Monday, 28 January 2013

Report: TSA Training for Possible Checkpoint Shooting

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According to the Washington Times, the Department of Homeland Security is reportedly training Transportation Security Administration checkpoint screeners in preparation for a possible mass shooting at one of the agency’s security checkpoints. 

According to the Times,

It is unclear whether the TSA is conducting the reported mass shooting scenario training at airports around the nation or only at the airport where our source, a veteran of the TSA, is assigned. The TSA source claims with obvious concern that his own life, along with the lives of other unarmed TSA personnel, would be in grave danger were an airport checkpoint shooting to unfold.

The source, who has already undergone the agency training, asserted that it created a chilling scenario that has instilled fear that something may unfold: “Every day when I arrive for work, I look for an escape route in case someone opens fire. We have been told to save ourselves.”

The training has compelled some to ask whether the TSA has intelligence of a possible impending checkpoint shooting.

The Times added that it is “unclear whether the alleged training is simply a prudent attempt by the agency to protect its own employees from every imaginable contingency," referencing the 2009 Christmas Day “Underwear Bomber” as a “reason to pay close attention to the details of Homeland Security’s operations.” According to Wikipedia, the so-called Underwear Bomber, Umar Abdulmutallab, "attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear" while onboard a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. The Times notes that a witness who saw Abdulmutallab board the flight has suggested that U.S. government agents permitted him to do so while knowing he was a threat to safety:

Michigan attorney Kurt Haskell, a 2012 Democratic Congressional candidate who lost to incumbent Tim Walberg (R-MI), stated by way of a Victim Impact Statement during Abdulmutallab’s sentencing hearing in federal court that while he and his wife Lori waited to board the flight in Amsterdam, he observed a well-dressed man help the bomber board the flight without a passport.

Haskell is convinced that “a federal agent gave Abdulmutallab a defective bomb to carry onto the plane to create an incident that would cause the government to install full body scanners at airports nationwide,” according to USA Today.

Haskell stated, “Regardless of how media and government try to shape this case, I am convinced that Umar was given an intentionally defective bomb by a U.S. agent.”

Upon hearing about the TSA training for a checkpoint shooting, he told the Washington Times that it “doesn’t surprise me at all,” adding that he feared the government may be planning another attack.

“As a first-hand eyewitness to a proven false-flag attack, I know that the government does stage fake attacks to further governmental policy,” he declared.

Following the attempted Christmas Day bombing, the State Department's Undersecretary for State for Management Patrick Kennedy told the House Committee on Homeland Security that Abdulmutallab’s visa had not been revoked due to a national security override related to a larger al-Qaeda investigation.

The Times points to examples of terrorism that have helped to enact government policies that may have otherwise been rejected by the American people, and draws connections to the current political atmosphere on gun control:

The acceptance by the public and members of Congress of new gun restrictions would constitute only the latest policy initiative pursued through a program based on the implementation of terror.

While in France, President Obama authorized the use of an autopen to sign into law the extension of three key components of the USA PATRIOT Act on May 26, 2011.

Were another major shooting to unfold in the midst of congressional debate over additional gun control legislation, such as Diane Feinstein’s proposed assault weapons ban, the ensuing crisis could sway wavering members of Congress to support the new gun restrictions.  

The Washington Times asked the TSA source if TSA personnel were being set up for a staged shooting, but the source responded, “I hope the government wouldn’t do something like that.”

Without remarking on the likelihood of a government-sponsored attack, Becky Akers on the Lew Rockwell blog opines that a shooting at a security checkpoint would serve as further evidence that the TSA endangers more than protects fliers:

Of course, this is the scenario that many genuine experts in security — as opposed to the charlatans at the TSA — have predicted for years: that bad guys will attack the hundreds of people whom the TSA delays in long, vulnerable lines. And it is yet another proof that the agency actually endangers, rather than protects, passengers; politician of even minimal decency and concern for their constituents would abolish the TSA rather than annually stealing our money to finance its depredations on us.

The mystery behind the alleged TSA training is enhanced by a press release issued by Republican New York State Senator Greg Ball that brings attention to a DHS weapons purchase request for 7,000 5.56x45mm NATO “personal defense weapons” (PDW) — also known as “assault weapons," which Congress is attempting to ban for civilian use.

Steve McGough of RadioViceOnline.com reports that the DHS is asking for the weapons because they are “suitable for personal defense use in close quarters."

Photo of TSA officers performing a screening at airport: AP Images

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