Watch Out For Cheese Bombs

It would be unwise to take lightly a recent TSA warning that terrorists may be making dry runs through airport security. But it’s also difficult to get it into context.

The TSA based its warnings on four incidents in which people tried to get through airport security with ordinary items configured in such a way that they looked like improvised explosive devices. (I believe we used to call them bombs.) The idea is that they might have been testing security in preparation for a terrorist attack.

Adding just a hint of absurdity, two of these incidents involved blocks of cheese, which have the same shape and density as some explosives. Adding a hint of menace, the TSA advised that "most passengers’ explanations for carrying the suspicious items were questionable, and some investigations are still ongoing."

So we’re at a very strange juncture where it’s OK to bring cigarette lighters on board but a few blocks of Wisconsin cheddar could shut down the concourse.

When questioned about the warning, which was not intended for public release, the TSA played it down. The warning was part of a "routine informational bulletin" and no reason for panic.

OK. So I’m not panicking. But it’s hard to know whether I should be at least a little worried.

Added 7/26: Naturally, the cheese thing is being spoofed.


One thought on “Watch Out For Cheese Bombs

  1. William Wonder

    In their latest damage control move the TSA seems to be saying that releasing false information to it’s own workers is good training. They put this up on their website on 7-29-07.
    “The incidents mentioned in the TIG were examples of anomalies that officers should look for while screening carry-on and checked baggage and a further example of the TSA’s focus on improvised explosive devices and their components.”
    What a rambling excuse.
    They didn’t put that up until their story began to come apart after a Thursday night piece on Countdown with Keith Olbermann
    Sara Weiss was the name of the 66 year old terrorist that caused the most recent incident mentioned in the TSA’s bulletin. It’s laughable.
    The only reason we don’t know who these other “terrorists” were yet is because the FBI is not willing to release their names yet. That’s convenient.
    CNN is trying to do a little backtracking after days of cheerleading the false information.
    Can we call it propaganda yet?


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