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Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

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don

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Post Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:49 am

Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test


Story Highlights
- Plainclothes investigators test security at 10 federal buildings in 4 U.S. cities
- GAO agents able to assemble components in restrooms, freely enter offices
- GAO's report questions effectiveness of the Federal Protective Service
- Sen. Susan Collins: Security lapses show "poor training, lax management" at FPS

By Mike M. Ahlers
CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Plainclothes investigators sent to test security at federal buildings in four U.S. cities were successful in smuggling bomb components through guard posts at all 10 of the sites they visited, according to a government report.

The investigators then assembled the bombs in restrooms and freely entered numerous government offices while carrying the devices in briefcases, the report said.

The buildings contained offices of several federal lawmakers as well as agencies within the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security, which is responsible for safeguarding federal office buildings.

CNN obtained the report late Tuesday, ahead of its expected release Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, conducted the tests to check on the effectiveness of the Federal Protective Service .The FPS protects federal buildings by having about 1,200 federal law enforcement officers oversee an army of 13,000 private security guards.

In a videotape obtained by CNN, a covert GAO inspector places a bag containing bomb components on an X-ray machine conveyor belt and then walks through a magnetometer at an unidentified federal building. Unlike some covert tests that use simulated explosives, the GAO used actual bomb components in the test and publicly available information "to identify a type of device that a terrorist could use" to damage a building.



For complete story:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/07/ ... index.html

Don
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RoleReversal

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Post Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:26 am

Re: Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

WOW, that's worrying but somehow not that surprising. Thanks for the heads up

I'm guessing some heads will roll from this.
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don

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Post Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:25 pm

Re: Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

Heads are already rolling with many politicians weighing in on the issue. You can see a few of them in the full article.

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former33t

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Post Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:43 pm

Re: Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

None of this is surprising.  Especially the part about contract security.

The FPS protects federal buildings by having about 1,200 federal law enforcement officers oversee an army of 13,000 private security guards.


I worked on a military base for years and I can cite the night and day difference between sworn officers and contract security.  I consistently saw no accountability for contract security personnel screwing off on the job.  Not that federal employees are all that great, but they always performed head and shoulders above the contract security (even the armed contract security).  I regularly saw the contract security standing around BS'ing at the gate and having to wait for a guard to pay attention to you to check your ID before driving your vehicle onto the base.  The guard in the CNN article shown sleeping is absolutely reminicent of what I've seen.
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UNIX

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Post Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:26 am

Re: Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

I enjoyed reading this as it demonstrates again (and certainly not for the first time) that security is not treated seriously, unfortunately.

Some people working in such buildings, e.g. lawyers and justice, are often aware of the fact that their life could be in danger for whatever reasons. Considering that they are protected from some sort of guards or other security protections, they may feel more secure but it is quite bad when the people who should protect are sleeping (although this can't be applied for everyone; there are certainly people who take their job serious).

I think it is really important to do such tests, even if it results in rolling heads. Better bogus rolling heads than real ones.
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venom77

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Post Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:30 pm

Re: Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

Yeah, received an email (below) here at work the other day about this. Luckily, it didn't happen here (not that the outcome would probably be any different). I'm still waiting to see if they give us more info...

Recently, CNN released an article concerning an exercise of planting mock devices in Federal Buildings. The [building I work in] was not part of this exercise.  A critique of this exercise is forthcoming.  If more information is received via the Safety Office, it will be published through this and OEP Channels.
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timmedin

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Post Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:44 pm

Re: Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

Realistically how could you stop this? Most of the components are wires and electrical bits, how do you distiguish that from computer or other electrical equipment? If you want it past security just jam it in a laptop case and you are through.

The key part is stopping the explosive, but an XRay machine isn't going to do you any good. They need an explosive detection system (EDS) to really be effective in this arena, the XRay and metal detector is just going to stop guns and knives.
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ants

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Post Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

timmedin, what you need are some trained Bees,  http://www.techchee.com/2007/09/16/bees-can-be-trained-to-sniff-out-explosivesperhaps-drugs-too/. I remember seeing this way back and thinking that it was cool.
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former33t

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Post Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:14 pm

Re: Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

This isn't about trained bees or the commonality of bomb parts (minus the explosives).  The point is that security at most government facilities is ridiculously lax.

CNN/other media may be trying to sensationalize this, but the point is that many security guards (particularly contract personnel) are less than vigilant.  Some are just lazy.  This is true across all professions, but a lazy burger flipper results in some overdone beef.  I think we all know what happens when government security drops the ball.
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UNIX

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Post Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:25 am

Re: Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

Haven't heard about such bees but that is definitely interesting. :)

As already stated I think one of the major problems are within humas. However, I can hardly imagine that it would be impossible to smuggle somehow needed devices into a secured building.
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timmedin

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Post Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:48 am

Re: Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

Ants wrote:timmedin, what you need are some trained Bees


If I had some trained bees I would use them to take over the world! Muhahahaha!
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alucian

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Post Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:06 am

Re: Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

Isn't this investigation a little bit exagerated??
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Tails502

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Post Sun May 30, 2010 8:55 am

Re: Bomb Parts Smuggled into 10 Federal Buildings During Test

awesec wrote:I enjoyed reading this as it demonstrates again (and certainly not for the first time) that security is not treated seriously, unfortunately.

Some people working in such buildings, e.g. lawyers and justice, are often aware of the fact that their life could be in danger for whatever reasons. Considering that they are protected from some sort of guards or other security protections, they may feel more secure but it is quite bad when the people who should protect are sleeping (although this can't be applied for everyone; there are certainly people who take their job serious).

I think it is really important to do such tests, even if it results in rolling heads. Better bogus rolling heads than real ones.




i'm currently working contract security, and durring the orientation we were told flat out "since 9/11 the chances of an attack have risen alarmingly, only through vigilance can we possibly spot a potential threat" they also after that little speach told us "if your caught sleeping you will be terminated on the spot" they dont want the 'minimum wage security guard' sleeping at his post as most movies and some news articles portray, though i do agree that government security has gotten a little if you'll pardon the term "half-assed" everyone at the company that i work for takes their jobs seriously, and make a vigilant attempt to spot potential threats, we also got training on what to do shuld we come across an explosive device, back away, cordon off, and call the police emergancy number from a land line (DO NOT! use Cellular phones if you suspect a device), but i digress, it is an eye opener that they were able to smuggle Live explosives and material into the offices of several federal buildings, we do need to wake up to this very real threat, but thats just my .02 :o
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