It’s the textbook description of the modern day terrorist. White American Female – 19 years of age – long blonde hair – bright blue eyes – classic jihadi.
Really – Diana Durkin, sophomore at Texas Tech University – a terrorist?
Well, that’s what she thought as a TSA official (official dope maybe) pulled her out of line at Houston’s Hobby Airport.
“Oh my gosh, they think I'm a terrorist… Oh my gosh, I'm going to jail,” Miss Durkin said she remembered thinking. “I'm just sitting there, almost in tears, like, No, I'm just really dumb, I'm not a terrorist!'”
And why was she flagged? As Diana tweeted: “In the airport screening line and I see someone wearing a Texas Tech hoodie and I look at them and do the gun hand signal because wreck em amiright…tsa is now pulling me aside to talk to me :((”
After witnessing the heinous act of brandishing a possibly loaded finger gun, the TSA agent evidently tapped her on the shoulder, pulled her out of line, and demanded to see her ID.
The agent snidely asked what she thought she was doing, then added, “You can't do that in an airport!” They then subjected her “to a full body screening and patdown.”
I’d like nothing more at this point than to say that this is all a joke, but sadly I cannot.
Her crime was apparently being an enthusiastic Texas Tech student and supporter of the Texas Tech football team. The gesture of holding both hands skyward in a finger gun salute is well known and has been a tradition for decades around the Lubbock, Texas campus.
Apparently not so much at the Houston airport. But I guess the Houston TSA folks don’t mess around and take their jobs seriously. It’s heartening to know that they are protecting the flying public from the threat of blonde teenage American college girls waving look-alike, level 2 firearms.
It’s also nice to know that the TSA can find something because as I’ve written previously, they can’t seem to find the real thing.
“DHS Red teams were dispatched to various airports to attempt to smuggle banned substances through security checkpoints. These substances included mockups of bombs and other weapons, such as fake plastics explosives laden with ball bearings, pipe bombs and a fully assembled, scoped M-4 assault rifle. Of the 70 smuggling tests conducted, 67 made it passed the TSA screeners.”
In one test a man with a fake bomb strapped to his back set off a metal detector, but was allowed to go on to the plane boarding area after a pat-down didn’t find the device.
And sadly, but predictably, the TSA record has not improved. In fact, ever since the George W Bush administration decided, post 9/11, that the private sector couldn’t do the job of airport security, the record has gone from pretty good to miserable.
In 2006, inspectors conducted screening tests and found a failure rate of the TSA, between 60-80%. At the same time, the same test was conducted at the San Francisco Airport, which was still run by a private security, and found a failure rate of only 20%.
Still, I suppose the TSA did us a service by scaring straight at least one would-be terrorist. I bet Ms. Durkin will think twice before brazenly unholstering a deadly weapon again in public.
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