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Undercover investigation reveals crippling failures in TSA security checkpoints
It appears security checkpoints at some of the busiest airports in the U.S. may be failing miserably. - photo by Jessica Ivins
It appears security checkpoints at some of the busiest airports in the U.S. may be failing miserably.

A recent internal investigation by the Transportation Security Administration yielded some alarming results: Undercover agents were able to smuggle banned weapons or explosives through airport security checkpoints a whopping 95 percent of the time, according to ABC News.

The tests were conducted by members of Homeland Securitys Red Team. The agents posed as passengers and hid fake bombs, weapons and other contraband on their person or in their bags to see if they could beat the system.

And they were successful 67 out of 70 times. One agent was stopped when he set off an alarm at a checkpoint, but a pat down conducted by a TSA agent failed to uncover the fake explosive taped to his back, according to MSNBC.

The findings, which were made public on Monday, present a disturbing dilemma for the TSA. The agencys director, Melvin Carraway, was immediately reassigned to Homeland Security headquarters upon the release of the report, MSNBC reported. Carraway had been with the TSA for 11 years.

Its disturbing news, former TSA administrator John Pistole told NBC News. The question is how we can best mitigate that vulnerability in a way that doesnt prohibit the free movement of people and goods. Thats just something that theres no perfect answer for.

TSA is scrambling to address those vulnerabilities.

Upon learning the initial findings of the Office of Inspector Generals report, Secretary Johnson immediately directed TSA to implement a series of actions, several of which are now in place, to address the issues raised in the report, Homeland Security officials said in a statement to ABC.

Immediate changes included revising standard screening operating procedures, intensified training for security officers, retesting screening equipment and a continuation of random covert testing, according to the Associated Press.

A separate investigation targeting checked baggage screenings found multiple weaknesses in the system, according to ABC News. The September 2014 report attributed those vulnerabilities to human and technological failures, and determined that the $551 million spent on equipment and training since 2009 hadnt made much of a difference in terms of safety, ABC reported.

Even in light of the recent reports, Homeland Security maintains the nations airports are safe and that security remains strong.