05:01 GMT +322 September 2019
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    A TSA agent checks a bag at a security checkpoint area at Midway International Airport in Chicago.

    US Public Skeptical About Transportation Security Agency's Competence

    Nam Y. Huh, File
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    Experts say that major problems in the US Transportation Agency raise concerns about how it can possibly solve them.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Major problems in the US Transportation Agency (TSA) raise concerns about how it can possibly solve them, experts told Sputnik.

    “It raises some serious issues about how TSA can go about dealing with this,” State University of New York, Albany Political Science Professor Victor Asal said, referring to the agency’s inability to discover dozens of its employees had ties to terrorist activities.

    On June 8, 2015, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General said in a report that the TSA was unable to detect 73 commercial airport workers who had links to terrorist activities, but were given access to secure airport areas.

    Asal explained the failure is only one of many security matters the TSA has not evaluated. Even on issues that TSA has assessed, the results have not been good.

    “I think they should do analysis on how this could be done effectively,” Asal concluded. “They have to figure out the best way for an analysis.”

    University of Northern Iowa Political Science Professor Christopher Larimer said the continued TSA failures might further negative attitude among an already-skeptical US public.

    Larimer argued TSA could become an example of a government agency not working well, where the private sector was asked to come back to fix it.

    “That’s what we had in part pre-911 [private sector involvement], where the public thought they had not done enough to get things done,” Larimer concluded. “Maybe the pendulum swings back with all these examples of it [TSA] being ineffective."

    Kansas State University Political Science Professor Krishna Tummala said proper recruitment and better financial compensation could improve the TSA, but training could never prepare its agents for all eventualities.

    Tummala said many TSA employees were far from acting like professionals and seemed to lack uniform effective training before they begin their duties at US airports.

    On Thursday, a YouGov poll showed only five percent of respondents were “very confident” in TSA agents’ ability to catch a terrorist boarding an airplane.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    terrorism, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States
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