bags pushed aside a table and sprinted through an unstaffed security checkpoint at 10:46 a.m., but TSA officials didn't evacuate the terminal until 1 p.m. Security screeners had their backs to her when she ran through the closed checkpoint, and 10 to 15 minutes lapsed before they realized there was a breach. Security officials said they tried to find the woman but lost her in the crowd. They then reviewed videotapes. The woman had boarded United Airlines Flight 284, which departed at 11:30 p.m. Ten other flights also departed. The woman was a Taiwanese national with a student visa trying to get home to her host family in Baltimore. She was questioned when she arrived at Baltimore/Washington International Airport. She was released pending a FBI investigation. [2/06/2003]
Source: Airport Security Report
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose Int'l Airport An unknown passenger's carry-on bag triggered the explosive trace-detection machine, but the passenger was allowed to retrieve the bag and enter the concourse before being detained. The security breach was reported at 4:45 p.m., and officials evacuated and rescreened more than 300 passengers in the terminal and grounded five flights for about 90 minutes. The bag and passenger were never found. [11/21/2002]
Source: Airport Security Report
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose Int'l Airport A screener became distracted for almost 15 minutes and failed to respond when a passenger's carry-on bag set off the alarm on a trace explosives-detection machine. The screener allowed the passenger to take the bag into the concourse. A fellow screener noticed the color-coded visual alarm on the machine. The test was conducted again on the fabric filter that had been used to swipe the bag and registered positive. In a third exam using a different machine, the fabric filter did not set off an alarm. Officials removed the first machine for further examination. About 2,500 passengers were evacuated and 56 flights were delayed for up to two hours. [11/03/2002]
Source: Airport Security Report
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose Int'l Airport San Jose police became suspicious of a man wandering around a terminal passenger area. They discovered he did not have a boarding pass or identification and spoke only Spanish. Nearly 40 minutes after spotting the man, officials evacuated almost 2,000 passengers, including nearly 700 from airplanes. Flights were delayed for as long as two hours. Police said the man was meeting his father and walked into the terminal through a passenger exit lane without being noticed. The man was not arrested. [12/29/2002]
Source: Airport Security Report
Nine airports, various cities A businessman discovered a knife he had received as a gift had been in his bag since mid-August. He had traveled through nine different airports in that time and had twice been subjected to more extensive searches, without the knife being noticed by the TSA. The man had flown through Salt Lake City; Seattle; Burbank, Calif.; Portland; Los Angeles; Atlanta; Montreal; Paris; and Dusseldorf, Germany. [August-September 2003]
Source: NBC Nightly News

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