Someone released a For Official Use Only (FOUO) document from the TSA and MSNBC posted it online. The basics are:
A surge in recent suspicious incidents at U.S. airports may indicate terrorists are conducting pre-attack security probes and “dry runs” similar to dress rehearsals. Past terrorist attacks and plots show that such testing generally indicates attacks will soon follow, according to a joint FBI and Homeland Security assessment.
It’s mildly interesting in that it seems to confirm people are probing our airport security system. My view is that airport security as it’s currently implemented is a lost cause (see also this posting from David Mackett, the president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance). Those resources would be far better spent on finding the bad guys before they ever arrive at the airport and implementing something else for on board security.
The TSA bulletin said the ice packs were covered in duct tape and had clay inside of them.
Sanfilippo said they weren’t covered in duct tape and didn’t have clay inside of them. “It is a little bit off,” he said of the bulletin.
The chief said a Harbor Police officer found what appeared to be hardened old gel that had seeped out of the ice packs and dried, leaving a clay-like substance around the outside edge of the pack.
I wonder if it was incompetence or if the TSA was trying to justify their existence. Both are plausible.