Port Authority officials are trying to determine what happened on Monday morning when eleven passengers at New York City’s JFK Airport breezed through unmanned TSA security stations on their way to destinations unknown.
The unbelievable breach happened at a JetBlue terminal just after 6:00 in the morning.
From the NY Daily News:
Instead of following protocol and notifying Port Authority cops, it took the TSA two hours to tell police about the frightening breach, the sources add.
The unscreened passengers — three of whom set off a metal detector — didn’t even have to take off their shoes to get through security, according to a photo of two of the men obtained by the Daily News.
There was no one present to operate the magnetometer and the X-ray machine, or to do pat-downs and secondary screening, the sources said.
This is disturbing on multiple levels. Just from a competence standpoint, it’s troubling to think that malpractice of this level could occur at one of the world’s busiest airports. But when you look deeper into the story, you almost have to wonder if this was really “incompetence” at all. Were these just eleven random passengers who happened to waltz through a number of unmanned checkpoints? How, then, to explain why it took so long for TSA to notify the Port Authority? Were they trying to avoid the inevitable bad publicity…or was this something much more sinister?
As of Tuesday morning, only three of the 11 passengers had been identified. And while both the Port Authority and the TSA are insisting that there’s no cause to suspect any of the passengers of wrongdoing…well…that’s what we would expect them to say in the wake of such an embarrassment.
Hopefully, this is nothing. Hopefully, we’re just talking about one or two useless employees and a poor decision on the part of the TSA management crew at JFK. This wouldn’t be the first time airport screeners have had their competence thrown into question, so we’re still willing to believe that’s the situation here.
On the other hand, we can’t help but be a little suspicious, given the timing. Awfully strange that this would happen only a couple of weeks after President Trump’s travel ban caused so much commotion at this very airport. Awfully interesting that it would happen at a time when the new administration is putting so much emphasis on guarding our country against terrorism.
Leave your tin-foil hat on the table for now…but make sure it’s within arm’s reach.