TSA Holds Terror Drill at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, Forgets to Tell the Cops
You kind of have to pity the poor bumbling TSA. Even when things go right for the agency they still go dislariously wrong, dislarious being a word we just made up to describe a disastrous/hilarious situation like when a bomb drill is successful but someone almost gets shot anyway. The agency was so close to doing something well. Participating unknowingly in a drill - and in a nice change from TSA's notorious security failuresan MSP screener caught a fake bomb being smuggled through a checkpoint by a fake terrorist.
The screener followed security protocols and alerted superiors and the police, and that should have been that. Someone should have put a little checkmark on the form that TSA uses to keep track of successful and unsuccessful drills, and everyone should have moved on.
Instead police cleared the security area, and the ticketing area that was next to it, and the mall that was behind it. Then they rushed and surrounded the fake terrorist with their guns drawn, which scared the hell out ofwelleverybody. It turns out that no one had told the police that TSA would be conducting a drill that day, so they thought they were dealing with a real terrorist attack. Oops!
Obviously we're being a little lighthearted about this situation because it turned out fine. TSA officials informed the police that the man was a TSA agent, and normality was restored. But just as obviously it could have been an out-and-out tragedy. Airport police have shot and killed people in airports on suspicion of carrying bombs before. Accidents happen, especially when you mix pressure with confusion.
One way or another, this isn't going to help TSA's image as an agency in need of more political oversight. Which is kind of a pity because they really did get close to getting this one right.
[Photo: Michael Ocampo / TSA]