Transportation Security Administration agents at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minnesota were found to have failed 95 percent of the security tests put to it by “Red Team,” a group of auditors disguised as everyday passengers that work for the inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security.
According to KVRR-TV, “Red Team” went into the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in late June with a collection of banned items that are not supposed to be allowed on airplanes. KVRR said that the items should have easily been noticed by TSA agents during typical security checks, including “explosive devices, fake weapons, and drugs.”
However, Red Team reported to Fox affiliate KQDS that 17 out of 18 times, the team was able to sneak past the contraband items without any trouble. The team said they had to stop the tests when the failure rate reached 95 percent, though they did not explain why.
Red Team handed this report to KQDS the day before the July 4 weekend. Some 3.5 million passengers were expected to fly out of MSP that weekend.
This is not the first time TSA failed these security tests at MSP airport. Red Team also conducted these same tests in April 2016, and had similar results, with TSA failing to detect banned items nine out of 12 times.
ABC reported in 2015 that Red Team members would put items on their person, such as fake bombs, weapons, or drugs, and walk through TSA checkpoints to test the effectiveness of airport security. According to ABC, one Red Team member was waved through by security after he had set off a magnetometer, and the TSA agent failed to detect the mock explosive strapped to his back during the pat-down.
During a much larger investigation that occurred in 2015, the TSA was found to fail security tests by Red Team nationwide, with the team successfully sneaking through mock explosives and weapons 95 percent of the time. The debacle caused then Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to reassign the acting director of the TSA, Melvin Carraway, into a separate department of the DHS.