TSA Hands Al-Qaeda Its Playbook

  • Orthopedic shoes, wheelchairs, casts, prosthetics, and footwear of disabled individuals that cannot be removed are exempt from screening, as are bandage dressings.
  • Pilots in uniform are exempt from screening. Even if they look drunk, the TSA must not screen them, but instead should contact the FAA.
  • Diplomatic pouches are exempt from screening; the SOP describes in detail what one looks like, including exactly where the diplomatic seal should be.
  • There’s only a “20%” chance that a bag packed with explosives will be opened for a test.
  • People from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Yemen, or Algeria will be given extra screening -- but not individuals from Pakistan, where the majority of terrorists attacks presently occur.
  • Exit lanes are not monitored by TSA-certified officers, but instead are monitored by uncertified civilians who are allowed to sit while on duty.
  • Certain procedures for verifying identification documents aren’t used on all travelers during peak travel periods.

In case this doesn’t provide the terrorists with necessary holes to get past airport security, the SOP revealed another troubling detail. Videotaping security checkpoints is not prohibited. If al-Qaeda didn’t already get what it needed, it can send its foot soldiers into airports to photograph airport security procedures for future use.