The reason Abdul Mutallab, better known as the "underwear bomber", was nearly able to accomplish his goal had much more to do with intelligence failures than the TSA lacking the ability to walk around airports to randomly swab people, From most open source accounts, Mutallab was known to be a threat who had become involved with an especially radical Islamic group out of Yemen. No less an authority than his own father came forward to express his concern that his son had become radicalized. According to press accounts, the CIA (and also the British MI-5) had sent a report to the National Counter-Terrorism Center to have Mutallab's name placed on the no-fly list, For some reason, that did not occur allowing Mutallab to fly to Amersterdam. Mutallab was apprehended overseas so why does TSA need to have "roaming" powers in domestic airports? The TSA has one of the worst reputations for customer service by any federal agency. The work is dull and monotonous, the pay is low, the promotion process is stressful, and dealing with angry passengers is no picnic. Roaming screenings will just add more opportunities for passengers and TSA screeners to clash with zero probability of catching the next "underwear bomber".
TSA takes explosives screening to fliers - USATODAY.com
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