Also, “the Transportation Security Administration screeners then found that the two men were carrying above the $10,000 maximum in US currency. Alkhanshli had $12,000 and Ali had $14,000, sources said.” They were “able to explain why they had the money,” but did anyone ponder what a couple of Yemeni nationals with large sums of cash and an empty AK-47 magazine might be up to? Anyway, the TSA is not only incompetent. It is also always playing catch-up, always prohibiting the last thing jihadis used to try to blow up an airplane (which is why you still have to take off your shoes in the security line) while the jihadis have moved on to something else that the TSA cannot guess. And because of PC sensibilities, they devote just as much time to searching wheelchair-bound septuagenarian Iowa grandmothers as they do members of the demographic groups that actually engage in terror activity. The whole enterprise should be radically recast or shut down altogether. More TSA follies here and here and here. Close down the TSA!
“TSA check misses empty AK-47 clips in Yemeni man’s luggage,” by Philip Messing and Christina Carrega-Woodby, New York Post, May 27, 2014:
The TSA failed to spot two AK-47 assault-rifle magazines stowed in the luggage of a suspicious Yemeni national who was preparing to fly back to his homeland from JFK Airport on a one-way ticket, sources said.
Bassam Alkhanshli, 32, was busted as he and a traveling companion, Methaq Mohammed Ali, 28, were set to board Emirates Flight 202 to Yemen at 11 p.m. Sunday, the sources said.
Alkhanshli and his pal were stopped by the TSA because they had purchased one-way tickets to Yemen — long considered a red flag by counterterrorism officials.
The Transportation Security Administration screeners then found that the two men were carrying above the $10,000 maximum in US currency. Alkhanshli had $12,000 and Ali had $14,000, sources said.
Both were then questioned by US Customs and Border Protection personnel, causing them to miss their flight, sources said.
The men were able to explain why they had the money, and the feds then cleared them to catch another flight, sources said.
But before they took off, Customs officials re-examined 10 pieces of their luggage, which had already been screened and cleared by the TSA.
This time, Customs Officer Richard Sanicola found “two 30-round AK-47 magazine clips” in one of Alkhanshli’s bags.
“I did not know I was not supposed to have this,” Alkhanshli told officials, according to sources.
Sanicola described the clips as “high-capacity ammunition-feeding devices,” according to a criminal complaint.
A TSA spokeswoman said, “The TSA does not require ammunition and/or empty magazine clips to be declared to the airline, and the TSA is not actively searching for [them] in checked luggage.”
They added: “TSA’s screening procedures, which are governed by federal law, are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers.”
Alkhanshli was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on a charge of criminal possession of a weapon. Assistant DA Robin Kwalbrun asked for $50,000 bail.
But Alkhanshli’s Legal Aid attorney, Tasha Lloyd, noted that another person had been released on his own recognizance on an airport weapons offense over the weekend.
She added that her client — a Tennessee resident who has a pistol permit there — has been a naturalized US citizen since 2009. She also noted that the clips contained no bullets.
“These were empty clips, your honor,” Lloyd replied.
Judge Donna Golia set bail at $5,000 bond or $2,500 cash.