This is not a story about a jihad incident. But it is one about how much airport security has improved since 9/11. From AP:
A man walked past two security checkpoints at Los Angeles International Airport last month and boarded a plane without a ticket or identification before he was caught hiding inside a bathroom before takeoff, authorities said.
The FBI and Transportation Security Administration are investigating how Kareem Thomas, 19, of Decatur, Ga., was able to make it all the way onto the Atlanta-bound Delta Airlines flight at a time of heightened security at the airport.
FBI investigators are interviewing passengers and crew members of the Jan. 15 flight, and will submit their findings to the U.S. attorney’s office for possible prosecution. Delta could be fined or warned for violating federal guidelines, said Larry Fetters, TSA director at the airport.
“Of course it’s worrisome that this happened and we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” Fetters said.
Delta is investigating the incident. The company said it may change security procedures but officials offered no details.
Los Angeles’ airport, one of the world’s busiest and a previous target of terrorist attacks, was one of eight airports nationwide that remained on high alert even after the national terror threat level was lowered from orange to yellow on Jan. 9.
Authorities said Thomas, who was on probation for a burglary conviction, was not armed and was not a threat to passengers. He was arrested on suspicion of burglary and is being held for violating his parole, said Deputy District Attorney Randi Kaplan. Thomas told authorities he “was trying to go home,” Kaplan said.
Thomas’ attorney, J. Joseph Modder, declined comment.
As Thomas boarded the plane and locked himself inside a restroom, he was spotted by a passenger who had seen him slip pass metal detectors and gate agents. The passenger told a flight attendant, who knocked on the door demanding to see a boarding pass.
When he didn’t comply, airline employees called police, who arrested Thomas and escorted him off the plane.
“Clearly, this was a monumental security screw-up,” said passenger John Hall, of Santa Monica. “Here I am, along with all the other passengers, taking off our shoes and waiting in endless lines to board a plane and this guy just strolls past the security net.”