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
“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.”