Thursday, August 17, 2006

Liquid Explosives Found in US Airport

CEREDO, West Virginia (AP) -- A West Virginia airport terminal was evacuated Thursday after two bottles of liquid found in a woman's carry-on luggage twice tested positive for explosives, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman said.

"The bomb squad is on site and the woman is being interviewed by the FBI," Amy von Walter said.

A machine security checkpoint screeners use to test for explosives registered positive, and a canine team also got a positive hit, von Walter said.

Airport manager Larry Salyers said the bottles would be moved by robot to a remote area of the airport where officials would attempt to detonate them. National Guard and State Police explosive experts will conduct chemical field tests to determine what's inside them, he said.

Salyers said he was told the woman was a 28-year-old native of Pakistan who had moved to Huntington from Jackson, Michigan. He did not know how long she had lived in Huntington. The woman was still at the airport late Thursday afternoon, but was not under arrest, said FBI spokesman Jeff Killeen.

Sometime tonight we will all hear that this is probably some mistake (lets all hope). However, if this was really liquid explosives, air travel in the US will never be the same again.

I know as for myself, I am willing to withstand more scrutiny and delay at the airports in screening if I know they can actually detect bad things, like liquid bombs. If this is true, then at least I have some faith in the system, that the system is working. It is actually catching those items that it is designed to stop.

Charles at Little Green Footballs has more on this story. Also, Michelle Malkin and The Jawa Report are worth checking out.


As I said, it was probably npthing. CNN is reporting:

Chemical tests later Thursday turned up no explosives in the bottles, said Capt. Jack Chambers, head of the State Police Special Operations unit. The airport was reopened after nearly 10 hours.

"It looks like there were four items containing liquids," said TSA spokeswoman Amy von Walter. A machine that security checkpoint screeners use to test for explosives registered positive results for two containers, and a canine team also got a positive hit, she said.The TSA screening looks for a range of explosives residue, some of which can be found on common household items, said TSA spokesman Darrin Kayser.

It makes sence that some ordinary household items can trigger false positives. After all some ordinary household items can be turned easily into bombs.

Once again, TSA needs to make sure their screening works. To many false positives, or to many false negatives, and people will loose confidence in the system and will not be willing to put up with the delays. TSA needs to make sure their screening process is complete and accurate. That is the only way the Airline industry can work.

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