Wednesday, 13 July 2011

FBI Probes How Stun Gun Got on Plane

PASSAIC COUNTY, N.J. -- A stun gun that looked like a cellphone was found aboard an empty JetBlue airplane that had landed at Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday night, raising questions about how the concealed weapon made it past security checkpoints.
The FBI is investigating the apparent security lapse, authorities said Monday. The thin, rectangular device was found in a seat pocket by a worker cleaning the airplane after it arrived from Boston's Logan International Airport. Authorities said it was likely left behind by a passenger.

The passenger assigned to the seat where the stun gun was found said Monday during a brief phone interview that it was not hers.
Kara Kearney, an auditor at Boston University, said she moved from her assigned seat, 10B, because a nearby television monitor showing the in-flight movie, "Troy," was not working. The stun gun was found in the pocket in front of 10B, authorities said.
"It's not mine, but I really don't want to talk about it," the 31-year-old from Lincroft said before hanging up.
Authorities said the stun gun was likely not intended as an in-flight weapon.
"We know who the passengers were, and based on preliminary information, it does not appear that an attack was imminent," said Bryan Travers, spokesman for the Newark FBI office. "This was more of a case of someone bringing something on a plane that they shouldn't have brought."

Travers declined further comment.
"This incident is the latest in a troubling pattern of breaches in our aviation security system," said Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. "TSA and the FBI need to quickly determine how this stun gun made it onto a plane, and we need assurances that steps are being taken to make sure this doesn't happen again."
The stun gun, identified by authorities as a "Striker 1800KV," was found on Flight 1179. There were 96 passengers and four crew members on the flight, according to a JetBlue statement. The stun gun was in a black case and resembled a cellular telephone, Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman said.
Similar stun guns offered on the Internet sell for about $20. The Striker is "one of the highest voltage compact models on the market," according to, a website advertising the stun gun. The site says the 1.8-million-volt shocking device measures a little over 4 inches long and 2 inches wide.

It is illegal in New Jersey to carry a stun gun, which can momentarily incapacitate a person. They are also prohibited as carry-on items but may be transported in checked luggage, according to the TSA website.
Port Authority police were notified of the stun gun about 10:20 p.m., after a worker preparing the plane for another flight found the gun. Police swept the plane with K-9 units but found nothing suspicious, and the plane was cleared to board passengers for the next flight out of Terminal A. Coleman said the FBI and TSA were notified and have taken over the investigation.

A TSA representative issued a statement Monday but would not say whether the agency's screening measures would detect a stun gun.
"TSA employs multiple layers of security to minimize risk, deter future attacks and protect the traveling public," the TSA said in a statement. "Those layers include checkpoint screening technology, federal air marshals, fortified cockpit doors and armed pilots, among others both seen and unseen."
Travers said the investigation was being handled by the FBI's Boston office. A spokesman from the Boston office did not reply to a message seeking comment.


CTTA offers an Airport and Airline Security course, which includes the following topics:

Airport Security Operations
-ICAO and IATA security standards
-Perimeter protection and access control
-Protecting public areas
-Protecting restricted area-Vehicle and pedestrian patrols

Airline Security Operations
-ICAO and IATA security standards
-Passenger Profiling
-Passenger and employee screening
-Dealing with unruly passengers
-Cargo, courier and mail security

The Canadian Tactical training Academy (CTTA) is an organization devoted to worldwide training of peace and law enforcement officers, as well as all other professionals involved in the fields of security, investigation, protection and the maintenance of order.
The Academy also provides tailored security and safety-oriented civilian training at both the individual and corporate levels.

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