Departing TSA chief: Terrorism threat larger now than 2010

Departing TSA chief: Terrorism threat larger now than 2010
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Outgoing Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole is more concerned about commercial flights being targeted by terrorists now than he was when he first took office in 2010. 

"The threat today is unfortunately more expansive than what it was four-and-a-half years ago," Pistole said in an interview with Fox News. 

Pistole, who is leaving the TSA at the end of the year, added quickly that he was confident in the agency’s ability to stay ahead of attackers who would target U.S. airliners.  

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"With that being said, we also have better insights into who the potential bombers are," he said.

Pistole announced in October that he was resigning after nearly five years at the helm of the TSA.  

He has already been tapped to lead his alma mater, Anderson University, in Indiana, beginning next year.

The departing chief has touted “risk-based initiatives” like TSA’s PreCheck known traveler program as a sea change in the agency’s approach to airport security because it allows employees to focus more on searching for explosive devices while ruling out passengers who have volunteered to have their backgrounds checked. 

Pistole said in the Fox interview that he was proud of the improvements the TSA to the airport security experience for passengers during his tenure at the agency. 

"I think that's been one of the biggest changes. ... We're more efficient. Complaints are down. Wait times are down," he said. 

Pistole added that he is worried potential terrorists are getting better at hiding bombs in ways that elude conventional airport security techniques, however.  

"That is one of things that concerns us, how well do they design, construct and then conceal," he said.

“My greater concern, rather than just a lone wolf, is simultaneous attacks such as you saw on 9/11,” he continued. “With that being said, we also have better insights into who the potential bombers are.”