- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2017

Undercover federal agents successfully snuck drugs and explosives past security screeners at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last week, according to the local Fox affiliate.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) conducted the test last Thursday by sending agents disguised as ordinary passengers into the airport in order to see if screeners were up to snuff, KMSP reported.

The TSA “red team” attempted to smuggle 18 different items past airport security that should easily be detected but prevailed almost every time, the Fox affiliate reported.

“In most cases, they succeeded in getting the banned items through. 17 out of 18 tries by the undercover federal agents saw explosive materials, fake weapons or drugs pass through TSA screening undetected,” KMSP reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the operation.

The security test was ultimately abandoned once the TSA’s failure rate reached 95 percent, the station reported.

The TSA declined to comment on the test specifically but said it “condemns the release of any information that could compromise our nation’s security,” the station said.

While significant, the statistics are on par with a 2015 report that found TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 similar tests, once again indicating a 5 percent success rate.

“Terrorist groups like ISIS take notice when TSA fails to intercept 67 out of 70 attempts by undercover investigators to penetrate airport checkpoints with simulated weapons and explosives,” South Dakota Senator John Thune and Florida Senator Bill Nelson – the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s top Republican and Democrat, respectively – previously said in response to the 2015 report, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

“We take this failure rate by TSA very seriously,” they said at the time.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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