The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) failed to find fake explosives and weapons in internal tests at almost all of America's busiest airports, according to a Monday report from ABC news.
TSA employees failed 67 of 70 tests, where undercover agents tried to pass through security while carrying fake prohibited items. The news prompted Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to meet with officials at TSA headquarters last week, according to the network.
“Upon learning the initial findings of the Office of Inspector General's report, Secretary Johnson immediately directed TSA to implement a series of actions, several of which are now in place, to address the issues raised in the report,” the agency told ABC in a statement. The statement did not identify those fixes.
At least one test showed failures by agents to find a fake bomb even after the undercover agent set off a magnetometer. The screener reportedly let the agent through with the fake bomb taped to his back, despite a pat down.
The undercover agents, called the Red Team, have publicly exposed TSA weaknesses in the past. A 2013 test where an agent also made it through a metal detector with a fake bomb prompted then-TSA Sdministrator John Pistole to refer to the testers as "super terrorists" for their ability to use their knowledge of TSA policies to exploit weaknesses.
"They know exactly what the technology's capabilities are of detection. They know exactly what our protocols are," he said.
"They can create and devise and conceal items that only the best terrorist in the world would be able — not even the best terrorists would be able to do."