Home » Air » How to Sneak a Claymore Onto a Flight

How to Sneak a Claymore Onto a Flight

by John Reed on May 2, 2012

Well, this is embarrasing. In addition to patting down harmless old ladies and small children in the name of security, the TSA is also really good at letting Claymore antipersonnel mines through its screenings. Yup, TSA agents at Newark International Airport in New Jersey stopped an employee of the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal with two inert Claymores in her carry-on baggage (well done, TSA) but they failed to detect a third mine that was being loaded into the plane’s hold inside her checked bags (doh!).

A: What was she thinking even trying to bring these aboard an airplane

B: Thank God these were inert mines and not real explosives.

This reminds me of an experience I had at Oakland International years ago (actually, it was the day the TSA freaked out about liquids aboard flights) where a TSA agent found an antique letter opener that I had accidentally put in my carry-on bag and, after touching the sharp-enough-to-kill-someone tip of the four to five-inch blade, put it back in my bag and told me to have a nice flight! Now, I’m very glad I got to keep the letter opener that my deceased father had left to me, but think about it; if I was some kind of terrorist or just a garden variety psycho, I could have easily stabbed someone aboard with it. Sigh.


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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Noha307 May 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm

She was thinking that she was going to stop any terrorists from hijacking the plane. DUH!


selfdefpro May 3, 2012 at 10:17 am

Man it makes perfect sense to carry some clays around..shes probably a pretty young nice lady being sick of being molested by one of the pilots and thought of protecting herself while sleeping in her seat. Some may say its a tad bit overkill considering the health of the other fellows on the plane..there is even a chance that the plane-stability could be affected in case they go off but hey dude you got to protect yourself nowadays.


Mannie May 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm

To make matters worse, they still have not captured the unscreened baby.


Brian Black May 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm

She obviously values her own personal space. Myself, I make do with putting the armrest down.


Nick May 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm

It's called security theater for a reason


Mastro May 3, 2012 at 9:07 am

More like security vaudville


Ryan May 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I think the most recent attacks have made us focus too much on the passenger carrying the bomb/weapon, and as a result we have become lax in our checking of baggage. I’m sure the terrorists will still settle for blowing a plane up if they see it is too difficult to take one over.


taxingcharlotte May 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Aircraft have not become more difficult to take over due to any particular so-called "security measures." They have only become more difficult to take over because passengers have stopped sitting like sheep waiting for some "professional" to somehow show up and make it all better.

Before, everyone assumed it would just be a highjacking and sat there like sheep. The assumption was, the plane would land somewhere, negotiations would ensue and some government official would eventually deliver them, unharmed, to a connecting flight home. All as long as everyone cooperated and did not "cause trouble."

After 9-11, of course many of the sheep woke up to the idea that sitting there like sheep might get everyone killed instead. No government savior, no connecting flight home. Had everyone thought this way on 9-11, no one could have taken over an airplane with a lousy box cutter. But they did. And only after word got around that other hijackers and crashed their airplanes rather than merely landing and making demands, only then did the final flight take action.

Other attempts have been made since, each of them thwarted by fellow passengers, not "security measures." The laxity of which you speak is the nature of the "security measures." The idea that planes have become more difficult to take over has nothing to do with the TSA or security and has everything to do with a change in attitude and response from the average people on the flights themselves.


Ryan May 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm

In a follow up thought, why the f*** wouldn’t you ship those to your training seminar? Training and inert weapons are shipped by mail everyday.

This lady needs to find a new line of work.


jsallison May 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm

If they were inert than who bloody cares? Alright, that's it. My next flight I'm packing a drawing of a stick of dynamite. Note that there will be no drawings of fuses, blasting caps or detonators. Wouldn't want to pack anything dangerous, now, would we? I blame universal suffrage.


TMB May 2, 2012 at 7:57 pm

The scanner doesn't know if it's inert or not. The shape of it should have sent up a flag.


TMB May 2, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Now that I think about it, some scanners can probably tell if there's C4 in the casing. Regardless, I think my comment about the shape is still valid.


tiger May 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm

In defense of the Screener, they are not trained to look for claymores. I used to do the job pre TSA. While we had many objects we were trained to look for this is not one. On a x ray it's going to look like a battery or radio.


TMB May 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Seems like a claymore would have something of a distinctive shape. Would small mines stand out at all from other round objects?


tiger May 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm

It depends how sharp the screener is. You know how many bags you see a hour at a busy airport like Newark or JFK? Understand, most screeners are not ex- military. They never even heard of a claymore before. The FAA used to test us at Midway with guns, grenades, time bombs, knives etc. As a training mine, there would be no steel balls to see like on a real mine on a xray. You see a lot of odd stuff. One time a kid put a pet turtle through. Another time we gave a guy a hard time over a large sex toy….. I Caught about 2-3 guns & some knives at PHL terminal C. Ah, the good old days. At the pay sucked, but we could fly free at least. TSA folks get paid more and are one step from Burger king counters brain wise.

nightkid May 3, 2012 at 4:33 am

Airport security staff I suppose are trained to look out for anything that seem unusual. If everyone started packing "dangerous looking" items like what jsallison was suggesting then the queues would be massive. How would you feel if you had to queue for +2hrs because everyone in front of you started packing stuff that had to be thoroughly checked?


tiger May 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm

More like guns, knives, grenades, bomb like objects. I can tell a Claymore from a laptop on a xray. On a busy shift with folks backed to the doors, and not loaded flat. It could get by.

Tom May 3, 2012 at 8:37 am

I'm pretty sure they can tell one with no explosives from one with explosives.


tiger May 4, 2012 at 6:46 pm

With a explosive detection machine or the swabs for residue. The Xray? Not really. A fake claymore would just be a plastic box. If real, the steel balls would look real odd to anybody.


Musson May 3, 2012 at 8:49 am

If you pulled a claymore out of your carry on and said take me to Syria – do you think people would ignore you just because it was inert?


Coolhand77 May 3, 2012 at 9:58 am

Anybody whos seen Terminator 2 and notices theres no blasting cap or clicker would know…and probably take it away from the perp and beat them with it…for crying out loud, an unprimed Claymore is about as dangerous as can of sterno [literally, I know an Anesthisiologist who was a HSLD guy before he lost his leg, who used to tell stories about how they would COOK over C4 since it don't go boom without the freaking blasting cap].
Frankly I would give the flying public, especially considering the number of combat vets out there, a bit more credit than that.


tiger May 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm

99% of people & most in TSA have no clue what a Claymore is.

A. Nonymous May 3, 2012 at 10:34 am

There are different types of inert. One type (let's call it Type 1) has no detonator and no explosive, and the other type (let's call it Type 2) contains explosive but no means of detonating it. If the mines were all Type 1, this is no big deal. If any of them were Type 2, then both she and the TSA agent who missed the one in her luggage are probably looking for new jobs today.


jet-lagged May 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Theater? Whenever TSA comes to mind, I remember that they took away my wife's fingernail clipper at secuity in Oakland, and she had to replace them, which she did by buying another, almost identical clipper INSIDE the secure area in Oakland. As soon as TSA set up shop, I thought up a bunch of ways to conceil explosives via children, pets, wives (after all, wives are pets where many of our enemies live, and they come in multiples, too), and none of them would have been detected prior to the arrival of full body scanners. In the years since, most of the ways that I thought about have trickled into the press.

As someone who was "interviewed" by the Israelis at Ben Gurion for over an hour the first time I flew out of there, I appreciate the gap between theater and security.


Lance May 2, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Got to love Claymores!!!


Ems May 3, 2012 at 5:41 am

got'a wonder if she has done this before ?


Vaporhead May 3, 2012 at 7:24 am

It's just a matter of time before you will be harassed by the TSA and their thugs at train stations, bus stops, malls, etc. The American people (no offense) are a few fries short of a Happy Meal to figure out what the Government is doing. And that is take away your Constitutional Rights in order to make you "feel safe." WAKE UP AMERICA! And don't think I'm some conspiracy theorist either, because I'm not. I'm an American who is afraid of what the future holds for my children.


coolhand77 May 3, 2012 at 10:08 am

They are already planning to start "bag checks" on public transportation in Houston. Just another reason for me to stay out of that cesspool that keeps electing Sheila Jackson Lee.
This is mission creep of the worst sort, and totally unconstitutional as riding public transportation or flying a plane is NOT probable cause and the Federal government is constrained by the bill of rights [4th ammendment] from illegal search and seizure [which means you have to have at MINIMUM probable cause that someone is comitting a crime, and legally you should have a warrunt to go through their personal effects].
Whats next, check points on major highways? "Papers PLEASE"


blight_ May 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm

"Whats next, check points on major highways? "Papers PLEASE""

Groan, don't give 'em ideas!


USAF SF May 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Fear is the wrong answer when it comes to our Constitutional Rights. We should see it as a challenge to educate our Children and not let them believe the lies of the media and liberals who write our "history" books. Encourage them to learn to question the law, and read things before signing, as many of our generation have become accustomed to not doing. Let them make this world theirs, not by cleaning up our mess, but by seeking to change it to make it THEIR world, or at least THEIR AMERICA.


Syed June 15, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Well, they already gonna ban sugared soft drinks above 16 ounces to be served in NYC to "prevent obesity". While this has nothing to do with security, it shows just how much into your life the government is capable of getting when they can regulate how big a soft drink you can buy. Who knows what's next? What size pillow you can sleep on? How long you can be on the internet? It may almost turn into another China or worse…


Jim May 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

On a trip to Reno, NV a couple of years ago, after we had gotten off the airplane, and were standing outside the terminal waiting for our bus; another passenger who had sat near us on the plane; was grousing about not having a lighter as he wanted a smoke badly. My Wife, opened her purse and pulled out FIVE lighters and asked him to pick one. He asked where she had gotten them, and her reply was "I had them in my purse, and no-one ever asked about them".


Tribulationtime May 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm

No comment


trainersniffer May 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I was checked into a flight at McCarran in Vegas.

Being disabled, I get wheeled around airports, as I don't walk too well. somehow one of the TSA agents missed the Kershaw Blur Tanto in my bag, I only found it when I was waiting for a connection in Charlotte and it was in one of the pockets of my carry-on.



blight_ May 3, 2012 at 4:45 pm

In any case, I suspect TSA is moving towards an El Al style profiling system to gauge risk, to transition from Random Hilariuous Search.


PrometheusGoneWild May 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm

This is the end result of typical Democrat thinking.
9/11 happens.
Do they pass laws tightening up airport security? Hire more regulators to test airport security?
No, the nationalize airport security and hire thousands more federal employees.
Now something like this happens and instead of "reviewing over site policy and laws" like they would if it was in private hands, now the Federal government is directly responsible and they have to spin it and make excuses.
Now a Federal Agency is directly responsible for the failure. Think they will fire anyone? :)
All the money spent; federal pensions; federal benefits for all these people and where are we?
Getting our tweezers confiscated…..and a claymore passing through….


TMB May 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Democrat thinking? Who was president when the TSA and DHS were created?


Clifton B. Sommer May 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm

They confiscated my P-38 (small can opener that will fit on dog tag or key chains), saying it was an "edged weapon"?!


passingby May 4, 2012 at 9:12 pm

wait till you see the US version of Geheime Staatspolizei


TLAM_Strike May 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm

An acquaintance of mine is a pilot for a small airline. During the whole liquids on planes scare he was walking though the security checkpoint with a thermos of soup. The TSA screener tells him he can’t take that on the plane due to the threat of bombs. My pilot friend replies: “You realize I’m the pilot, I don’t need a bomb, I could just crash the plane.”


coolhand77 May 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm

lucky they didn't "detain" him right there…


tiger May 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I still remember the day I got Dolly Parton at the Metal detector in a denim jumpsuit at PHL. Good day to be the magic wand guy. Most men have never got the close to the chest puppies. Looked, did not tuch… :-)


c-dog May 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Can anybody say B___S___

wonder if this will make it through!!!!!!!!!!


ray July 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm
Stefan May 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I like reading blogs about Liquids on planes. You did really good work on here. I’ll bookmark your site. Thanks, Stefan.


Antonius Bauwens May 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Ans all these people soing these things wonder why the prices of flights go up if it aint fuel then security..


Robert Rowe April 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Well ! After all the expense of the security The airlines only made 2 million !!!! (profit) The steel balls should have been picked up by the scan !! HELLO !!!


larry a. kruse August 8, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I don't usually carry claymores around but I do have a few gun steel ball point pens. Well 24 to be exact. And a cool little vest with a pen pocket for each one. The last time I flew out of Baltimore they (TSA) complained about the 12" braided lanyard I have on my keys so I can get them out of my pocket with winter or biker gloves on. They did not have anything to say to the gentleman in front of me with 4 ball point pens in his pocket. Well I can take a hint. While my key chain might be used as a whip the heavy duty gun steel tactical ball point pens are just fine. I feel comforted when I fly knowing that well trained TSA monkeys have carefully screened and evaluated myself and fellow passengers.


Dave Bush December 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm

As a pilot in uniform for a major American airline, I had a TSA screener try to confiscate my uniform belt "because I could use it as a weapon to strangle someone." Rather than try to explain how foolish that was, I waived to the State Trooper who was stationed nearby and asked him to give us his opinion on her observation. He replied, "These pilots are pretty good, but I don't think even they can fly the airplane, and strangle someone while they are holding their pants up."


Locaber March 20, 2013 at 8:33 am

TSA total waste of Air and Money


web hosting May 16, 2013 at 8:20 am
Murph KT September 12, 2013 at 6:11 am

Just think of what a live on is made of 1000 little pieces of steel placed on top of 1 pound or so of C4. Just wanna make you strap 5 on and go jump out of a perfectly good airplane at 12-42 000 ft. We would place them in ambushes in bases of trees using connecting fields of fire. No problem when you 17, but a problem when you near 50.

Thought if the avg us family is have 1.5 children not 4 from the 60's and it used to be only young men went off to war, now female infantry, all we are left with is the .5 when our young man and woman go off to war. Can a .5 reproduce, can a .5 help an aging population that had 6-10 children. This is what takes a super power to a 2nd world nation status to be invaded, dragged to it knees to follow not lead in a global government UN


kevin June 27, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Well we've definitely arrived in the 21st century and TSA is such the perfect example of we don't even know what we don't know. My God! After all the glorious things that we and our honorable ancestors have fought and died for, how did we arrive to such an incompetent state of not even knowing what we stand for or how to protect ourselves from something that we now fail to even recognize? Get on with your big self TSA!!


Pat May 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I don't get it… Explain!


tiger May 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Hey smart folks Fly Gulfstreams……. Charter or private is the best way to fly. No TSA, no lines, no lost bags.


HeavyArrow May 3, 2012 at 7:55 am

You sir, deserved that upvote I just gave you. I remember when I was traveling from Texas back to Virginia Beach, I had gone shooting, and being a kid I took some of the shells home with me. They were empty of course. I managed to get through airport security without a single flag being raised.

But they really have tried to baby proof everything, it's rather aggravating.


Musson May 3, 2012 at 8:47 am

If hijackers tried to takeover the flight – she could detonate her Claymore and kill them.


Anonymous May 3, 2012 at 11:42 am

Maybe you guys missed the part about them being inert. By the way, they weren't even inert in the sense that they were real claymores that had in some way been rendered unusable. Those are dummies used for training. It is a simple block of plastic (not plastique). Idiots.


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