TSA Frisks A Baby; Says The Stroller Set Off 'Explosives' Alarm

from the younger-and-younger dept

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the TSA groping a six-year-old and then defending it because it was "standard operating proecedures." Once again, the TSA is getting attention for a questionable patdown, this time going much, much younger, with a photo being shown of a patdown of a baby:
Once again, the TSA is quick to respond on its blog, insisting again that there's nothing out of the ordinary here:
We reviewed the screening of this family, and found that the child’s stroller alarmed during explosives screening. Our officers followed proper current screening procedures by screening the family after the alarm, who by the way were very cooperative and were on the way to their gate in no time. The child in the photo was simply receiving a modified pat-down which doesn’t even come close to what the headline implies.
I'm curious how the family being cooperative makes this okay? After all, didn't the TSA just admit that complaining about the TSA may subject you to further scrutiny? It seems like everyone who doesn't want to get that extra special attention is going to be friendly and cooperative.

Filed Under: baby, security, tsa

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  1. icon
    Bergman (profile), 11 May 2011 @ 11:34am


    Most likely, the culprit was the family blowing bubbles.

    The bubble blowing solutions sold in toy stores all over the western hemisphere are chemically similar to nitroglycerin explosives, to the extent that the current generation of explosives detectors cannot tell the difference without the sensitivity setting being reduced so far, the scanner cannot detect explosives residues, only large quantities of explosive material (which would permit someone with a vacuum sealing machine in their kitchen to make undetectable bombs if they wash the charges after sealing them). Security systems tend to err on the side of detecting residues, at a cost of vastly elevated false positives.

    Even washing your hands won't get rid of detectable traces, and people have set off explosives detectors 2-3 days afterwards. If a bubble lands on a stroller and pops, few people will wash it off the stroller (it's basically soap, after all), which gives the stroller an even stronger residue than people's hands.

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