Nearly half of the security breaches at the nation’s top airports go unreported to the head office, a report released today charges.
The report came just a week after the American aviation system came under attack again by al Qaeda using new tactics and new bombs.
Critics say the lack of reporting makes it more difficult to spot dangerous weaknesses in the system.
“This report identifies a gaping hole in our airport security system,” read a statement from Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who demanded the report last year.
The TSA responded to the report’s criticism and recommendations by saying it “is working to enhance its oversight system with respect to airport security breaches” and trying “to develop a single definition of ‘security breach.’”
The focus of the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General’s report is Newark Airport, which suffered four big security breaches in 2011. In January 2011, a dead dog was loaded onto a plane without being screened for explosives. That same month, a carry-on bag with a knife passed through TSA screening. In February, a passenger bypassed screening by using the disability gate and another improperly screened passenger was allowed to enter the secured area.
Today, there was more trouble for Newark Airport. Bimbo Olumuyiwa Oyewole, a longtime security supervisor, was arrested for using the identity of a New York City man murdered 20 years ago. Oyewole, 54, did not work for the TSA, but he was in private security and had access to sensitive areas of the facility.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.