COLONIE, N.Y. – According to TSA officials, a Catskill man tried to sneak a knife past the Albany International Airport's TSA checkpoint not once, but twice in the same day last week, but alert TSA officers stopped him both times.
The Denver-bound traveler was first stopped when a TSA officer detected a folding knife in the man's carry-on bag as it was passing through the checkpoint x-ray machine. Upon opening the bag, a TSA officer found the knife and explained the options for dealing with it. The passenger was informed that he could put it in his checked bag, mail it home, return it to his vehicle or voluntarily surrender it. The man decided he wanted to mail the knife back to his home, so a TSA officer escorted the passenger to the airport's mailing center.
When the man returned to the checkpoint line, TSA Behavior Detection Officers, both of whom were unaware that this same passenger had been through the checkpoint earlier, observed behaviors that raised their attention.
As the passenger continued to navigate through the queue and approach the travel document checking podium, he was assessed with enough behaviors to be flagged for additional screening.
As the passenger continued through the screening process, a different TSA officer who was staffing the x-ray machine noticed what appeared to be a folding knife in a passenger's carry-on bag. The lead and supervisory TSA officers were notified, and they recognized the man from the first time he came through the checkpoint. Again his bag was searched and the same knife was found tucked between some clothing. The Albany Sheriff's Department, which regularly patrols the airport, detained the man briefly. He flew the following day.
"Travelers are familiar with our checkpoint x-ray machines and our passenger scanners. But TSA uses multiple layers of security to help ensure that passengers can fly safely. Our Behavior Detection Officers are one of the many layers of security that TSA utilizes that aren't as visible as the x-ray machines and passenger scanners," said TSA Federal Security Director Brian Johansson. "This is an example of where one individual thought he could somehow game the system, and we caught him--twice."