EXCLUSIVE: Metal detector left unattended at TSA checkpoint

10/01/14: There has been another security breach at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and this one had eyes in Washington watching Minnesota in real time after a metal detector was left unattended.

It has happened again. Two days ago, someone slipped through security at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport without proper screening, a significant breach that had eyes in Washington turning to the metro.

The incident described in a classified report obtained by Fox 9 News is the latest of half a dozen various security failures at the airport -- but this one had a TSA command center in Washington, D.C., monitoring Minnesota's largest airport in real time. That's because a metal detector at a checkpoint was left unattended, and more than one passenger walked through it.

For all the blue TSA shirts that can be seen at the airport, they don't seem to instill much confidence in some travelers. News of yet another security breach doesn't help, but Fox 9 News confirmed that three passengers who arrived on a Delta flight from Tokyo Narita "walked through an unattended W.T.M.D." The TSA agent had apparently left his post at checkpoint 7 inside the G concourse, where international travelers arrive for connecting flights. Two of those passengers were pulled back, but the third made it past security and all the way to the other side of the airport -- Gate C-22 -- before they were detained and rescreened.

The TSA has declined to comment on the security breaches Fox 9 News has reported, but if they did, they would probably say that the threat was minimal because the travelers involved had already gone through customs. That would be true -- if a person didn't know about what was happening where the international travelers arrive for baggage claim. There is no TSA agent watching to make sure someone doesn't sneak through the exit, which is unlike every other exit in the airport. The stairs lead straight to checkpoint y, 7here a ticket is not required. From there, a traveler is in the G concourse.

The Tokyo flight is only the latest in a series of breaches. Last week, a distracted TSA agent let a couple enter the airport through an exit. Additionally, three passengers on watch lists did not get extra screening in recent weeks -- including one passenger who made it to Denver before the TSA tried to screen him again.

The man ultimately responsible is the TSA's John Pistole, who was in town last week but declined an interview with Fox 9 News. In fact, according to the TSA's own report, their main concern with the latest breach was that it attracted "no media attention." The TSA also declined to comment on this story; however, these stories have apparently caught the attention of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.


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