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US Airport Security Chief Ousted

  • VOA News

FILE - Autistic boy, Jeffery Jr. Simonton, walks through metal detector while a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent looks on.

FILE - Autistic boy, Jeffery Jr. Simonton, walks through metal detector while a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent looks on.

The acting director of U.S. airport security has been removed from his job after undercover agents carried fake explosives and weapons undetected through security checkpoints a staggering 67 out of 70 times in recent tests.

Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson said he has reassigned the airport security official, Melvin Carraway, to another position within the Department of Homeland Security. Johnson named a new interim TSA chief, its current acting deputy director Mark Hatfield.

Johnson declined to describe the results of the recent security checkpoint tests, but said he takes them "very seriously."

ABC News said the TSA investigation found widespread security failings at some of the U.S.'s busiest airports.

In one instance, an undercover agent was stopped when he set off an alarm at a checkpoint. But even then, the TSA screeners failed to find a fake explosive taped to his back when they patted him down.

Johnson ordered new training for checkpoint agents and retesting for the screening equipment used at U.S. airports. He said random covert testing would continue.

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