The latest security breach at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport involved a passenger who didn't pose a threat, but he did reveal a gaping security issue after he walked back into the airport through an exit that TSA leaves unguarded for reasons they won't explain.
Every public exit at the airport has a TSA agent standing guard, to make sure no one slips through the exit, except for the one on the far south end of baggage claim, where international flights arrive.
It was a French passenger aboard Delta flight 170, arriving from Paris Monday afternoon who needed a cigarette desperately, so after he went through customs, he left through this exit, at the south end of baggage claim. Had his smoke outside.
Then, he walked right back through the exit when someone came out. It's the only public exit without a TSA agent. The passenger then went upstairs, re-entered the airport through Checkpoint 7 on the G concourse, where they routinely don't check your ticket, license, or passport. Airport police finally found the man an hour and eight minutes later on the other side of the airport at gate C12.
What makes this breach so scary is it was a passenger who saw the guy walk through the exit, and went over to an exit where there was a TSA agent and said something similar to, "I just saw someone go through the exit, maybe you want to check it out."
A spokesperson for TSA declined comment. TSA also had nothing to say two weeks ago when three passengers from Tokyo walked through an unmanned metal detector, and little to say the week before, when two passengers walked past a distracted TSA agent. In fact, TSA isn't even calling this latest incident a "security breach." Instead, it's an "unauthorized re-entry into a sterile area."
Might as well call it what it is: Someone walking in the out door.