June 25, 2008
Early in the evening of June 25, a transportation security officer (TSO) working an explosives detection system (EDS) machine at Washington-Dulles International Airport suspected an IED might be in a passenger's checked bag after it alarmed for organic material. In response, the TSO called for a bag check. A physical search of the bag revealed two large cylindrical objects wired together with an LED display.
Local law enforcement officers and their canine unit were called to the scene. They conducted a search of the suspected IED which came back clear. The law enforcement officers interviewed the owner of the bag then let him continue after he surrendered the items to TSA for further investigation.
Through careful analysis of each checked bag, EDS machines can detect potential threat items. The machines "alarm" when they detect potential weapons or explosives, alerting our security officers so they can take appropriate action. In some cases, the alarm can be quickly resolved by TSA's onsite bomb appraisal officers. In others, law enforcement and the bomb squad may be called to assist.