Test Bomb Got Aboard Amsterdam-Bound Airliner
One of two TSA
screeners fired after a fake bomb slipped through a Newark Liberty
International Airport checkpoint last December has been
reinstated... and she plans to return to her post at the
Toni Brown was fired earlier this year following the Dec. 14,
2004 breach at a Terminal C security checkpoint, where screeners
and their supervisors lost track of a black bag containing a timer,
wiring, and detonator... all connected to simulated Semtex
The bag made it onboard a Continental Airlines flight, and was
recovered after the plane landed in Amsterdam the next morning,
according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
Officials cited poor training and supervision for the security
lapse, and at least three screeners on duty at the time received
disciplinary notices from the TSA in connection with the incident.
Brown, a supervisor at the time, and screening manager Curtis
Harriott were terminated.
Robert Woodruff, Brown's attorney, said his client was a
scapegoat who took the fall for the TSA's lapses.
"She was effectively a
scapegoat for poor planning and training procedures," said
Woodruff. "Here was their [local TSA officials'] chance to throw
some low-level workers under the bus and they did it."
Details of the settlement reinstating Brown were not disclosed,
nor was a reason given for overturning Brown's firing.
According to the Star-Ledger, however, one of the reasons may
lie in one detail, not previously made public, that causes the TSA
even further embarrassment: the misplaced black bag in question had
the words "Transportation Security Administration" written on the
"Clearly, it was a test bag," said Woodruff. "You had to be an
idiot not to see it."