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US airport screeners fail homemade bomb tests- NBC

Written by: Staff
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WASHINGTON, March 17 (Reuters) Security screeners at 21 US airports failed to find bomb-making materials during recent government tests, NBC Nightly News reported.

Federal agents carrying materials that could be used to make bombs escaped detection in airport screening during tests conducted between October and January, NBC said, citing government sources.

''In all 21 airports tested, no machine, no swab, no screener anywhere stopped the bomb materials from getting through. Even when investigators deliberately triggered extra screening of bags, no one stopped these materials,'' the report said.

NBC said, for security reasons, it would not name the airports nor the ingredients involved in the tests conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the watchdog arm of Congress.

Congress requested the investigation to determine the vulnerability of U.S. airlines to a suicide bomber using cheap and easy-to-obtain materials, NBC said.

The GAO finding is classified, the report said.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had no comment on the report but said in a statement that detecting explosive materials and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) at the checkpoint was the agency's top priority.

''TSA has already initiated enhanced detection technology training for security officers to identify possible explosive materials and IED components,'' the statement said.

REUTERS SK RAI0710

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