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Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

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  • Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

    Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

    PHILADELPHIA, Penn. (CBS) Now we know how the "Crotch Bomber" got through security – TSA screeners are busy terrorizing disabled toddlers.

    4-year-old Ryan Thomas is developmentally disabled as a result of being 16 weeks premature and has to wear corrective braces. His ankles are malformed and his legs have little or no muscle tone. He only just learned how to walk, briefly, on his own, according to thePhiladelphia Inquirer.

    But that didn’t seem to matter to the Transportation Security Administration screeners at Philadelphia International airport.

    It was Ryan's first trip to Disney in March 2009, according the paper's columnist Daniel Rubin. All was going well for the Thomases -- they had gotten to the airport with hours to spare before their flight, but as it turns out, they would need that extra time.

    Ryan's father was breaking down his son's stroller to put it on the conveyor belt as his wife, Leona, walked Ryan through the metal detector. As expected the alarm went off and Leona tried to explain the situation, the paper said.

    The screener replied that the boy would have to take the braces off and walk through the detector again. When Leona Thomas attempted to walk with Ryan she was told he would have to do it alone.

    She tried, calmly, to explain that Ryan could barely walk with the braces, let alone without them, but the compassionless screener was deaf to her pleas, according to the newspaper.

    Meanwhile Bob Thomas was getting increasingly agitated. He is an officer in Camden's emergency crime suppression team, so he understood the need for security, but this was overkill, he told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    The Thomases eventually complied and Ryan made it through on his own, but Bob immediately asked for a supervisor. The supervisor was less than sympathetic and stood by the screener's actions. A fellow police officer even told Bob Thomas to drop it and go enjoy his vacation.

    But Bob Thomas didn’t forget and after his trip he called the airport manager. Eventually, with help from Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Daniel Rubin, the TSA finally responded to the incident saying that the boy never should have had to remove his braces and they would be looking into what went wrong that day in March.

    For the Thomases that probably feels like too little too late.
    The TSA has apologized for the incident almost a year later:

    TSA apologizes for forcing 4-year-old to remove leg braces at airport screening

    The Transportation Security Administration concedes that a 4-year-old boy heading to Walt Disney World for a birthday celebration should not have been forced to remove his leg braces during an airport-security screening in Philadelphia, a Philly columnist writes.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer's Daniel Rubin writes that the incident occurred last March when Ryan Thomas was flying to Orlando with his parents, Bob and Leona, but that the TSA apologized last week only after the columnist got wind of it.
    Could this be any more of a public relations nightmare for the absolute joke that the TSA actually is? We've somehow managed to create another hopelessly inept government bureaucracy that can't even accomplish their mandate efficiently, wich is maybe stopping the next terrorist attack. Instead, American's are routinely harassed and treated like common criminals on the way to their vacations that they can't even afford to go on. I feel so much safer knowing that disabled children are being subjected to rigorous interrogation on their way to Disney World.
    |TG-X| mp40x



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  • #2
    Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

    TSA is yet another form of organisation that justify a huge budget for security and terrorism reasons. We all know that even at the age of 4 years old, people can be a threat to a nation...

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    • #3
      Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

      So, there I was, in the airport in Las Vegas, waiting for my flight, when 4 TSA screeners came walking up to my gate. The guy leading the parade was walking very erect, with his chest puffed out, obviously proud of his position in life. He talked to the gate agent, and a few minutes later it's announced that TSA's intensive security program would involve additional screening of random people, and that cooperation would be appreciated. Boarding was still a half hour away, though. The two youngest TSA screeners were obviously bored with their work, and took the opportunity to enhance our nation's security:



      To be honest, I see nothing wrong with them cracking open a book, or a PSP during some downtime. I do know that a TSA screener lost her job recently for taking a snooze during her break time, in public. Considering all the other problems that this agency has, I think that's a bit harsh. These are probably good people that simply work for a horrible agency.
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      • #4
        Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

        Yeah, I don't blame the people themselves, it is the agency. They are way underpaid for the job they perform. Long story short, you get what you pay for...
        "The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws." -Machiavelli

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        • #5
          Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

          So they were cracking down on this poor kid, but they are forced to let a certain percentage of turban wearing Arabs slide through security, due to racial profiling concerns. Ridiculous. TSA's such a joke sometimes. I appreciate security measures, but they need to use some common sense!
          "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

            So they were cracking down on this poor kid, but they are forced to let a certain percentage of turban wearing Arabs slide through security,
            I don't think we've ever been attacked by a turban wearing Arab. Moreover, most people I see wearing turbans in the west are actually Sikhs, most from India.

            In any event, with any security system some bad guys will get through and some good guys will get needlessly hassled. But, some form of security is essential. Is our current system the best it can be? No. But, can we agree as a nation on a policy which is both more effective and fairer? I doubt it.

            In any event, I would argue a 9/11 style attack is impossible post 9/11, because of United 93, not TSA.

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            • #7
              Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

              "Turban wearing Arabs." lol

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

                Lol. I was purposefully going over the top to make my point. I should've said "A-rab" to make it more clear. And no airplane terrorist has sported a turban either. However, TSA isn't allowed to racially profile, which I still find ludicrous, being that all hijackers in my generation that I can recall have been fairly identifiable as being stereotypically "arab" or "middle-eastern" looking.
                "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

                  Lol. I was purposefully going over the top to make my point. I should've said "A-rab" to make it more clear. And no airplane terrorist has sported a turban either. However, TSA isn't allowed to racially profile, which I still find ludicrous, being that all hijackers in my generation that I can recall have been fairly identifiable as being stereotypically "arab" or "middle-eastern" looking.
                  Except the most incident which the offender did not appear Arab. Depending on how old you are DB cooper wasn't Arab, neither was Samuel Byke. I have no ethical concerns about racial profiling, but pragmatically it doesn't really make sense. Lots of African-Americans appear like people from Nigeria and Sudan, and Latinos can have the same complexion as Gulf Arabs. Moreover, Syrians (and some Iranians and Lebanese) have exceptionally pale (white) skin. You can consider facial hair as well, because many Muslims think it is Harem to shave, but suicide bombers sometimes shave their body completely before their Jihad. Similarly, you can selectively screen by name. But what about Richard Reed the shoe bomber?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

                    From what I understand of Israeli security, they don't look at race at all. They look at "tells", like a good poker player would.

                    Originally posted by TheBigC View Post
                    Yeah, I don't blame the people themselves, it is the agency.
                    Go a couple steps higher up the food chain. It's the paranoid and phobic people who call their representatives demanding action that create this environment of terror. These are the same idiots who are swept up in those Jay Leno "man in the street" interviews. The same idiots you can watch in any reality TV show. They're the majority, and they bleat like panicked sheep.

                    Why is Israeli security so much more sane? Are their people smarter? Or less afraid?
                    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

                      Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                      Why is Israeli security so much more sane? Are their people smarter? Or less afraid?
                      I think their decades of strife has made them less reactionary, because they expect bad things to happen and try to address what they can instead of trying the impossible task of 100% safety.
                      |TG-6th|Snooggums

                      Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

                        Wait, so israeli security is supposed to be less reactionary? What about last year when they confiscated and shot holes through a student/photographer's laptop when she arrived in israel from egypt, all after apparently grilling her for an extended period of time? Dont believe me?
                        http://lilysussman.wordpress.com/200...ome-to-israel/

                        It has nothing to do with being afraid, being overzealous or being good at their job. It has nothing to do with the climate in which they live. It has to do with the people having common sense. I KNOW people who are TSA screeners, and let me tell you that they're not exactly the cream of the crop intelligence wise. Hell, I know 5 people who are security screeners at Orlando International Airport in Florida, and of the 5, 2 never completed HIGH SCHOOL. If you want to solve the problem of things like this happening, there needs to be specific training on using your freaking brain in judging situations. TSA screeners need to understand that if they let someone through a checkpoint with some kind of weapon, yes, they'll get in trouble. But if they let a four year old with leg braces go through without hassle, chances are that nobody is going to make a fuss. Its basic mathematics here. 4 year old + spinal condition + leg braces =/= possible terrorist.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

                          6-Year-Old Northeast Ohio Girl on 'No Fly' List
                          http://www.fox8.com/news/wjw-news-we...,1122601.story

                          I feel so safe....
                          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

                            If I was a terrorist, leg braces and other prosthetics would seem like a great place to hide weapons because of the sympathy factor.
                            Aren't the Israeli screeners like old guys, ex-cops and that sort ?
                            People with real world experience ...I wonder where we could find them in the US ?
                            You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
                            So that when they turn their backs on you,
                            You'll get the chance to put the knife in.Pink Floyd "Dogs"

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                            • #15
                              Re: Another Terrorist Stopped by Vigilant TSA Officer: 4-Year-Old Boy in Leg Braces

                              Originally posted by CallousDisregard View Post
                              If I was a terrorist, leg braces and other prosthetics would seem like a great place to hide weapons because of the sympathy factor.
                              Perhaps, but if I was 4-years old I don't think I'd have learned how to be a terrorist yet, leg-braces or not.

                              Not to mention, according to the story the screeners weren't actually interested in checking the leg-braces for contraband. They just wanted to be able to screen the 4-year old wearing them, without the braces giving a false-positive on the metal detector.

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